Language Fun: Readers recommend foreign language versions – the results | Music |

Looking for fun ways to explore foreign languages with your students? Or translation issues?  The British newspaper The Guardian has compiled a list of popular English songs that have been performed in other languages.

Readers recommend: foreign language versions – the results | Music |

On their A-list:  Ring of Fire, I want to hold your hand, and Magic Carpet Ride.  I’m sure a further search of youtube would yield many more.  A search like this could be a lot of fun, but it’s also an opportunity to think about translation.  Word for word translation is problematic even in prose situations, but the poetic constraints of song lyrics add another dimension to these considerations.


About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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