Pichu-kun on Mar 13th 2018 at 11:27:52 AM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Jul 19th 2018 at 9:50:30 AM
Page Type: trope
A Bilingual Song is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a song whose lyrics are in two, or sometimes more, languages. It's not just random bits of Gratuitous English or Gratuitous Spanish sprinkled into the lyrics, but full on verses are in seperate languages.
This type of song is most common in areas where most of the audience is bilingual, thus they're able to understand the lyrics. It however isn't uncommon for songs to feature multiple languages to add spice to them or reflect the singers' backgrounds.
In film or theater examples, the bilingual lyrics can also reflect the plot or setting of the story.
Compare to Bilingual Bonus.
- A television ad from The '60s for Coca Cola has people of various nationalities sing "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" in their native language while coming together on a grassy hill.
Anime and Manga
- "Inner Universe", the opening theme for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, contains lyrics in English, Latin, and Russian.
Films — Animation
- Coco has a number of songs with varying amounts of Spanish and English.
- Circle of Life, the famous opening number from The Lion King, has lyrics both in English and in Zulu.
- The Three Caballeros: Several of the songs featured have lyrics in both English and Spanish. In the film itself, Panchito sings a verse of the title song in Spanish.
- In Moana, the song "We Know the Way" has lyrics in both English and Tokalauan.
- The Prince of Egypt: The film version of "When You Believe" is in English except for the bridge, which is a condensed version of the Hebrew "Song of the Sea" from The Book Of Exodus.
- "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee, was originally a completely Spanish song. The popular remix with Justin Bieber adds an English intro by Bieber and another English portion by Yankee near the end.
- "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano features verses in Spanish and similar verses in English.
- Many of CNCO's songs do this, where their best English-speaker will half sing, half rap a verse in English.
- The song "Echame la culpa" by Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato takes this to the extreme, where they sing the lyrics in Spanish and then an approximate English translation, in random sequence (and it's the original).
- Freddy Fender's 1975 country ballad, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", has the first verse sung in both English and Spanish.
- The South African national anthem includes five languages: two lines in Xhosa, two lines in Zulu, four lines in Sesotho, four lines in Afrikaans, and ending with four lines in English.
- The intro and outro of "Montreal" by The Weeknd are spoken in French while the verses and chorus are mostly spoken in English.
- The Mars Volta song "Visecra Eyes" contains verses in English and Spanish.
- The interlude to the Muse song ''I Belong to You" is spoken in French when the rest of the song is spoken in English.
- Most of Russkaja's songs are in a mix of German, Russian and occasionally English.
- The English version of Enrique Iglesias' "Bailando" is actually part-Spanish and part-English. Most of the lyrics are translated, but Spanish is sprinkled about and Gente de Zone's part is still in complete Spanish.
- Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" has a few lines in French.
- The song "Aalash Kwnana" by U-Cef has an Arabic chorus but also rapping in English.
- Clotaire K's "Lubnan" has rapping in English but choruses in Levantine Arabic.
- Many songs from the Ar tonelico series are sung in both Japanese and the series' Conlang Hymmnos.
- 16 Horsepower's cover version of "The Partisan" has David Eugene Edwards singing the English translation, and guest singer Betrand Cantat singing the original French lyrics.
- Secret Chiefs 3's cover version of "La chanson de Jacky" starts in English and ends in French—because their version is a Recursive Adaptation that combines bits from Jacques Brel's original version with bits from Scott Walker's cover.
- "Ah Ya Albi", by Hakim (Egyptian) and Olga Tañon (Puerto Rican), singing in Arabic and Spanish respectively.
- "Michelle" by The Beatles is sung partly in English and partly in French.
- Yerba Buena's "Bilingual Girl" is all about this trope — the singer wants a girl who can speak both Spanish and English. Fittingly, the verses are in those two languages.
- Regina Spektor: "Apres Moi" is in English, but has a verse in Russian. Said verse is a shortened version of a Boris Pasternak poem.
- Pitbull: "We Are One (Ole Ola), which was written for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, features interjections in Spanish and a full verse in Portuguese.
- Shakira: "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the theme song of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has a verse in Zulu.
- 'Sesame Street'':
- One verse of "Sing" is often sung in Spanish.
- "Mando" is about a guy named Mando finding words in Spanish that rhyme with his name.
- "Spanish Me, English Me" is about being bilingual and speaking both Spanish and English.
- The phrase "Ãƒâ€°ljen, ÃƒÂ©ljen ErzÃƒÂ©bet!" is repeated throughout the second-act song "Ãƒâ€°ljen", which depicts Elisabeth's coronation as the Empress of Hungary. Interspersed with German verses, the phrase means "long live (Empress) Elisabeth", with "ErzÃƒÂ©bet" being the Hungarian form of the name.
- Numerous concert-style performances have featured multilingual versions of the musical's signature ballad, "Ich gehÃƒÂ¶r nur mir". The Helene Fischer show brought together six actresses who played the eponymous role, showcasing the song in seven different languages: German, Hungarian, Japanese, Finnish, Korean, Dutch, and Swedish.
- The lyrics to "Wilkommen" from Cabaret have phrases that are spoken or sung in German, then repeated in French and English.
- In the Heights is about a mostly Hispanic-American community in New York City. While most songs are in English with some Spanish phrases, some songs feature entire verses in Spanish, such as "Piragua" and "Alabanza".
- The titular anthem from It's a Small World is sung in a variety of languages throughout the ride.
- It's implied that Off the Hook in Splatoon 2 provides a fictional language example. Their songs are in Conlang Simlish, but the Japanese concerts provide some lyrics. The text implies that Pearl raps in the typical Inkling language while Marina sing her parts in Octarian (shown by her singing in katakana instead of hiragana).
- The ending theme of Journey, "I Was Born For This", has verses in Latin, Old English, Classical Greek, French, and Japanese, in that order.
- "Weight of the World", the Ending Theme for NieR: Automata, has three separate versions: one sung in English, one in Japanese, and one in Chaoticnote . During Ending E, the vocal track alternates between all three versions.
- The Betty Boop short A Language All My Own has Betty singing title song in English and Japanese.
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