There are 43 songs participating at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 — and if you’re reading this post, you’ll understand most of them. That’s because 36 of this year’s songs are sung completely in English, while Croatia has gone 50-50 with an English-Italian song. Today we look at the six other songs that work an artist’s national tongue.

In this year’s poll, we’re counting the four songs sung entirely in other languages, plus the two countries that have just a bit a bit of English in their entries. Those are Portugal, Italy, Hungary and Belarus, plus France and Spain, as their entries are mostly sung in French and Spanish, despite adding some English. Which is your favourite?

Belarus: Naviband with “Historija Mayho Zyccia”

It’s been 13 years since their debut at Eurovision and Belarus have finally selected an entry in their national language. And they’ve chosen a strong one in the form of Naviband’s cheerful folk act “Historija Mayho Zyccia”.

Belarus has sung in Belarusian at Junior Eurovision three times, and all of their entries placed in the top 10. Will Naviband equal those results in the adult version?

France: Alma with “Requiem”

When France revealed the final version of their entry “Requiem” earlier this month, they added a tiny bit of English to a part of their chorus. Eurodrama ensued as fans screamed, “Mon dieu!”

However, we’re still counting Alma’s entry in this poll as it’s still mostly in French.

France has mixed English with French several times in the past, from Sébastien Tellier to Twin Twin. The results have varied significantly. Their last attempt at Frenglish (Amir’s “J’ai cherché”) finished in a very respectable sixth place.

Hungary: Joci Pápai with “Origo”

After three years singing in English, A Dal 2017 seemed to come down to two Hungarian language powerhouses: Joci Pápai and Gabi Tóth. In the end, it was the Romani singer who took the trophy and will try to earn Hungary’s first victory in neighbouring Ukraine.

Hungary last sang in Hungarian four years ago, when ByeAlex finished tenth in Malmö with “Kedvesem”. The country’s best result (their debut entry “Kinek modjam el vetkleimet”, which finished fourth in 1994) also came in Hungarian. However, their best result in recent years was Kallay Saunders, who sang “Running” in English in 2015.

Italy: Francesco Gabbani with “Occidentalli’s Karma”

Bookies‘ favourite Francesco Gabbani will sing in Italian in Kyiv, opting to work with the original lyrics of “Occidentalli’s Karma” (despite all the speculation that he wouldn’t). Will la scimmia nuda break language borders and enchant Europe as much as it did with Italy at Sanremo?

Italy has mixed English with Italian in recent years with disparate results. The last time they sung fully in Italian was in 2015, when Il Volo won the televoting and finished third overall.

Portugal: Salvador Sobral with “Amar pelos dois

Portugal returns to Eurovision after a one-year break. And for the first time ever, RTP allowed songs not in Portuguese to compete at Festival da Canção. But in the end, the charm of Salvador’s dreamy entry “Amar pelos dois” stole the corações of all the country.

Portugal remains one of the few countries that have always included their national language in their Eurovision entries. They have sung fully in Portuguese in their last eight appearances.

Spain: Manel Navarro with “Do it for your lover”

Despite the English title, Manel’s entry only contains two sentences in English. Repeated to death, but two sentences in the end. It marks a return to majority Spanish lyrics following last year’s “Say yay!” which was fully in English and caused a stir at home as a result.

Spanglish has also had mixed results at Eurovision, with the likes of Ruth Lorenzo and Rosa hitting the top 10, but Soraya and d’NASH finishing at the bottom of the table. Where will Manel place?

Which is your favourite? You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

What is the best non-English song at Eurovision 2017?

Check out more Eurovision polls

68 Comments
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Harut
4 years ago

Italy and France of course
I hate Portugal’s “song” and dislike others

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
4 years ago

absolutely Spain number one and then the rest ,nice happy sufer song , love it, and good i am not eurofan can be more free , yeaaaahh, good luck to all the singers

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Spain ????

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

@Eve: In that case, the UK, Ireland, Malta and Australia should all be added to the list, because English is a “national language” in those countries. So the logic of the list still doesn’t hold up. It would have been better to have just listed “non-English” entries.

Zebb
Zebb
4 years ago

I adore hungarian entry. Remembering ‘Hosszu Idok’, vocally it falls a little bit in verses, but on other side it has got a story, catchy pre-chorus and wonderful arrangement. I’m nervous about its cut version as I’d love to hear final notes and strings from original completing the song. Least to say, it’s definitely a qualifier even with a bad staging (hope not). Portugal stands closely behind it. Also very curious if something will be added for staging, as just solo-ing artist it may either remind me of Cyprus 2015 or be just confusing because of specific attitude the singer… Read more »

Visenya
Visenya
4 years ago

@Kenny ESC
why should Croatia be in the poll? They sing in English and Italian

God-Emperor
God-Emperor
4 years ago

I congratulate all these countries for still trying to save the image of this festival against corrupt lobbies. Too bad that Spanish failed so badly this year but I know for sure they will be back (down with TVE!!). I voted for my man Salvador but all the others would be worthy winners. Definitely a lot better than overrated Sweden and Azerbuyjan!

