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AdamAloud
post Mar 13 2015, 04:14 PM
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Looking at the list of confirmed entries, it seems that 35 of the 40 entries will be in English (assuming of course the remaining countries will all sing in English, but they usually do). Only Montenegro, Portugal, France, Italy and Spain are sending entries in their own language. Do you think this is a good or a bad thing for the contest? Are you one of those 'purists' that think the contest should revert to the 'everyone sings in their own language' rule? Or is the majority of entries being in English something that makes the contest better?

It would seem singing in English is the way to success. These are the languages for the entries that have come top 5 in the past 10 years:
QUOTE
40 x English
2 x Serbian
2 x Italian/English
1 x Albanian
1 x Bosnian
1 x Bulgarian
1 x Hebrew/English
1 x Udmurt/English
1 x Ukrainian/Russian/German/English
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Ryan.
post Mar 13 2015, 04:24 PM
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I personally prefer songs in English, and I don't think it's a coincidence that as English has become more dominant than ever before in the last few years, the contest is having more chart success than it has in a very long time.

Of course, some foreign language songs are fantastic with 'Randajad', 'Quedate Conmigo', 'Zaleilah', 'Verjamem' being highlights in recent years (I couldn't imagine 'Randajad' in particular ever being an English language song) and I doubt I'd ever like the contest to go 100% English, but in the majority of cases I do prefer English songs just so I can understand the lyrics.
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Iz
post Mar 13 2015, 04:47 PM
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From an aesthetic perspective, although this doesn't really mean much, I like the way the English titles look in contest records unless the non-English title is something incredibly simple or means something to me without me having to look up the translation (like 'Kuula' or 'Allez Ola Ole'), and as the title is a good representation of the whole song most of the time it extends to that. But that's by the by.

Some foreign entries do lose meaning to international voters, especially from a more obscure language, so I can understand why Lithuania or Azerbaijan etc would mostly choose to go for English because it means more with the lyrics. But you can get meaning from a language you don't know, one of my favourite recent foreign language entries is 'Contigo Hasta El Final' and because I know what just that lyric means it brings the whole song alive for me. But if you can get a song that transcends meaning, those exist as well, 'Sanomi' is probably the shining example but pretty much all the recent successful foreign language songs had it in some way, it doesn't matter and occasionally that does happen and that's something I'd welcome more of in the contest.

And that's because Eurovision is partly about celebration of culture, it feels like a better, more inspired entry when a country sends an entry that is reminiscent of their culture and definitely sounds like it came from that country. I think, 'Jag ar fri' could well be one of those songs that transcends meaning and represents (a portion of) Swedish culture, and I'd love for Sweden to send it, they haven't sent an entry in Swedish in 18 years so they're really overdue, and I KNOW they're normally reliant to send the modern pop songs but for variety's sake they have this option and I think they should take it. Just like I'd like to see an Azeri-language entry one of these days, have them justify their culture in the contest with something beyond 'we all love fire'.

I wouldn't go so far as to force the language rule back because the English advantage has been made so clear but I would like it to be at a point where there are a fair amount of foreign language songs each year and we have a situation where we can't predict whether any country is going to sing in their own language, or English, or even another European language if they choose.

Both in this and popular music, I wonder must it be like being someone who doesn't speak English but with this and so so many big songs all being English as it's so dominant. It's so weird when you think about it that so many countries choose to send a singer singing a song in a language they probably don't speak on a daily basis.
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Jack89
post Mar 13 2015, 05:33 PM
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I do think any country should be allowed to send whatever language they want to send. They're paying to participate and want to win so they should be allowed to make an appropriate choice. Plus the music they consume at home will largely be sung in English so it isn't like they aren't use to hearing it.

However ideally I would like countries to sing in dual language. I think it makes most sense as they can appease the wider audience and bring meaning whilst also retaining culture and providing national pride back home.

I do like some of the foreign songs but I struggle to sing them and have no clue what they are saying haha I think 2 recent examples which I have enjoyed are Urban Symphony - Rändajad (Estonia) which was amazing and I'd love to hear it in English and also Serbia - "Caroban"

I also think singing in English can alter an artists style because they don't speak the language well. For instance when Lena performed her spoken English wasn't good but her singing English was excellent and had an essence of lily allen to it. She still rarely speaks in English in interviews and her current song sounds like Ellie goulding so I think that shows that she still doesn't master the language and is regurgatating accents/ styles that she hears. I really love lena but it'd be interesting to see how differnent she would be if she was a German language singer


This post has been edited by Jack89: Mar 13 2015, 05:41 PM
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Umi
post Mar 15 2015, 03:48 AM
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Who prefers "because of the shoes I'm wearing today" to foreign language entries, really? I prefer foreign language entries so I at least don't need to worry about awful lyrics.
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ScottyEm
post Mar 15 2015, 10:29 AM
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If every country were to go back to singing in their native language, I wonder how our future results would change?

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bipolar angel
post Mar 15 2015, 10:44 AM
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personally, i think eurovision is a good chance for other people (like me) to listen to music in the language of the country

it's not every day you're going to listen to something in another language- so i do think that they need to start doing more and more entries in other languages

saying that though, the winners of the past few years have been awsome
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Mateja
post Mar 15 2015, 01:19 PM
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I'm from Slovenia and Slovene is my mother tongue. English is the only foreign language I'm really good at, even though I also took German in high school. I sort of understand Serbo-Croatian.

