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Foreign Language Theme

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The Opening Theme or Ending Theme is in a language other than the main language of the country of origin or of the Target Audience.

Note that this does not include the use of a few foreign words for flavour. Nor does it include cases where a show is dubbed into the local language but has its theme song left intact. This trope is strictly about theme tunes which are mainly or entirely in a language that the target viewers do not speak in everyday life and the original actors do not speak on the soundstage (or, for voice actors, in the recording sessions). An Ominous Latin Chanting is, of course, in a language that nobody speaks anymore.

May overlap with Real Song Theme Tune.


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  • Both the main opening themes of Persona 4: The Animation are in (slightly nonsensical) English, as well as some of the other songs used in the show. Same goes for the opening and ending themes of Persona 5: The Animation.
  • The theme to the original Gunslinger Girl anime is the English song "The Lights Before We Land" by The Delgados. The ending theme is an Italian song named "Dopo Il Songo".
  • The ending of Hellsing is in English, performed by Mr. Big.
  • The Japanese version of Speed Grapher used Duran Duran's "Girls on Film".
  • So are Anna Tsuchiya's "Rose" and "Lucy", both openings to Nana.
  • "Hello, Vifam," the opening theme of Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam, is in English.
  • Mushishi's opening theme is "The Sore Feet Song" by Scottish singer/songwriter Ally Kerr.
  • Gankutsuou has an English opening and ending sung by Jean Jacques Burnel, lead singer of The Stranglers.
  • Licensed by Royal has an opening by Billy Preston.
  • Ergo Proxy uses Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" as its ending theme, and while MONORAL, the artists behind the opening theme "Kiri", are Japanese, it's sung in perfect English (the band members are bilingual).
  • The Elfen Lied intro is in Latin (with a bit of Greek) and the ending is in English. The series' title is in German.
  • Some episodes of Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase have a French ending.
  • The Legend of Black Heaven has John Sykes's "Cautionary Warning".
  • Black Lagoon's opening is in English... Although it may take most English speakers a few listens to realize it.
  • Same deal with Rideback. It and Black Lagoon's were written by the same artist.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has four different openings, all of which are entirely in English.
  • Naruto's first ending, "Wind", is in English.
  • Opening and ending of Animal Detectives Kiruminzoo are sung in Thai, by Neko Jump.
  • All of the songs by the Boom Boom Satellites (a Japanese band that sings in English, sometimes gratuitous) and Kylee (American born girl of Japanese descent) for Xam'd: Lost Memories.
  • Monster's first ending theme is in English.
  • The closing theme to GUN×SWORD is the full-English "A Rising Tide".
  • One of Black Butler's closing themes is English "I'm Alive".
  • Eden of the East's opening "Falling Down" by the English band Oasis.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure author Hirohiko Araki is heavily influenced by North American and European popular music, particularly progressive rock, to the point where it is focused into his work with major characters in subsequent story arcs alongside their Stand abilities named after various musicians, bands, songs, and albums. When it came to the long-awaited anime series, they sought out some Real Song Theme Tunes to serve as ending themes for each story arc, some chosen with Araki's direct input and with other songs chosen as they were contemporary to the setting.
  • The 12th One Piece movie Film Z includes two songs from Avril Lavigne. Specifically, covers of Joan Jett's Bad Reputation and Nickelback's How You Remind Me.
  • Gintama's second ending theme "Mr. Raindrop" is sung in English by the Hong Kong band Amplified.
  • For Kaiba, both the opening (Never) and the ending theme (Carry Me Away) are in English. Both are sung by Seira Kagami.
  • The Japanese version of Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai has an English ending theme "I Will Be With You (Where The Lost Ones Go)" sung by Sarah Brightman. However, the English dub replaced it with an alternate English song.
  • The three openings of The World God Only Knows are sung in a heavily accented English with its first two being sung by ELISA and the third sung by Saori Hayami.
  • The opening theme for the anime adaptation of Amagi Brilliant Park, "EXTRA MAGIC HOUR", has an alternative version (called International Edition) with English lyrics.
  • Similarly enough, the first opening of the Fruits Basket remake, "Again", also has an alternative English version.
  • School-Live! usually has Japanese language endings but episode four has the English song "We Took Each Others Hand" by Kaori Sawada describing Miki's feelings towards Kei.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice's opening theme "History Maker" is entirely in English, albeit with a noticeable Japanese accent and occasional Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable.
  • "Never Say Never", the opening theme of Danganronpa: The Animation, is almost entirely in English, with rap by Delaware group the 49ers. Oddly, the bridge is in French.
  • The theme song to Parasyte, "Let Me Hear", is almost entirely in English, though it's by a Japanese band.
  • Maison Ikkoku uses two English songs by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan as themes; "Alone Again (Naturally)" for the second opening, and "Get Down" for the third ending.
  • Carole & Tuesday's music is sung entirely in English, even in the original Japanese, and this extends to its opening and ending theme songs as well.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The solo at the opening of each episode of Battlestar Galactica is a Hindu prayer in Sanskrit. The expository text on screen is in English, however (and has nothing to do with the music).
  • Norwegian sitcom Hos Martin uses the fully English title theme "Lord of the Fools"
  • While it was usually in English, Weeds had at least one instance where the theme was sung in French, and has probably done another language by this point.
  • An episode of Psych, "Lights, Camera... Homicidio", has the theme song translated into Spanish. A later episode has it in Hindi. Oddly, a Chinese-themed episode shows the actors' name in Chinese but keeps the standard theme song.
  • While viewers of Monkey may not realize it, the opening theme "Monkey Magic" and the rest of the soundtrack was always English in Japan.
  • Mr. Bean has a short but memorable Theme Tune in Latin.
  • The theme song for Xena: Warrior Princess is written and sung in Bulgarian.

