My Favourite Songs from 12 Languages

in language •  6 months ago


I've always been fascinated by language.

It's true that there are some things that only have words to describe it in only 1 or 2 languages. I believe that every language has a certain mood to it and it's only highlighted further when sung into songs. Ever since from my school days i've been listening and exploring songs from other languages as a form of escapism for me. There's just something about listening to songs and feeling the meaning of the music and then later finding out the translations of the words. Try it out! you'd be surprised at how the lyrics to the songs you liked actually reflects your feelings too.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite songs in 14 different languages (in no particular order)..

English : Silhoutte by Aquilo

There's alot of good English songs out there. But this... This so is so deep and multi-faceted that it plucked at my heartstrings. The music is haunting and the lyrics strong. Aquilo have been my favorite English band ever since. It's hard to describe what this song is about, different people interpret the songs differently (especially without the context from the Music Video). That's what I like so much about this song. The ghostly melancholy you get from this song makes you feel as if there's someone you've missed all your life but you can't remember who. A very unsettling feeling.

French : Papaoutai by Stromae

It's hard to say which song from Stromae is my favorite. But I hope our fellow French Steemians can agree with my choice. Stromae is phenomenal as an artist, he really commits to his craft. From what i understood, French pop has always been about good times and summer vibes. Not Stromae though, his stuff is sensationalist, controversial even. Papaoutai is about a child growing up with an absentee father and his frustration, something of a trend in the poorer parts of Europe even within the big cities.. Don't get me wrong, the music is awesome too.

Japanese : First Love by Utada Hikaru

Ahhh... This one is for the nostalgia. many people in Malaysia would remember that long before the Kpop fever hit these shores, Malaysians were all about Jpop. I remember listening to Utada Hikaru's album on repeat with my elder cousin's computer while playing Vice City on PS2 (PS2 is still the best console). I don't speak a nick of Japanese, but play this song and you'll see me mindlessly sing along with. First Love is pretty much a part of my childhood memory and maybe that explains my apathy towards Kpop. I've already been inoculated by the Jpop fever long time ago. Sorry Kpop fans..

Korean: Refuge (A Place to lean on) by Psy

I know I know what said about Kpop, but this is NOT Kpop. And despite that I still find Korean songs fascinating (GOOD KOREAN SONGS, not the mass produced formulaic music we all hear). We all know Psy, the weird guy whose video pop out of nowhere and was first to break Youtube. But I've later come to learn that this guy is very much a Korean Johnny Cash that made so many types of songs that there's one for every type listener. Refuge hit me the first time I heard it. The way the music is played, Psy's sombre tone, When I look over the translations I literally cried with the song. I highly recommend this song for those who has some weight in their soul. It's soothing, the lyrics very very meaningful and how this song probably reflects Psy's inner psyche and (maybe) how he is feeling. You know what they say, the one who smiles the best has the deepest wounds in his heart. This is the only Korean song I like so far. @ramengirl what you think about Refuge? I hope you are okay that I dont like Kpop, doesnt mean I dont like Korean Songs though!! hehehe

Iban : Aku Nemu by Hevance

Bansa Iban (literally "the Iban language") is a native language spoken by an ethnic people of Borneo of the same name. I speak but only the most basic of Iban, so I understood a little bit of what the song is about. It's one of those pre-breakup songs where the guy knows that there's no love in the relationship and he's saying "I know what you think". At least that's the interpretation I get. Even the lyric itself is vague which is why I like this song. Owh ya, Aku Nemu means "I know". The Iban music scene isn't all that big so to have a song of this quality is really amazing. Again, a song that I can sing by heart.

Portuguese: Falta Me A Forca by Caelum

I first heard this song during an Uber ride on the radio station in Lisbon when I was in Steemfest2. It's been stuck in my head since. Falta me a Forca means "Lacking strength" if Google translate is t be trusted. Any Portuguese Steemian around? Is my choice good?

Brazilian: Ponto Certo by Michel Telo

"But don't Brazilians speak Portuguese too?" Calm down there... And you better don't let Brazilians heard you say that. at all.. In my understanding, Sartanejo is so uniquely Brazilian that I don't do it justice to group them as one. I found Ponto Certo (right place) when listening to Michel Telo's album on Spotify. I can say I am a michel Telo fan to a degree, at least he's the guy that made me fell in love with Sartanejo. And Ponto Certo is just so romantic that I'll likely sing to my future bride at my wedding. Honestly the song lyrics borders on cheesy and it's why I liked it. Simple., almost cheesy, and honest.

