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Foreign Languages in Songs Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Foreign Languages in Songs Quizzes, Trivia

Foreign Languages in Songs Trivia

Foreign Languages in Songs Trivia Quizzes

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11 quizzes and 110 trivia questions.
  Lost In Musical Translation editor best quiz   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A love of music is universal and many cultures have their own favourite kinds. Many songs and tunes, though, have crossed international and cultural borders. See if you can spot some old familiars in unusual settings.
Average, 10 Qns, darksplash, Jul 20 22
Jul 20 22
5401 plays
  Do You Speak My Language?   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Although most of the songs that reach the top ten in the UK charts are sung in English, sometimes a foreign language creeps in. How many of these songs, with at least some of the lyrics in a language other than English, can you recognise?
Average, 10 Qns, rossian, Dec 23 21
rossian editor
Dec 23 21
1487 plays
  Foreign Language Lyrics   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are some of my favorite iTunes featuring foreign languages. All you have to do is identify the language. Have Fun!
Easier, 10 Qns, shvdotr, Nov 21 18
shvdotr gold member
Nov 21 18
837 plays
  Lost in Translation IV   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Once again lyrics will translated be into Dutch, then be translated into back English, using web based tool. Fun have!
Average, 10 Qns, hootch, Jan 09 08
2066 plays
  Lost in Translation II    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Just like in the first quiz in this series I translate some random English lyrics into Portuguese, using a web based translation tool. Then I translate those Portuguese words back into English and you have to figure out what lyrics they used to be.
Average, 10 Qns, hootch, Jan 08 08
525 plays
  U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
When "Top 40 Radio" ruled the airwaves you would get a variety of songs. Here are songs with non-English lyrics that made the Billboard Charts.
Average, 10 Qns, JRooowe, Apr 05 21
JRooowe gold member
Apr 05 21
242 plays
  Lost in Translation III    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
For the previous quizzes I translated a piece of a lyric into Portuguese, using a web-based tool, and then presented the results to you. For this third installment I'm gonna go for Dutch instead. Schnell, schnell, Kartoffelkopf!
Average, 10 Qns, hootch, Apr 11 07
737 plays
  Lost in translation I    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Hi there. Just for the hell of it I'm going to translate some English lyrics into Portuguese, by using a web based translation tool. Then I'm going to translate those lyrics back to English and present them to you. Yup, start sweating.
Average, 10 Qns, hootch, Jan 08 08
905 plays
  Hits Sung In A Foreign Language    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Over the years, not many songs in a language other than English have been successful in the North American market. This quiz deals with the songs and artists that did and covers the years from 1958 to 1991. Have fun!
Tough, 10 Qns, Maddogrick16, Jul 22 22
Maddogrick16 gold member
Jul 22 22
993 plays
  Lost in Translation V    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Another one of those. This time I translate a lyric into German, then translate it back into English, using a web based translation tool. Then I present the results to you. Spaß machen, ja?
Average, 10 Qns, hootch, Apr 05 08
717 plays
  Ich Bin Ein Lyrics!    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The following songs have all had airplay in the United States, but are sung (entirely or partially) in a foreign language. Identify the songs from their lyrics translated into English.
Tough, 10 Qns, JellyTrollMorton, Nov 21 18
Nov 21 18
2618 plays
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Foreign Languages in Songs Trivia Questions

1. The theme song from 1962 film "Rome Adventure" reached Number Six on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The Italian tune was "Al Di La"... but who had the hit?

From Quiz
U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics

Answer: Emilio Pericoli

The film starred Troy Donohue and Suzanne Pleshette; they eventually were married (for a short time) in real life. Pericoli never had another U.S. hit record. When last seen Topo Gigio was a gondolier in Venice.

2. 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' was a number one UK hit in 1991 for The Clash. The backing vocals included 'me debo ir o quedarme', and were sung in which language?

From Quiz Do You Speak My Language?

Answer: Spanish

The song was originally released in 1982 and managed to reach only number seventeen on the singles chart. The re-release in 1991 hit the top spot, the only Clash single to break into the top ten, although 'London Calling' did manage to get to number eleven in 1979. Mick Jones sings lead on the song, with Joe Strummer singing the Spanish version of the lyrics as back-up singer. The translation was done by the Ecuadorian mother of the sound engineer, according to and quoted by Wikipedia.

3. "I am stems caught become; was once then I five. I enjoy the stealing. It is precisely just as simple as that. Good it is only a simple fact. When I something will, I want to not to pay for it." What song was this once upon a time?

