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List of languages in the Eurovision Song Contest

The following is a list oflanguages used in the Eurovision Song Contest since its inception in 1956, including songs (as) performed
in finals and, since 2004, semi-finals.

The rules concerning the language of the entries have been changed several times. In the past, the Contest's organizers have
sometimes compelled countries to only sing in their own languages, but since 1999 no such restriction has existed.

Contents
Rule changes
Criticism
Languages and their first appearance
Winners by language
Entries in artificial (constructed) languages
See also
Notes and references
Footnotes
References
Bibliography

Rule changes
From 1956 until 1965, there was no rule restricting the language(s) in which the songs could be sung. For example, in the 1965
Contest, Ingvar Wixell of Sweden sang his song in English.

From 1966 to 1972, a rule was imposed that a song must be performed in one of the ficial
of languages of the country participating.

From 1973 to 1976 inclusive, participants were allowed to enter songs in any language. Several winners took advantage of this, with
songs in English by countries where other languages are spoken, includingABBA's song in 1974.[1]

In 1977, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Contest's organisers, reimposed the national language restriction. However,
Germany and Belgium were given a special dispensation to use English, as their national song selection procedures were already too
advanced to change. During the language rule, the only countries which were allowed to sing in English were Ireland, Malta and the
United Kingdom as English is an official language in those countries. The restriction was imposed from 1977 to1998.

From 1999 onwards, a free choice of language was again allowed. Since then, several countries have chosen songs that mixed
languages, often English and their national language. Prior to that, songs such as Croatia's "Don't Ever Cry" (1993), Austria's "One
Step" and Bosnia and Herzegovina's "Goodbye" (1997) had a title and one line of the song in a non-native language. In 1994 Poland
caused a scandal when Edyta Górniak broke the rules by singing her song in English during the dress rehearsal[2][3] (which is shown
to the juries who selected the winner). Only six countries demanded that Poland should be disqualified, though the rules required 13
. [4]
countries to complain before Poland could be removed from the competition, the proposed removal did not occur

Since 2000 some songs have used artificial or non-existent languages: the Belgian entries in 2003 ("Sanomi") and 2008 ("O Julissi")
were entirely in imaginary languages. In 2006 the Dutch entry, "Amambanda", was sung partly in English and partly in an artificial
language.
The entry which used the most languages was "It's Just a Game", sung by the Bendik Singers for Norway in 1973. It was performed
in English and French, with some lyrics in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Irish, Serbo-Croatian, Hebrew, Finnish, Swedish and
Norwegian. In 2012 Bulgaria's entry, "Love Unlimited" had lyrics in Bulgarian, with phrases in Turkish, Greek, Spanish, Serbo-
Croatian, French, Romani, Italian, Azerbaijani, Arabic and English. 1969 Yugoslav entry "Pozdrav svijetu" was mainly sung in
Croatian, but it had phrases in Spanish, German, French, English, Dutch, Italian, Russian and Finnish.

As of 2017, only two countries have never entered a song in one or more of their national languages: Azerbaijan has not used
Azerbaijani since its debut in 2008 (leading Bulgaria to be the first country to enter a song with Azerbaijani lyrics), and Monaco has
not used Monégasque, its traditional national language.

On the other hand, as of 2016, there are only ten countries whose representatives have performed all their songs at least partially in an
official, regional or national language: Andorra, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, and Portugal. In addition, former
countries Serbia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia, and current countries Australia, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom, only have
been represented by songs fully in an official language.

Criticism
French legislator François-Michel Gonnotcriticized French television and launched an official complaint in the French Parliament, as
the song which represented France in 2008, "Divine", was sung in English.[5] A similar incident occurred again in 2014, when
Spanish artist Ruth Lorenzo was criticized by the Royal Spanish Academy after the Spanish national selection for singing her entry,
Dancing in the Rain, with some lyrics in English.

Languages and their first appearance


Languages are fully counted below when they are used in at least an entire verse or chorus of a song. First brief uses of a language
are also noted.
First
Order Language Country First performer First song
appearance

1 Dutch 1956 Jetty Paerl "De vogels van Holland"


Netherlands

2 German 1956 Lys Assia "Das alte Karussell"


Switzerland

"Messieurs les noyés de


3 French 1956 Fud Leclerc
Belgium la Seine"

4 Italian 1956 Italy Franca Raimondi "Aprite le finestre"

United
5 English 1957 Patricia Bredin "All"
Kingdom

– phrases in Spanish 1957 Margot Hielscher "Telefon, Telefon"


Germany

Birthe Wilke &


6 Danish 1957 "Skibet skal sejle i nat"
Denmark Gustav Winckler

7 Swedish 1958 Alice Babs "Lilla stjärna"


Sweden

"So laang we's du do


8 Luxembourgish 1960 Camillo Felgen
Luxembourg bast"

9 Norwegian 1960 Norway Nora Brockstedt "Voi Voi"

– phrases in Sami 1960 Norway Nora Brockstedt "Voi Voi"

10 Spanish 1961 Spain Conchita Bautista "Estando contigo"

11 Finnish 1961 Finland Laila Kinnunen "Valoa ikkunassa"

Serbian (variety of Serbo- "Neke davne zvezde"


