Lost in translation: The rise of English in popular music

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Thursday 8 June 2017

English has gradually become the global language of popular songs, but at what cost? Where English may have one word to describe an emotion, another may have hundreds. Are the meanings of songs in danger of being lost in translation?

On the world stage, Eurovision competitors are rarely singing in their native language and established migrant musicians often opt to release songs in English. The popular Western music scene can at times feel dominated by English. 

Renowned soul vocalist Fem Belling, “Melbourne’s high priestess of soul” Kylie Auldist and a panel of performers and music industry experts will explore the impact that the proliferation of English has on musicians and listeners from an Australian context.

This event is proudly presented as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival

More speakers and performers will be announced soon!


The events are free and open to the whole community.

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About the Game Changers Conversation Series

The Game Changers Conversation series presents pivotal ideas, personalities and moments in Australia's evolving story for public discussion and debate.

It is a project of the Footscray University Town initiative – a partnership between Maribyrnong City Council and Victoria University that sees education, jobs, creativity and opportunity at the heart of the future of Footscray.

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Fem Belling with The Royal Swazi Spa (South Africa) | Photographer: Everlyn Tadros


This event has already taken place.

Conversation: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Pop-up bar open from 5:30pm


Kindred Studios 212A Whitehall Street Yarraville VIC 3013