I prefer Eurovision songs in English. If I don't understand the lyrics, I just tune out, ignore the song completely and wait for the next performance. It's as simple as that. And I believe it's generally the same for most people. It's really hard to a song not in English to overcome the language barrier. We can talk about celebrating different cultures by singing in our own languages all we want, but the reality is that it's a competition and you have to get people to connect with the song.
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Liаm
post Mar 15 2015, 05:30 PM
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Well usually I'd obviously prefer songs I understand - so I'd prefer English songs as aside from bits of Italian and French I don't speak anything else. There are some songs I prefer performed in the artists' native language, for example I much prefer My Slowanie to Slavic Girls for some reason although I love the song either way! I would like more foreign entries than we have at present though, because there have been some amazing foreign language songs such as Amanecer, Quedate conmigo, Caroban, Party For Everybody, O mie and Moustache (guilty pleasure kink.gif). It certainly gives a feel for the country's culture etc. if they sing a song that's simialr to popular styles there in their own language, and I like that sometimes. I can see exactly why most artists would prefer to sing in English, of course it gives them a better chance as largely it's a common and understood language between all the competing countries. I'd say the past few years are maybe a bit too saturated with English even if I do prefer to understand the lyrics in most cases!
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LUKΞ
post Mar 15 2015, 05:44 PM
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IMO: for majority of the viewers (non-native speakers of English) who aren't familiar with the songs the language doesn't matter. But they're exposed to English every day and it makes it easier for them to prefer the English version, even though they don't understand the lyrics perfectly. I can see why it's easier to send an English-language song. I think it depends on each country, it should not be forced.

I love languages of Europe, diversity is what makes the competition special and interesting imo.

And just like Iz, I'd like to see an Azeri-language entry, ha.
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Ryan.
post Mar 23 2016, 11:14 PM
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Thought I'd bump up this topic now that ESC Insight have confirmed this year is record-breaking in terms of the amount of English, with 93% of entries containing at least some English (all but 5 of which are fully English) and this breaks the previous record which was 90% in 2014.

Full article here: http://escinsight.com/2016/03/23/the-domin...n-song-contest/

I'm still on board with the domination of English, although I'm not sure how I'd feel if we ever reached an 100% English content as ESC Insight predicts could happen in the next ten years. With Spain going all-English this year, is it just Italy to never send a fully-English entry? I could see them doing so one year as they have been perfectly happy to go bilingual and France could do a 'Divine' again, especially if their use of English is fairly successful this year - so it could all align one day.

I'd never want to impose language restrictions again though as that would bring a halt to the major chart successes seen since 2009 and as I've said before, chart success is a great thing for Eurovision to provide.
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Iz
post Mar 23 2016, 11:36 PM
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Even Grande Amore breaking the televote bank last year has done nothing to reverse it. What a world away from 2012 with three/four foreign language entries in the top 10. I guess of the entries this year, Bulgaria and Ukraine could do well but they're both among the dual-language ones. I'd guess the entry most important for this trend is Austria, as the only entry in a non-English non-native language, it's great to see experimentation like that, if that bombs it won't help the cause.

I hope it's a trend that doesn't continue and France and Spain are back to their usual thing of sticking to their language next year. But that's looking unlikely I'd say. I'd also not want language restrictions but really an enforcement that could work could be the language you sing in at national finals to be the one you sing in at Eurovision. Perhaps. Though maybe it'd just make NFs exclusively English too which is not what I'd want. Great foreign language entries can win over voters, if you can come up with one, send it!
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Qassändra
post Mar 24 2016, 01:01 AM
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I used to be all in favour of language freedom, but I think it's really doing a lot to kill off variety in the contest, particularly now pretty much EVERYONE is doing English. I don't think we should go back to the old system of compulsory native languages, as that gives an absurd advantage to UK/Ireland/Malta, but I do think there should be some sort of provision wherein once every two or three years a country should have to enter something in its native language.
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AdamAloud
post Feb 25 2018, 08:38 PM
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Thought I'd bump this as it's interesting how things turn around so quickly!

With 20 entries selected, 10 are in their countries' national language, that's 50%!

Of course with Salvador winning last year in Portuguese and Jamala the year before with a Crimean Tatar chorus, it's no wonder broadcasters are flocking to show off their national linguistics.

Is this a good thing for the Eurovision brand? Are you happy to see more language variety in the contest? Or do you think English being dominant (not that it still isn't) is necessary for the contest as it's grown to be today?

DISCUSS
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Iz
post Feb 25 2018, 08:45 PM
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I hadn't actually considered that benefit of Jamala followed by Salvador in the winner's list. It's really good so far, although I expect some might change to English between now and the contest. I don't want the contest to be a boring parade of English-language songs done by drab singers where it sounds like a repeat of the pop charts and you can't tell which country they're from.

Maybe it's even becoming the case that English isn't the advantage it once was. That's a bit harder to truly test out though.
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AdamAloud
post Feb 25 2018, 09:08 PM
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I'm glad we're seeing more variety, the different languages has always been one of the brilliant things about Eurovision for me. I don't think Salvador would've come close to winning had he switched to English.

The contest is still producing the 'chart hits' even if they're not the winner (The Common Linnets, Blanche, Kristian) so I don't think it's harming the brand to have less songs in English, and even then I doubt we're gonna see a contest with less than 50% of the final entries in English any time soon despite this sudden revival of national languages.
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Feb 25 2018, 09:14 PM
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I really love that they have freedom to chose the language that they want to sing in. Some foreign language songs are sublime, and I have since becoming a Buzzjacker transformed from a "ew no, I only listen to music in English coz I can't understand anything else" to an advocate of foreign language music. I don't necessarily need to understand the lyrics to make a connection with a track. 5 Fine Frøkner is a perfect case in point. I speak f*** all Norsk but that's now one of my all time favourite songs
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Midge
post Feb 25 2018, 10:13 PM
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A Eurovision without at least a little variety of languages and a little showcase of culture is a less interesting Eurovision.

And Salvador's song would not have had its charm in English. Ask Alexander Rybak...
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