Kris
Kris
4 years ago

@Eve
Because the article is about Mother tongues maybe
But the poll is about non-english language included songs!! And Croatia has a greater proportion of Non-English than Spain!!

Andrea
Andrea
4 years ago

This year, I’ve found the non-English songs to be much better than the rest of the electronica they’re forcing into our ears. Not a fan of this year’s lot, sadly. I have a love-hate relationship with Occidentali’s Karma. The lyrics are great, but it’s a damn earworm. I haven’t been able to get the song out of my head since I heard it! Portugal is second in my list of favorites. It’s just… Reminiscent of a time when things were simpler, and in music, less is often more. It’s a very relaxing song, and I hope Salvador does well. Belarus… Read more »

Eve
Eve
4 years ago

Why would Croatia be in this poll? He don’t sing Croatian. Does anyone read article here?

”Today we look at the six other songs that work an artist’s NATIONAL tongue.
In this year’s poll, we’re counting the four songs sung entirely in other languages, plus the two countries that have just a bit a bit of English in their entries.”

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Ce qu’il a donné…
1. Italy (genius)
2. Hungary (underrated)
3. France (post-devamp letdown)
4. Portugal (sweet; ok)
5. Belarus (irritating)
6. Croatia (Luis missed that one!)
7. Spain (duh)

Ljubika G.
Ljubika G.
4 years ago
KennyESC
KennyESC
4 years ago

I’m not seeing Croatia in the poll.

Ljubika G.
Ljubika G.
4 years ago

In the name of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Hartman, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Nat “King” Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday and, why not, Audrey Hepburn (remember Moon River), my vote goes to Portugal… What a wonderful song and interpretation!!! 120000000000 points from Montenegro.

Mar
Mar
4 years ago

4 of these songs (Italy, France, Belarus and Hungary) are in my top 10, although I’ll admit that just being non-english is already a big bonus for me. Portugal I can appreciate despite not loving it that much, but Spain gets worse every time I listen to it. I also disagree with considering it a mostly Spanish song, since the two English sentences are repeated ad infinitum and represent at least 60% of the song. Croatia has more Italian, in comparison. As someone already pointed out, I was also hoping that Il Volo’s televote win and Jamala’s win would encourage… Read more »

We love leds, visuals, air fans, divas, English and dated ballads!
We love leds, visuals, air fans, divas, English and dated ballads!
4 years ago

Sad that only so few countries sing in their language. We should vote for them to celebrate diversity. In fact, I think EBU should obligue all countries to sing in their languages to encourage the respect to our diversity, get to know our cultural richness better. Back to the poll, almost all of them are in my top 10 this year: 1. Italy 3.Portugal 6. France 7. Hungary 10. Spain. Belarus is not my cup of tea.

cheesecake
cheesecake
4 years ago

1. Spain (not kidding, #7 overall)
2. France (#12)
3. Portugal (#13)
4. Italy (#14)
5. Belarus (#16)
6. Hungary (#26)

I’m disappointed, I hoped that the “1944” win (partly non-English) would encourage some more countries to sing in their native language. 🙁

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago

This is the most difficult poll for me so far!

I like almost every non – english song! Hopefully, I can vote for as many acts as I want, because if I had to pick one… I’d have a problem!

Each song has its own identity!
Belarus: a smile comes on my face at every listen
France: my 2nd favourite song after Italy! Fresh, modern! LOVE!!
Hungary: stands out, traditional elements well blended
Italy: my favourite song!! Original, up-lifting, cheerful!
Portugal: a beautifull song with identity! Class!

So I voted for Italy, France and Portugal!!

blondboybc
blondboybc
4 years ago

Obviously, it’s Italy. followed by Belarus, Hungary, France, Portugal…..Spain at the very bottom. Personally, I would like to really thank these countries for sending songs in their native languages, despite what juries have done in other countries (eg: Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, etc.) They really #celebratediversity, unlike many of the boring, dated, or generic anglo ballad/pop or EDM songs we’ve seen! Bonus marks to them! 🙂

Aria
Aria
4 years ago

How is Spain in this poll and not Croatia?
Spain has 46 seconds in Espanol and 2:14 in English(~26% in Non-English language) whereas Croatia has a song with >40% in Italian??

@fikri
Manel has answered your question already!! Listen at 2:14. You are supposed to ‘Chew Sewage’ for your lover according to Mabel’s 12 point-worthy pronunciation!!

Jane
Jane
4 years ago

Italy, France, Portugal, Hungary, Belarus and then Spain.