From Quiz Lost in Translation III

Answer: "Been Caught Stealing" - Jane's Addiction

The original lyrics went thus: "I've been caught stealing; once when I was five. I enjoy stealing. It's just as simple as that. Well, it's just a simple fact. When I want something, I don't want to pay for it."

4. This foreign language song was #1 for five weeks in 1958. It also has the distinction of winning the first Grammy ever for Best Song. Of course the song was "Volare". Who was the recording artist?

From Quiz Hits Sung In A Foreign Language

Answer: Domenico Modugno

Dean Martin did record the song but his version only reached #12 on the charts. Modugno's version was the big hit and award winner. Carosone charted once with "Torero" that hit #18 in 1958 and Granata also had one hit - "Marina" which charted #31 in 1959.

5. In 1963 Kyu Sakamoto became the first (and so far only) singer to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart singing in Japanese. What was the song?

From Quiz U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics

Answer: Sukiyaki

He was a very popular singer in Japan. "Sukiyaki" held the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for three weeks; it was his only Top 40 hit in the U.S. In 1985 Kyu was killed, along with 519 others, when their airliner crashed into a mountain in Japan. He was only 43 years old.

6. In "Rock Me Amadeus," Falco sang, "Er hatte Schulden denn er trank / doch ihn liebte alle Frauen / und jede rief / Come and rock me Amadeus." What language do you suppose that is?

From Quiz Foreign Language Lyrics

Answer: German

When "Rock Me Amadeus" reached number one on the United States Billboard charts, it made Falco the first singer whose principal language was German to record a number one song in the USA. Falco was from Austria and tragically died in the Dominican Republic in 1998 as the result of an auto accident. Lines in the question mean, "He had debts, for he drank, but all the women loved him, and they all shouted, 'Rock me, Amadeus'."

7. "He is an embarrassed boy been, until I made at him my boy. I mist never a heart rhythm and drunkenly only in the back seat." What be this could?

From Quiz Lost in Translation IV

Answer: "Shy Boy" - Bananarama

Originally this sounded like that: "He used to be a shy boy, until I made him my boy. I never missed a heart beat, just sitting in the back seat."

8. Emilio Pericoli had a #6 hit in 1962 with this song from the film "Rome Adventure", a piece of romantic fluff starring Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette. It was?

From Quiz Hits Sung In A Foreign Language

Answer: "Al Di La"

"Eh, Cumpari" was a big hit for Julius LaRosa in 1953, "Begin the Beguine" was Artie Shaw's biggest hit in 1938 and although "Arrivederci Roma" is something of a standard that has been recorded many times by many people, no version has ever charted top forty.

9. 'I look up when I walk, so the tears won't fall. Remembering those happy Spring days, but now I am alone.'

From Quiz Ich Bin Ein Lyrics!

Answer: 'Sukiyaki'

'Sukiyaki' by Kyu Sakamoto actually reached number one on the US charts in 1963 (the only song in Japanese that ever made the Top Ten in the US). The US title has nothing to do with the song itself.

10. In 1963 Ray Barretto made the Billboard Hot 100 charts with this Spanish spoken-word/instrumental record. What was that unusual hit?

From Quiz U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics

Answer: El Watusi

Ray's record made it to Number 17 on the charts and was his only Billboard hit. In 1993 Ray won a Grammy for his album "Ritmo en el corazón ("Rhythm in the Heart")." It featured Celia Cruz and was for "Best Tropical Latin Album."

11. 'Una Paloma Blanca' was taken into the UK charts in 1975 by which now disgraced singer/songwriter and producer?

From Quiz Do You Speak My Language?

Answer: Jonathan King

Jonathan King had several UK hits, some under his own name and others credited to bands such as Weathermen, The Piglets and Bubblerock. 'Una Paloma Blanca', which is the Spanish for 'white dove', was released as Jonathan King and reached number five on the UK Singles chart. King was jailed in 2001 for offences against teenage boys dating back to the 1980s. The other names offered as options have also had brushes with the law, some more serious than others.

12. And what lyrics were these, before something happened to them: "The life in a cabin in a town of a-horse. It try of receive to heaven 'feared the sun coming down. The lizard in a bottle, yes. It stunned in a fog for 40 days. Hey there, small devil."