  • The Consul begins its first two acts with the distant, prerecorded sound of a sentimental chanson sung in French ("Tu reviendras").

    Video Games 
  • The opening of Civilization IV is Baba Yetu, an arrangement The Our Father/Lord's Prayer in Swahili. The opening of Civilization VI is Sogno di Volare, a song celebrating the discovery of flight. It's in Italian.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has the English song "The Messanger" by Your Favorite Enemies not as one, but three different theme tunes for the game.
  • ef ~ a tale of memories and ef ~ a tale of melodies had their opening themes sung in English by ELISA. The final episodes of the two seasons, however, had their opening themes sung in Japanese by the same artist.
  • The first ending theme to Higurashi: When They Cry, "Why, Or Why Not?" by Katakiri Rekka, is in English. Many fans don't realize it's in English due to the singer's accent though (which resulted in such mistakes as the often joked about fansub translation that had the lyrics "I was a believer in life" as "I want to be a river in life"). The song describes the series and what it's like having a high level of Hinamizawa Syndrome.
  • Legend of Mana has Song of Mana as it's main theme and an extended cut of said song as the ending theme. It's in Swedish.
  • The ending theme to Metal Gear Solid is in Gaelic, although sung by a Japanese singer. The Bad Ending theme to Silent Hill, by the same singer (Rika Muranaka), is in Spanish.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl's theme, "Audi Famam Illius", is in, you guessed it, Latin. There is also a remix of the main Fire Emblem theme, with the Japanese Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics rewritten in Latin.
  • "Sons of Skyrim", the theme of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is in dragon language.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 had a title theme in such bombastic, overwrought Russian that no one can decipher it. Its expansion, Uprising, had a theme in Japanese instead, about its Breakout Character Yuriko.
  • The main theme for the infamous Japanese guro visual novel Maggot Baits is the English made "Tomorrow Never Comes" by the group Datascape.
  • Rule of Rose: The game was first produced in Japan, but its theme - A Love Suicide - is sang entirely in English by the composer's wife, Kaori Kondo.
  • Tempo, despite originating in Japan and sometimes not making it overseas, has a Theme Tune Rap that exists only with English lyrics.
  • The ending song of Dynasty Warriors 3 and 8 is sang in Mandarin which is fittingly for the games being based from one of Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. The singer, Yo Hitoto, is Japanese-Taiwanese.
  • Since Sonic the Hedgehog CD, most of the vocal themes in the Sonic the Hedgehog games have been exclusively done in English, even in the original Japanese releases. Understandable given the franchise's largely meant to appeal to a western audience despite its Japanese origins. Where this trope really comes into play is in the No Export for You Japanese version of the soundtrack of Sonic CD- where the opening theme and ending theme are in English despite being for a Japanese audience.
  • The ending theme of Steam Prison, "Laventelin Sininen," is in Finnish.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Alone Again (Naturally)

Maison Ikkoku uses "Alone Again (Naturally") by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan as a theme for the second opening.

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Example of:

Main / ForeignLanguageTheme

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