Lost In Translation: Foreign Language Tracks Worth the Listen

Audrey Hepburn crooning Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" is an iconic cinematic moment featuring Humphrey Bogart as the world of Hepburn's character slowly starts disintegrating.

The lyrics to "La Vie en Rose," delivered so strikingly in the film en français are a perfect example of English adoption of foreign lyrics, which is becoming ubiquitous today with encroaching K-pop and Latin American hits, as well as the Internet making all global music discoverable.

But Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina remains the perfect exemplar of incomprehensible lyrics. The maddening quality and impossibility of directly, literally translating "la vie en rose" (life in pink, roughly translated it means "Life through rose-colored glasses") reminds us that music is as much about tone and feeling as it is the lyrics. Even without understanding the lyrics, music sung in foreign languages can be equally as enjoyable and relatable as native-language songs.

Our playlist below combines French, Norwegian and Japanese lyrics, to name a few. While some are embedded in English songs, others are completely comprised of foreign tongues.


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