Yes, it is fashionable to make fun of the Eurovision Song Contest, but I really enjoyed last year’s competition. The 2014 contest takes place in Copenhagen this week. The first semi-final is on May 6, the second on May 8, and the final on May 10. All up, 37 nations will be competing.
From a linguistic point of view, though, this year it looks really disappointing. In the first semi-final, only two of the 16 contestants – from Portugal and Montenegro – will be singing in their own languages, according to Wikipedia’s analysis here. The rest will all be in English. It’s worse in the second semi-final: English will feature in all songs. Twelve songs will be in English only (the Irish at least have an excuse for this, though) and three – those from Poland, Israel and Slovenia – will be in a mix of English and the local language.
France, Italy and Spain are among the six countries that automatically have a place in this year’s final. The French song is all in French except, apparently, for one line in English and one line in Spanish (talk about hedging your bets!). The Italian entry will be in Italian, while the Spanish choice, Dancing in the Rain, has a mix of English and Spanish, but more English than Spanish. The UK’s entry is in English, of course, and so is Germany’s, while the host country’s entry by Basim is entitled Cliché Love Song. I wonder if that will sum up the whole tournament!
So in total, then, 29 of the 37 songs will be solely in English. Whatever happened to cultural diversity? For god’s sake, people, show some linguistic pride!
Portugal didn’t enter the competition last year, mainly for financial reasons as far as I can understand, so it is good to see them back and taking the opportunity to showcase the lovely Portuguese language. Let’s have a look at the Portuguese entry, Suzy (Susana Guerra) singing Quero Ser Tua (I want to be yours).
Hmmmm… I’m not sure that this is the song to persuade people the world over take up learning Portuguese as a hobby. But boa chance/good luck to her.
More posts on Eurovision to come… brace yourselves.
Relive Bernardo’s best moments of Eurovision 2013 here!
- And my Eurovision winner is …
- Eurovision wash-up 1: it’s disdain for Spain
- Eurovision wash-up 2: hellish fury of a French woman scorned
- Eurovision wash-up 3: sideburns, mohawks and buffed chests
- The Eurovision tension is rising