German: 80 Millionen by Max Gesinger

I've been trying to learn to speak Deutsch for some time now. Aber ich kann immer noch kein gutes Deutsch sprechen, es tut mir leid. There's actually many candidate for my favourite songs in German, in fact I actually changed this entry halfway typing this. I hope our German Steemian friends agree with my choice of song. While the world mostly think German songs are made of Heavy Metal rock stuff (respect to Rammstein though), German pop is actually very good. In fact, I dont know how accurate would i be, I had a feeling that Adel Tawil's career is what would kinda happen to Zayn Malik given enough time. Germany already had their One Direction back in the 90's. 80 Milionen is a song I sing to myself when i think of how i met my SO. Well in my case that'll be "30 Millionen".

Ich weiß es nicht, doch ich frag' es mich schon:
Wie hast du mich gefunden?
Einer von Dreißig Millionen.

  • Me.. hehehehehe

Also, Stephanie Gesinger is seriously a bae..

Kadazan: Ama Om Apa by Clarice John Matta

Kadazan is also an ethnic language in Borneo. In the Northen part of Borneo, what we call the State of Sabah. Ama Om Apa is a song about a girl thanking the work of her parents to get her a better future than them. It's very heart warming when you know the lyrics, and Im sure many Kadazans sing this song on Parents day.

Mandarin: Orange Jasmine (Seven Miles Fragrance) by Jay Chow

Ahhh, another nostalgia hit. Jay Chow is my go-to Chinese singer. His lyrics are super complicated, even for a chinese. Full of similes, proverbs, adages, the sorts of words a regular mandarin speaker dont use except in their literature lessons. I don't dare to interpret this song, the words are just so god damn deep it takes a language expert to explain them i guess. But I'm sure it's about a guy missing a girl from back home. Jay Chow is known for his lyrical magickery, almost all of his songs are deep and it's hard to say which is the best. though this is by far the most nostalgic to me.

Italian: Una Finestra tra Stelle by Annalisa

This is actually my latest favorite song. I recently found Annalisa on my spotify forays and wow I really like her songs.
"A window among the stars" is cheesy, i think... Maybe I'm the cheesy song type of guy. Who knows. I'm still exploring italian songs so many this will change soon. Any Italian Steemians out there, mind recommending me a song?

Indian: Sammi Meri Waar by Quratulain Balouch & Umair Jaswal

I don't remember when I first found this song. I think it was a mistaken download? not sure. But after some googling I found it was a OST from a Bollywood movie, fair enough. And man it's a good song for a Bollywood movie!

"Sammi meri waar main waari
Main waariyaan ni Sammiye
"Sammi, now it's my turn; I declare my love and offer up my life
I declare my love and offer up my life, O Sammi "

Yep, another cheesy song i guess. I guess that's my type. But it's true, I liked the song before I even know the meaning. There's just something about the song.. And I guess its the same over all the other languages..

Okay This is a long list.. and wow it's taken me a surprisingly long time to write this.. In my opinion everyone should experience songs and music from culture's foreign to them. It makes you realise that there is alot more of the world to see that what one is aware. There are so many other language that I haven't yet listened to. Anyone with any recommendation of songs from the language that I didn't include in this post? Let me know!


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Kristian Kho [Ian] is a 24 year old freelancer with a passion for steem and a deep desire to be a better person in every aspect. I aim to express any and all my thoughts on things that I find interesting as well as using this platform as a self-development log.

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Stromae is so popular in Belgium. This Jay Chow remembers me of my childhood, they played it everywhere lol.


So I was told. I once watched his Racine Carreé Montreal concert video and was absolutely awed by his performance. He really don't play around when it comes to singing his songs.

I was 10 years old when his songs first played in radio. And yes, even here they also play it everywhere Hahahaha. Take a listen again! Let the nostalgia hit you like a train like it hit me lol.

I liked your list, I discovered songs that I had never heard, I think you just need to choose a song in Spanish, do not you like any Latin song?


Ahhhh.... I haven't explored Spanish songs yet. It's so obvious I need to listen to good Spanish songs right? Any suggestions?

Oooo, in fact I do remember that the only Latina song I heard was Sola by Becky G. Buuuut.... I'm sure there are better Spanish songs..


I like many styles of music: reggae, hip hop, pop, reggaeton, rock, but since most of the groups on your list are pop I'll give you names of some very famous Latin pop groups for sure: Reik, Camila , Sin bandera, Son by Four and also speaking of different languages I think you need to listen Residente in his solo debut Residεntә album the songs were recorded in Armenia, Burkina Faso, China, France, Ghana, Niger and Russia is a very interesting mix is one of my favorites, after you hear the songs you tell me how it seemed to you @awesomianist


Son by Four!!! ahhhh they were very famous in my region some time ago..

Okay, I'll hear out residente.


Did you get to hear Calle 13? Residente was the singer of that group, is not pop, is alternative rap and music of the world but I am sure that several songs you will like


Just listened to Refuge by Psy last night and boy, it's a beautiful song.
I enjoyed listening to songs from other languages too, sometimes without even knowing it's meaning. Songs that can touch my soul even with just the music and not understanding them are what i think as really good songs.

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