From Quiz Lost in Translation II

Answer: "Lil' Devil" - The Cult

The original lyrics are: "Livin' in a shack in a one-horse town. Trying to get to heaven 'fore the sun goin' down. Lizard in a bottle, yeah. Dizzy in a haze for 40 days. Hey there, little devil." "Lil' Devil" appeared on the 1987 album "Electric".

13. "Sukiyaki" was a big hit in the summer of 1963, topping the charts for three weeks. Who was the singer?

From Quiz Hits Sung In A Foreign Language

Answer: Kyu Sakamoto

"Sukiyaki" was also a big #3 hit for "A Taste Of Honey" in 1981 when they applied English lyrics to the melody. However, the lyrics were not a translation of the original version. The Japanese title of the song was "Ue O Muite Aruko" meaning "I Look Up When I Walk". Sakamoto was one of the unfortunate souls killed when a JAL 747 slammed into Mount Fuji in 1985. Ozaki, Katayama and Maruyama were all Japanese professional golfers.

14. 'I am a captain, I am a captain.'

From Quiz Ich Bin Ein Lyrics!

Answer: 'La Bamba'

'Soy Capitan, Soy Capitan.'

15. Sung in German, "Sailor (Your Home Is the Sea)" entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts in October of 1960. It made it to Number Five. Who sang this international hit?

From Quiz U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics

Answer: Lolita

The song was recorded by many singers in several languages. Petula Clark's English version was her first Number One UK hit. Besides the U.S., Lolita's version was a major hit in in such diverse countries as Germany, Australia, Japan, and Norway.

16. Kyu Sakamoto had a big hit in 1963 with a song sung entirely in Japanese. Which food related title was it given in the western world?

From Quiz Do You Speak My Language?

Answer: Sukiyaki

The title bore absolutely no relation to the lyrics, but was chosen, apparently, as it was a word which English speakers would recognise. The lyrics actually refer to a man whistling and trying to control his tears. The song was a huge international hit for Sakamoto, reaching number one on the Hot 100 in the USA and number six on the UK Singles Chart in 1963. An English language version by the band called A Taste of Honey was a 1981 success in the USA but does not seem to have crossed the Atlantic.

17. And what lyrics were these: "There was a fellow. An under water fellows, who controlled the lakes. Became of ten million pounds the mud of New York and New Jersey killed. This ape went to sky." ?

From Quiz Lost in Translation V

Answer: "Monkey Gone to Heaven" - Pixies

No, it is: "There was a guy. An under water guy who controlled the sea. Got killed by ten million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey. This monkey's gone to heaven."

18. In December 1963, The Singing Nun had a huge hit that was #1 for four weeks. It was?

From Quiz Hits Sung In A Foreign Language

Answer: "Dominique"

The Singing Nun was Sister Luc-Gabrielle whose real name was Jeanine Deckers who recorded in Europe under the name Soeur Sourire. Eventually, she left the Order and ultimately committed suicide in 1985.

19. 'Very well together, Very well together.'

From Quiz Ich Bin Ein Lyrics!

Answer: 'Michelle'

I thought about 'Sont les mots qui vont, tres bien ensemble,' but that would be 'these are words that go very well together' which is too identifiable from the English words. 'Tres bien ensemble, tres bein ensemble' does appear in the song and is not repeated in the English part.

20. This song got to number one on the US Billboard charts in 1963. First verse has the following lyrics: "Ue o muite arukou / Namida ga kobore naiyouni / Omoidasu harunohi / Hitoribotchi no yoru." Do you know this language? Which is it?

From Quiz Foreign Language Lyrics

Answer: Japanese

"Sukiyaki" was a hit by Kyu Sakamoto and up to 2013 is the only Japanese language song to reach number one in the USA. It is about a man walking with his head up and whistling so his tears will not fall. Sukiyaki is a Japanese hot dish and has nothing to do with the song, which has a Japanese title of "Ue o Muite Arukou." The title of "Sukiyaki" was simply used because it would have greater appeal and recognition qualities to English-speaking listeners. Lyrics mean: "I look up when I walk / So the tears won't fall / Remembering those happy spring days / But tonight I'm all alone."

21. Although the song 'Michelle' was written by Lennon and McCartney, The Beatles did not have the UK number one chart hit with the song. Which one hit wonders achieved this in 1966?

From Quiz Do You Speak My Language?

