There are numerous benefits of being bilingual, but one added bonus is being able to enjoy bilingual music! It can also be a great way to learn a new language, much like reading books or watching movies in a target language. Here are some of our favorite bilingual songs that showcase the way music can unite cultures and languages.
Prince Royce – “Stand By Me”
If the title of this song sounds familiar, that’s probably because it is! Prince Royce took the original “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King and incorporated lines in Spanish along with the English. This bilingual song is great for those who speak English but not Spanish, because you know the translation from the original song!
Kero Kero Bonito – “Picture This”
This upbeat, poppy song is a new release that talks about social media, photos, and selfies. You might be surprised how pervasive this is across all cultures! This song is sung in English, but includes a Japanese rap section with clearly pronounced common Japanese phrases that are easy to pick up.
My Chemical Romance – “Party Poison”
This song offers something different from the rest in genre and in content. Sung in English with Japanese bridges that often overlap, it mixes My Chemical Romance’s iconic punk rock sound with an almost fatalistic party beat that will have you singing along whether you know Japanese or not.
The Beatles – “Michelle”
Bilingual songs are far from a new phenomenon, and this Beatles hit proves it. Although sung mostly in English, it’s the story of this song that makes it so compelling for language learners. The speaker falls in love with a woman, but can’t express it fully since he doesn’t speak her language at a conversational level. This bittersweet song features a few phrases in French along with the English.
Calle 13 – “Latinoamérica”
Given its name, it shouldn’t be surprising that this cross-genre song from a Puerto Rican band invites unification across all of Latin America. Sung in Portuguese and Spanish, the song speaks of endurance, strength, and resistance, rapping about numerous social issues that cross the continent.