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https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8

Changes in Language to Fit in Music (Basically a Post Filled with Bollywood)

aaditsingh8
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Hey everyone!

So it's rather common that changes are observed in languages to fit in for songs. Music often requires that some aspects of normal language are changed to match the rhythm, beats, and stuff.

My native language is Hindi, and there are quite a few things I'd like to say about its tendency to change for music.

  • The R's: It is often observed in Hindi songs that R's are retroflexed. This makes pronunciation easier. This song is an example.

  • The Vocabulary: Hindi is based on Sanskrit, the vocabulary of which is very technical and many a times has complex pronunciations, which cannot be used in Songs. Thus Urdu words are generally used in songs. They are mostly derived from Persian, and are lighter, and more musical. It's rather normal to use Urdu words nowadays, and almost every song uses them. An example. The name, Gulabi, is itself an Urdu word, which means pink. This song is another example. It's almost completely in Urdu, and actually shows the Islamic side of India, which arrived in the 1400s, and continued, witnessing the reigns of Turks, Afghans, and Mongols. Another example. Also, nowadays, there's a trend of using Punjabi words in Hindi songs. So much so, that full-fledged sentences are observed in Punjabi. An example. The part sung by the male in the beginning is completely Punjabi, the female part is highly Urdu derived Hindi.

  • Dialects other than Modern Standard Hindi: So Modern Standard Hindi is an unofficial lingua franca in India, spoken in most urban cities, especially Delhi and Mumbai. But, in villages, other dialects are used in general spoken language. These are used in singing folk music, which is an integral part of Indian culture. Sometimes the dialects used in folk music are used in Hindi songs. An example, ignore the video. This is a general form of speech spoken in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, east of Delhi.


And since we are talking about Bollywood music, why not talk about the music videos? Physics doesn't apply to action movies, and sometimes the drama is overwhelming, like in these songs: Raftaarein, Teri Meri Prem Kahani.

And this happened: Criminal, notice the lyrics in English at 1:15.

And recently, hip hop and rock and rap and stuff has been introduced to India. (I’m so sorry I like these kind of songs, I have no knowledge about those genres) This happened: Blue Eyes.


All said and done, most Bollywood movies are awesome (like duh :P), and many Hindi songs are really nice. Some of them:

My personal favourites:

Others:


So what are some typical changes observed in your native language in songs? And some of the best music you’ve heard in your native language ^_^

2 years ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ashlijain

First of all, awesome post<3 (bollywood rocks, at least for me:P) Secondly, here, one of my favourites. I'll say that too. People, please don't judge and ignore the video:PXP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDH8uzVcRds This song makes you realise who you actually are:P:P:P:P And....what else? The old ones? Then this.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXdJJvpgTvw and MANY MORE. I can't remember:(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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Oh I'll have to change the title. ;) And the second song <3

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashlijain

Wait. What? Change the title? I didn't get it:(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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I just changed it, didn't you like... get it? By the way whoever downvoted my comment? O_O

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashlijain

Ah...I got it:) And, how do I know who downvoted your comment?XP At least, I didn't:)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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I don't know... trolls maybe :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeskeH
JeskeH
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I'm not sure about my own language (Dutch), I think there aren't many changes to the pronunciation when it is sung. But I know that in Mandarin, the possesive particle "的" (pronounced "de") is often pronounced "di" in songs, probably because it sounds nicer and clearer in a long sung-out tone :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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Oh, that's interesting. :) And it's obvious, the change. But I wonder what happens to the tones.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blackleaf42
blackleaf42
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My impression is that the tones are mostly ignored when they don't fit the melody. Music videos often come with subtitles so even for a first listen you can usually just read along and not get confused, or otherwise simply look up the lyrics later of course (so you can rock the karaoke ;D).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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Well... that may be frustrating. To concentrate on subtitles? Or maybe we follow the rule of "music's lyrics doesn't need to be understood".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blackleaf42
blackleaf42
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Haha yeah, well thankfully Chinese lyrics are not that unintelligible overall! Often it is quite fine without them. Just where the lack of tones may be a little ambiguous, you can take a peek at the subtitles. I think the subtitles are mostly meant for karaoke/singing along anyway, or for people that don't speak the same Chinese language or dialect as the singer, but they do come in handy when the tones get a bit fuzzy :).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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As long as the music is pleasant to the ears ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Wow. This isn't the first time, but I just (re)realised how badly I ignore Bollywood.

As for my native language, which I call Bengali, here's a favourite I still haven't completely deciphered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE6HeKeoGdE

And though most people who know me won't believe it, I love this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt8HZYW01rY

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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What's to not believe? I, love, traditional. All the classical kind of songs are adored by me. And my father listening to old Hindi songs makes me like them also. I'm a weird blend of modern and ancient ideas. Oh god how awesome ancient India was O_O

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

It's just that usually I'm that one person in class singing and head-banging to a rock song and hardly glancing at the Indian ones. It might hit people as a shock that I take classes for Indian classical music and I like it.

I'm kind of that agreeable little person who keeps quiet till she's absolutely sure she's correct and I'm in conflict about almost everything. So I mostly nod my head and say "Okay." I'm surrounded with people who love the ancient and despise the modern. On the other hand, my friends are all people who like the modern but respect the ancient. I find myself humming every song that happens to (unfortunately) hit my eardrums and so it gets kind of confusing even to myself as to what kind of music I like. [Okay so I don't really take risks, as must be evident, but that last sentence was a risk. Correct me if I'm wrong (wrong as in grammar).]

Ancient India may have been awesome but the immediate past era (another risk here) hasn't been that great. Also, you should adore me; I sing a lot of classical. ;) :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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The first sentence you doubt is perfectly fine (I guess). I'm not sure about the second one. Maybe you can say the century that went or something. And aww you sing classical :')

2 years ago