12 1961 Ljiljana Petrović
Croatian)[6] Yugoslavia (Неке давне звезде)

Croatian (variety of Serbo-


13 1963 Vice Vukov "Brodovi"
Croatian)[6] Yugoslavia

14 Portuguese 1964 António Calvário "Oração"


Portugal
Bosnian (variety of Serbo-
15 1964 Sabahudin Kurt "Život je sklopio krug"
Croatian)[6] Yugoslavia

16 Slovene 1966 Berta Ambrož "Brez besed"


Yugoslavia

– phrases in Russian 1969 Ivan & M's "Pozdrav svijetu"


Yugoslavia

Viennese (dialect of Austria


17 1971 Marianne Mendt "Musik"
German)

18 Maltese 1971 Malta Joe Grech "Marija l-Maltija"

19 Irish 1972 Ireland Sandie Jones "Ceol an Ghrá"

20 Hebrew 1973 Israel Ilanit "Ey Sham" (‫)אי שם‬

"Krasi, thalassa kai t'


Greece agori mou"
21 Greek 1974 Marinella
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ'
αγόρι μου)

22 Turkish 1975 Turkey Semiha Yankı "Seninle Bir Dakika"

23 Arabic 1980 Samira Bensaid "Bitaqat Hub" (‫)ﺑﻄﺎﻗﺔ ﺣﺐ‬


Morocco
Montenegrin (variety of
24 1983 Daniel Popović "Džuli"
Serbo-Croatian)[6] Yugoslavia

25 Icelandic 1986 Iceland ICY "Gleðibankinn"

26 Romansh 1989 Furbaz "Viver senza tei"


Switzerland

Italy "Comme è ddoce 'o


27 Neapolitan 1991 Peppino di Capri
mare"

28 Antillean Creole 1992 France Kali "Monté la riviè"

– phrases in Corsican 1993 France Patrick Fiori "Mama Corsica"

29 Estonian 1994 Estonia Silvi Vrait "Nagu merelaine"

30 Romanian 1994 Dan Bittman "Dincolo de nori"


Romania

31 Slovak 1994 Tublatanka "Nekonečná pieseň"


Slovakia

Ovidijus
32 Lithuanian 1994 "Lopšinė mylimai"
Lithuania Vyšniauskas

"Kinek mondjam el
33 Hungarian 1994 Friderika Bayer
Hungary vétkeimet?"

Russia "Vyechniy stranik"


34 Russian 1994 Youddiph
(Вечный стрaнник)

35 Polish 1994 Poland Edyta Górniak "To nie ja"


"Pia Prosefhi" (Ποιά
– phrases in Ancient Greek 1995 Greece Elina Konstantopoulou
προσευχή)

Vorarlbergish (dialect of Austria


36 1996 Georg Nussbaumer "Weil's dr guat got"
German)

37 Breton 1996 France Dan Ar Braz "Diwanit Bugale"

"Ne zori, zoro" (Не зори,


38 Macedonian 1998 Vlado Janevski
Macedonia зоро)

Samogitian (dialect of
39 1999 Aistė "Strazdas"
Lithuanian) Lithuania

40 Styrian (dialect of German) 2003 Austria Alf Poier "Weil der Mensch zählt"

41 Imaginary language 2003 Urban Trad "Sanomi"


Belgium
42 Latvian 2004 Latvia Fomins & Kleins "Dziesma par laimi"

43 Catalan 2004 Andorra Marta Roure "Jugarem a estimar-nos"

44 Ukrainian 2004 Ukraine Ruslana "Wild Dances"

45 Võro 2004 Estonia Neiokõsõ "Tii"

American Sign
46 2005 Latvia Valters and Kaža "The War Is Not Over"
Language

47 Albanian 2006 Albania Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohtë"

– phrases in Tahitian 2006 Monaco Séverine Ferrer "La Coco-Dance"

Elitsa Todorova &


48 Bulgarian 2007 "Water"
Bulgaria Stoyan Yankoulov

49 Czech 2007 Kabát "Malá dáma"


Czech
Republic

50 Armenian 2007 Hayko "Anytime You Need"


Armenia
Czech
– phrases in Romani 2009 Gipsy.cz "Aven Romale"
Republic

– phrases in Swahili 2011 Norway Stella Mwangi "Haba Haba"

51 Corsican 2011 France Amaury Vassili "Sognu"

– title in Latin 2012 Albania Rona Nishliu "Suus"

Russia Buranovskiye
52 Udmurt 2012 "Party for Everybody"
Babushki
Mühlviertlerisch (dialect Austria
53 2012 Trackshittaz "Woki mit deim Popo"
of German)

– phrases in Azerbaijani 2012 Bulgaria Sofi Marinova "Love Unlimited"

54 Georgian 2012 Georgia Anri Jokhadze "I'm a Joker"

"Pred da se razdeni"
55 Romani 2013 Esma & Lozano
Macedonia (Пред да се раздени)

– phrases in Pontic Greek 2016 Greece Argo "Utopian Land"

