... hey folks, since this is a big forum with many users, i assume there are people like me with other mothertounges than English. I'm from Austria (wich is not Australia :P) and therefore my mothertounge is German. Everytime an inspiration hits me i've got to choose wich language fits better. Most of the times this decicion turns out to be a tough call, so my question is:

How do you decide which language you use in your creative process and why! Are there advantages in certain cases or is it just a matter of sound? Do you think there are languages wich are to be preferred? If you know more than one language tell me what you think! ...
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i trying to write in engils becouse in hungarian i feel im lockd in a cage and everyone hates me.. i dont know why is this feeling...
so thats why i choose english
Hello there Curumo.

First off, I want to say that this is a very nice thread idea, and while we might only be a few to be in this actual situation, I find if extremely relevant.

My first language is French. I've learned English through basic second language classes and well, modern pop culture when I was in my early teens. It then got from that to my passion for lyrics, and then creative writing.

I noticed something about languages, tell me if you agree. Even if you're totally fluent in many tongues, it seems to me that your personality is somewhat altered when you go from a language to another. To express things more clearly : the expressions that you use, your level of confidence if you're a little less fluent in one language, the mimics you do when you use certain words, even the tone and musicality you unconsciously use, etc.

That being said, depending on your contacts with English, which is your second language, just like me, I believe it is right to say that you probably unconsciously associate it with certain feelings, certain moods, etc. I think it can then influence the language you chose to write your songs in, depending on what the topic is.

I personally try to do both, but recently things have come a lot more fluent in French. Just because I'm in a period of my life where I question things that I do, confronting them to who I really am. Going back to these "sources" or "roots" make French a priority in my language choosing. I barely post stuff here though, because many people complain about French titles/pieces, etc, which I find somewhat obnoxious (that might be a little over the top but well).

To clearly answer your question, which is how do we/I chose which language we want to continue our creative process in, I would say that it depends where the inspiration came from. Personally, when I want to write about things true to myself or near me, I usually do it in French. When it's about stuff more superficial, like things that affect me that shouldn't, etc, I usually go for English. I guess it's a superficial way (how ironic), to feel them further from me, as a process of moving on or whatever. It might also explain why my English writings are more of the blunt and somewhat immature type, compared to my French lyrics that are more abstract and thoughtful, imho.

Also, sometimes the inspiration comes from a specific concept or a one-liner. If it's the latter situation, I just develop on it from the language it's built in. I also started to include French in my English pieces and vice versa. Never only a title or just one line, but stanzas, etc. It's a powerful tool, imo, to add symbolism to the things you are actually saying. However, you need bilingual people to read it, and they are really rare those that will both understand the said languages, that like to read poetry/lyrics, and that have the actual will to take the time to understand lyrics past the explicit plot.

So yeah, I'd like to keep this discussion going a bit, what do you think?


... hey mat, i guess your right, it seems that there aren't many bilingual people around. Who knows maybe one or two will show up as time goes by ^^.

Anyway, i totally agree with the "your personality is somewhat altered" statement. To me, sometimes it feels like reaching a totally new mode of expression when i change languages. I don't know if you are with me on this one, but it's sort of getting a new viewing angle. Sometimes i like to do little language experiments just to get a hold on the changes the usage of different languages. For instance: I take down a few lines and try to give them a special meaning. Then i go over it and search for "the little details". Like, are there several ways of understanding different words, what about room for interpretation and so on. Then i try to translate it but i take care that the meaning won't change. And now there are several things to observe. Most of the time the possibilities of interpretation change drastically. I may have used some phrase that fits and instantly it adds several meanings to the whole pieces. The same thing goes for meaning of words. In general, what i observed is that going from german to english it seems to increase the possibilities of interpretation. The other way round it comes down to fewer ways to find a meaning. Of course one could naively say English is the better language due to more possibilities but to me it kind of proves the accuracy of the german language. It seems as if german words and german structure describes it more accurate. So to sum up, to me it's easier to put down lyrical stuff in english because in german it always gets a sort of "straight" touch. So that's what makes it hard to decide.

Of course like you said, is there a special oneliner or anything else that begs to be "processed" it comes in a certain language and i would not force it into translation. To me those things tend to appear in english, whatever, a certain punchline, a part of some lyrics on the radio or whatever one could imagine. So most of the time i stick to english. shame on me.

One thing i came across a few days ago might be intressting in this discussion too. Everyone knows Placebo's "every me, every you" but recently i discovered a german musician who completley translatet the song, put it down with a somewhat slow but still similar music and sang the whole thing in german "jedes ich, jedes du"! I find this a very intresting concept and i already tried to translate one of my own songs back in my mothertounge but it's not that simple either. so what do you think of this idea? ...

keep this thing going? i'm all yours ^^
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hey ich bin auch ein deutsches kind!!! meine mutter kommt aus amerika und spricht mit mir englisch seit ich 5 war oder so aba mein englisch is trotzdem noch lang nich so gut wie mein deutsch leider aba ich find auch auf englisch klingt alles besser^^
... translating the above: "Hey, i'm a german child too!!! my mum's from america and has spoken english with me since i was 5 but my english is way worse than my german i'm sorry, but i agree with everything sounds better in english".

No offence but please remember that there are people which do not speak german, to me it would feel strange too if i wasn't abel to understand the posts here.

And one thing, I'm NO german, im from Austria (=Österreich) that's important, at least to me it is :P ...
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Yeah, my first language was Spanish. And it is different to speak in each language, there's things i cant express the same in Spanish as in English and the other way around. And sometimes i want to wrote in Spanish and sometimes in English. But i sometimes write one piece in both and even though not everyone understands i post it. And people usually just try to make the best of it if they dont understand, usually it just sounds romantic to them or whatever. If i read lines in French, i usually just think that it makes it cool too, or sometimes i try to understand (knowing Spanish i can make sense of it, especially written). And i think having two languages does add dimension to a poem or even a song. But everyone writes in whatever language they want.

Another thing is that a language automatically carries a tone. Like i said, Spanish is somewhat romantic and i like writing "love songs" in Spanish. But when i wanna be more vague or dark, English works better. But it's nice to experiment writing love songs in English or writing dark songs in Spanish or whatever. I dont prefer a language, i just write in whatever i thought.
:P soorry I was going to translate my stuff today but I was in a hurry last night...and yeah. austria forever! but we're better at soccer^^
All i know on this subject is that sometimes i choose to write in Spanish because its fun... and I have a friend from Portugal who chooses to write in English because he feels you can attain more subtlety with it... i dont know why.
what comes up comes out
I am from holland, so my first language is dutch. I only write poetry (never written a song), and I almost always choose for english. Somehow the stuff I come up with is always english.
I like using english for my poems because the audience is bigger, and it seems to be a better language to express feelings in. Dutch, for me, somehow always sounds and feels dull. It doesn't feel like it's holding the same amount of emotion in a way.
It's different for different feelings though, dutch sometimes feels great for feelings of hate, but for the more happy and subtle feelings, it doesn't cut it.

I think that for songs this whole thing might be different, since the sound of the text has a different role in a song.