Can you listen to music in languages you don't understand?


#2 New Zealander
I for one- can't. If I don't understand the lyrics or even anything close I can't get into it.

The main example for me is the band Rammstein. All their songs are in German Bar one or two. And I just can't listen to them like I can with English bands.

How about you?


The Hierophant
I can but it all depends on the music. I don't really care what the lyrics are, if it has a nice beat to it, I'll listen to it. I was actually going to use Rammstein as an example, too. I don't know what any of their songs are about, but I still like them.
I love lyrics, a lot of my favourite artists and songs are so because of the amazing lyrics (just happens to sound good too :p) and I often read about them online to find out meanings etc. I think if I didn't speak the language of the song and didn't have a clue what it was on about I couldn't appreciate it half as much.

That being said, I wouldn't knock it before I listened to it, and some foreign stuff is pretty catchy, but not for me.


Son of Liberty
I can like Rammstein, but then again I know a little German. However not enough for me to fluently translate their lyrics as they flow :hah:

There are also 2 other songs that come to mind when I think of this... one (and please dont laugh) Nina-99 luft balon... (yes thats the 99 Red Balloon song) I actually prefer the German version of that over the English.

And the other songs come from the group "Celtic Thunder" there are a few songs that venture off into italian and gaelic that I'm not familiar with. Yet I still enjoy the songs.

I guess it gives it a little bit of mystery to it. Although I have to say I know their main intent is not to be mischievious... I'd be a little more weary over a more mainstream band that may be saying something a little less... uhh... well something I'd feel like an idiot singing in that languages home country.

A perfect example of that comes from Tool... I bet the poor schmucks that cheered this song on felt like idiots when they looked up the lyrics. But you gotta admit, it sounds cool :haha:

YouTube - Tool - Die Eier von Satan


Staff member
The only music with language that I don't understand that I'll listen to is epic music with Latin choir vocals. I won't listen to normal songs that are in a foreign language.
I actually enjoy doing it at times. It's nice to sometimes listen to the song and how it makes you feel more than being forced by the lyrics. I used to really be into J-pop for awhile (back when I was like 13-14 gimme a break.) I'll still listen to any music really. Sigur Ros isn't bad at all. I don't know, you name the band I'll try them out.


Boom Boom Pow!
Yeah I can listen to music that I dont understand. I'm a big fan of Rammstein, I can only understand a few things in their songs, but I still like to listen to them. I also have a spanish song on my ipod that I like to listen to, and I don't know any of the words :lol:


AKA Ass-Bandit
Yeah, because I'm not listening to the lyrics. I'm listening to the music. I'd be just as happy listening to a track without the lyrics as I would with them.


Registered Member
I can enjoy music even if I don't understand the lyrics, but having good lyrics adds to my enjoyment. On the other hand, bad lyrics take away from my enjoyment, so if they have lyrics I wouldn't like, I'd enjoy it more in another language.


Endangered Species
I guess it is 70/30 split of music I understand and music I dont.

I listen to a lot of French, Spanish, German, Gaellic, Galician, Portugese and other western Europe languages. Obviously I dont mind understanding the words or not, it is the rhythm thats important.