Phonology Is Why Song Translations Usually Suck

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

In English, that beautiful old ballad "La Vie En Rose" begins "Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose." But if you were to take a direct translation of the original song in French, it would really be "When he takes me in his arms, he speaks softly to me, I see life in rosy hues." Doesn't sound quite as musical, does it? This is common with a lot of song translations, and the reason why is a fascinating lesson in linguistics. Learn about it in the video below.


Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

Why Song Translations Usually Suck

Share the knowledge!

5 German Swear Words That Have The Best English Translations