56 Crimean Tatar 2016 Ukraine Jamala "1944"

57 Belarusian 2017 Belarus Naviband "Story of My Life"

– phrases in Sanskrit 2017 Italy Francesco Gabbani "Occidentali's Karma"

Source: The Diggiloo Thrush

Winners by language
Between 1966 and 1973, and again between 1977 and 1998, countries were only permitted to perform in their own language; see the
main Eurovision Song Contest article. In 2017 "Amar pelos dois" became the first Portuguese-language song to win the contest, the
first winner since 2007 to both be in a language that had never produced a winning song before and be entirely in a language other
than English. Among all Eurovision winning entries, only Ukraine's were performed in more than one language.
Wins Language Years Countries
1967, 1969, 1970, United Kingdom,
1974, 1975, 1976, Ireland, Sweden,
1980, 1981, 1987, Netherlands,
1992, 1993, 1994, Denmark,
1996, 1997, 1999, Estonia, Latvia,
31 English 2000, 2001, 2002, Turkey, Ukraine,
2003, 2004,[N 1] 2005, Greece, Finland,
2006, 2008, 2009, Russia, Norway,
2010, 2011, 2012, Germany,
2013, 2014, 2015, Azerbaijan,
2016[N 2] Austria
English (46.3%)
1956, 1958, 1960, French (20.9%)
Switzerland,
1961, 1962, 1965,
France, Dutch (4.5%)
14 French 1969, 1971, 1972,
Luxembourg,
1973, 1977, 1983, Hebrew (4.5%)
Monaco, Belgium
1986, 1988 German (3.0%)
Dutch 1957, 1959, 1969 Netherlands Norwegian (3.0%)
3
Hebrew 1978, 1979, 1998 Israel Swedish (3.0%)
Italian (3.0%)
German 1966, 1982 Austria, Germany
Spanish (3.0%)
Norwegian 1985, 1995 Norway Danish (1.5%)
2 Swedish 1984, 1991 Sweden Croatian (1.5%)

Italian 1964, 1990 Italy Ukrainian (1.5%)


Serbian (1.5%)
Spanish 1968, 1969 Spain
Crimean Tatar (1.5%)
Danish 1963 Denmark Portuguese (1.5%)
Croatian 1989 Yugoslavia

Ukrainian 2004[N 1] Ukraine[N 1]


1
Serbian 2007 Serbia
Crimean
2016[N 2] Ukraine[N 2]
Tatar
Portuguese 2017 Portugal

Entries in artificial (constructed) languages


Three times in the history of the contest, songs have been sung ininvented languages.[7]

Appearance Country Performer Song

2003 Belgium Urban Trad "Sanomi"

2006 Netherlands Treble "Amambanda"

2008 Belgium Ishtar "O Julissi"

See also
List of languages in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Notes and references

Footnotes
1. This song was partially sung inUkrainian.
2. This song was partially sung inCrimean Tatar.

References
1. "Facts & Trivia" (http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/facts-figures). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved
10 July 2012.
2. "Eurovision Song Contest 1994"(http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/by-year/contest?event=309). Eurovision.tv.
Retrieved 9 November 2014.
3. "Poland1994 - Edyta Gorniak To Nie Ja (Polish/English)" (http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/by-year/contest?even
t=309). YouTube clip. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
4. "Eurovision Song Contest 1994 facts"(https://web.archive.org/web/20141109144728/http://www .eurovision-contest.e
u/news-archive/1994-eurovision-song-contest-facts). eurovision-contest.eu. Archived fromthe original (http://www.eu
rovision-contest.eu/news-archive/1994-eurovision-song-contest-facts)on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November
2014.
5. Van Gelder, Lawrence (2008-04-17)."French Singer Stirs Storm"(https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/arts/17arts-F
RENCHSINGER_BRF.html?_r=2&ref=arts&oref=slogin). https://www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
6. At the time of Yugoslavia's existence the common name for these languages wasSerbo-Croatian. The term Croatian
came into use during the 1970s;Serbian and Bosnian evolved politically in the 1990s, andMontenegrin in the 2000s
(see Serbo-Croatian for more details). Another view is that the first post-breakup entries can be considered the first
for the respective languages: "Ljubim te pesmama" for Serbian in 1992, "Sva bol svijeta" for Bosnian in 1993, "Don't
Ever Cry" for Croatian, also in 1993, and Z
" auvijek moja" for Montenegrin in 2005.
7. "Ishtar from Belgium to Belgrade"(http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=554&_t=ishtar_for_belgium_to_belgrade).
EBU. Retrieved 19 May 2013.

Bibliography
Eurovision Song Contest history. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
History. ESCtoday.com. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
John Kennedy O'Connor (2005).The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books
Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005).The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books
Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
"Historical Milestones". eurovision.tv. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2006-05-26.
"Urban Trad". UrbanTrad.com. 28 September 2004. Archived from the original on 8 February 2007. Retrieved
2006-07-18.
"Treble will represent the Netherlands". eurovision.tv. Archived from the original on 2006-05-25. Retrieved
2006-05-25.
Klier, Marcus (2008-03-09)."Belgium: Ishtar to Eurovision". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-10-11.

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