Answer: Overlanders

'Michelle' was the only chart success for the band, but it was a huge one. The song arrangement was by Tony Hatch, who was well known for his work with Petula Clark and Jackie Trent, who he later married. Paul McCartney provided most of the lyrics to the song, which includes the French words: 'Michelle, ma belle, sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble'. The song was included on the 1965 album 'Rubber Soul'.

22. What lyrics are these? "Axes to axes, flees to funky. We know considerably of Tom one junkie. Rain from in the high point of heaven together and a historical low point hit."

From Quiz Lost in Translation IV

Answer: "Ashes to Ashes" - David Bowie

It used to be this though: "Ashes to ashes, funk to funky. We know major Tom's a junkie. Strung out in heaven's high, hitting an all-time low."

23. What lyrics are these: "The beautiful girl, love the dress. Secondary schools smile, oh yes. The beautiful girl, love the dress. Where they now I ankle is, can guess. Cause him is gone dad went, is the love gone."

From Quiz Lost in Translation III

Answer: "Gone Daddy Gone" - The Violent Femmes

The lyrics were intended to be: "Beautiful girl, love the dress. High school smiles, oh yes. Beautiful girl, love the dress. Where she is now I can only guess. Cause it's gone daddy gone, the love is gone."

24. What's been thoroughly shaken here: "There is to dance. Behind scenes of film. Behind the scenes of film. Sadi Rani. It is to that they maintain the alive dream. Of the morning, past the night, to the end of the light."

From Quiz Lost in translation I

Answer: "Brimful of Asha" - Cornershop

The original lyrics were: "There's dancing. Behind movie scenes. Behind the movie scenes. Sadi Rani. She's the one that keeps the dream alive. From the morning, past the evening, to the end of the light."

25. "Guantanamera" was a #9 hit in 1966 and was this Los Angeles based trio's biggest hit.

From Quiz Hits Sung In A Foreign Language

Answer: The Sandpipers

They recorded a Spanish version of "Louie, Louie" that peaked at #30 in 1966, had a #17 hit with an English language song in 1970 entitled "Come Saturday Morning", then vanished from the scene.

26. 'Like a promise, it's you, it's you,'

From Quiz Ich Bin Ein Lyrics!

Answer: 'Eres Tu'

The original Spanish lyrics do not match a later English version, but did get some airplay.

27. Sung in French by The Singing Nun (Soeur Sourire), "Dominique" spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in late 1963. Eventually The Singing Nun left the convent. What name did she assume?

From Quiz U.S. Hits With Non-English Lyrics

Answer: Jeannine Deckers

She was the first Belgian born singer to have a Number One hit in the U.S. In 1983, after enduring career setbacks and ongoing financial hardship Jeannine and her close friend, Annie Pechler, committed suicide by taking overdoses of barbiturates and alcohol. Ms. Deckers was only 51 years old.

28. 'Accroche-toi à ton rêve' are lyrics from which ELO UK hit?

From Quiz Do You Speak My Language?

Answer: Hold on Tight

All the listed songs reached the top ten for the Electric Light Orchestra, as the band was originally known. The band's mixture of rock band and a string orchestra gave them several hits, with 'Hold on Tight' being the last one to feature in the UK Singles Chart top ten. It managed number four in 1981. The verse in French is a direct translation of the first verse: 'hold on tight to your dream' 'when you see your ship go sailing' and 'when you feel your heart is breaking' became 'accroche-toi à ton rêve', 'quand tu vois ton bateau partir' and 'quand tu sens ton couer se briser'.

29. Even The King tried some German lyrics in one of his best-known songs: "Muss i' denn, muss i' denn Zum Städtele hinaus, Städtele hinaus Und du mein Schatz bleibst hier..." In which Elvis Presley song did these words appear?

From Quiz Lost In Musical Translation

Answer: Wooden Heart

Presley sang: "Can't you see I love you Please don't break my heart in two That's not hard to do 'Cause I don't have a wooden heart And if you say goodbye Then I know that I would cry Maybe I would die 'Cause I don't have a wooden heart There's no strings upon this love of mine It was always you from the start Treat me nice Treat me good Treat me like you really should 'Cause I'm not made of wood And I don't have a wooden heart Muss i denn, muss i denn Zum Stadtele hinaus Stadtele hinaus Und du, mein schat, bleibst hier?" ("Got to go, got to go, Got to leave this town, Leave this town And you, my dear, stay here...") Presley had a Number One hit with "Wooden Heart" in the UK in 1960, but it was only a 'B' side on "Blue Christmas" in the USA. A Joe Dowell cover did top the US charts in 1961.

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