Flynn
Flynn
4 years ago

Hungary and Belarus for me.

Spain is just dreadful, Portugal sounds kinda awkward to me, France is just there and I don’t know what to feel about it. Italy musically sounds okay if not a bit dated and kinda generic my main problem is I can’t get past his voice it’s so offputting

EUROFAN MEXICO
EUROFAN MEXICO
4 years ago

One year EBU must to obligate to everybody to ding in them maternal lenguaje. TO PROMOTION THE EUROPE LENGUAJES

Pink Pussycat
Pink Pussycat
4 years ago

Portugal , France , Italy

Benj
Benj
4 years ago

1. France
2. Italy
3. Portugal
4. Belarus
5. Hungary
6. Spain

Betty
Betty
4 years ago

@ Milla – ”Bogdan.. yes but now it’s enough with them.”

Sorry Milla, Sweden will not win this year.
You are so obsessed with Ireland’s record, that I hope Ireland will win this year.
Just to make it harder for Sweden to beat them.

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

Italy by far, but all the songs (except for Spain) are great. I hope one of them (except for Spain) wins.

Milla
Milla
4 years ago

Bogdan.. yes but now it’s enough with them.

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

It is really sad how little songs are non-English.

1. Italy – My 1’st overall, a masterpiece – VOTED
2. Belarus – So cute 🙂 – VOTED
———————————————————————
3. Portugal – Really touching
4. France – Good, but was so much better in French only
5. Hungary – Interesting and different
———————————————————————————————————-
6. Spain – Besides being repetitive and paper-thin in lyrics, it’s the only song this year whose participation, well… leaves questions to put it nicely.

ute
ute
4 years ago

it seems fans have only 1-2 songs to vote only.
anyway I ve voted, ute

Visenya
Visenya
4 years ago

I’m from Italy and of course I cheer for my country, but I think Francesco doesn’t need my vote so I voted Hungary cause I love that song so much

NL
NL
4 years ago

1. Italy (29th/43th)
2. Belarus (30th/43th)
3. Spain (33th/43th)
4. Hungary (34th/43th)
5. France (35th/43th)
6. Portugal (43th/43th)

Mark Beckenbreur
Mark Beckenbreur
4 years ago

Portuguese song is a masterpiece.
1. Portugal ????????
1. Italy ????????

Hi
Hi
4 years ago

Bellarus is best pof this 6

Hi
Hi
4 years ago

I hate Italy and Portugal. Its the worst sonfs ever

Anatoly Klimenko
Anatoly Klimenko
4 years ago

I voted for Portugal and Belarus (well I voted in my own country, sorry).
I avoid listening to the Portuguese song, it makes me cry every time, especially after knowing the meaning of the lyrics. Amazing.

Hugs from the beautiful Minsk

Lutius Parvinen
Lutius Parvinen
4 years ago

Portugal has the best song of this century!
Far behind, Italy and Belarus next.

Good luck from Finland (with a beautiful song too)

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

It’s tragic how there are only 4 songs without English lyrics this year. I thought that after Jamala it would be 2008 over again, but nope 🙁

ImpressiveInstants
4 years ago

My thoughts change pretty much every day. Anyway, this is what I think as of 3/23/2017.

1. France
2. Italy
3. Portugal
4. Belarus
5. Hungary
6. Spain

Paul D.
Paul D.
4 years ago

I have Italy, France, Portugal and Hungary in my top 10. Great year for non english entries!

Leaf
Leaf
4 years ago

In my top 5: Portugal and France
Top 10: Italy
The rest i can live without

reena
reena
4 years ago

Most of these songs are some of the best this year’s Eurovision has to offer.
I think more countries should be encouraged to send non-english songs.
Personally my top 4 in the entire contest are Hungary,Italy,Portugal and France and they are all in their native languages.
I dont know why Hungary and Portugal have so many haters,I think they are amazing this year.

skrim
skrim
4 years ago

Only 6 songs of 42 :S ESC It’s not diversity.

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

Italy, Portugal and Belarus. The others are way down the list.

Bogdan Honciuc
4 years ago

@Milla – Thanks to these polls, you know what fans prefer.

I personally voted for Portugal’s #salvadorable song.

Anton
Anton
4 years ago

Portugal, Hungary and Italy take my top 3 spots altogether. The others are very good too

kvira
kvira
4 years ago

Italy, France (but seriously the Français version is better), and ofc Portugal

Amor A.
Amor A.
4 years ago

Love Belarus, Italy and France. Hungary is great. Portugal and Spain I really don’t like. Love Belarus’ new ending.

Alex M
Alex M
4 years ago

I like all these entries. Except for Hungary, probably.
France and Italy are the best (still prefer the original version of Requiem though)
And I hope Belarus will get to the final at least…

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Belarus is in my top 5, I love it! Italy and France are great too.