The trouble with foreign languages/Wenn man nichts versteht

Geoffrey Pullum was relieved that alle bagage is gelost does not mean all luggage has been lost.

Meanwhile, Sally, at No Hard Chords, finds that there are advantages to hearing The Three Bells in the original French – especially if you don’t understand the language:

Listening to a song in an unfamiliar language can be freeing. For me, bad lyrics can render an otherwise great song unlistenable. But as long as the singer, the production and the melody work, foreign-language lyrics can be clunky or insipid or cliched with me none the wiser. If an English-language version of the song is recorded with bad lyrics, though, a puzzle emerges: were the lyrics this poor in the original or did the poetry get lost in translation?

(Here are the Browns).

1 thought on “The trouble with foreign languages/Wenn man nichts versteht

  1. So true. I have a German friend who likes a lot of popular music, most of which is in English. Certain songs come on and I can’t hide my cringing at the horrifically bad lyrics, while she’s just enjoying herself. When I say the lyrics are awful, she says she doesn’t really notice them. Lucky her. :)

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