English has been the dominant language at Eurovision ever since 1999 — when the EBU finally allowed countries to sing in whatever language they wanted. In fact, over the past 19 years, only two songs sung in a language other than English have won — 2007’s “Molitva” (Serbian) and 2017’s “Amar pelos dois” (Portuguese).

But Salvador Sobral’s triumph last year has clearly encouraged songwriters throughout Europe to give English a bit of a rest and to work their Mother Tongues, This year we have 13 songs out of 43 sung entirely in some other language. We haven’t had that many since 2013.

So, as you brush up on your Albanian, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian and more, we want you to name your favourite non-English song of 2018. You can listen to all of the songs below and then vote for your favourite. You can vote for as many songs as you would like but remember: you can only vote once. Be sure to tick the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

Non-English Songs at Eurovision 2018

Albania: “Mall” – Eugent Bushpepa

This is the 15th Albanian entry at Eurovision, but only their fifth sung entirely in Albanian. It’s also their first since 2013. The title of the song can be translated to “Yearning” and the song is about exactly that — wanting something so bad that it burns.

Armenia: “Qami” – Sevak Khanagyan

Three previous entries from Armenia — in 2007, 2008 and 2009 —  have contained lyrics partly in Armenian, but “Qami” is the first entry sung entirely in the national language. The title translates to “Wind”.

Estonia: “La Forza” – Elina Nechayeva

Estonia is singing in Italian for the first time, but their neighbours in Latvia did the same back in 2007. The title “La Forza” translates as “The Force” and discusses the power of destiny.

France: “Mercy” – Madame Monsieur

It comes as no surprise that France sings in their native language, as they have done so almost every year since 1956. This year’s title is a bit of a play on words as “Mercy” is a name that can be misheard as merci (thank you). This relates strongly to the themes of the song — the opportunity to build a new life in a new country and the mercy the universe has on those lucky enough to survive the dangers of migration.

Georgia: “For You” – Iriao

Georgian has only been heard once before in Eurovision, during the opening of Georgia’s entry in 2012 from Anri Jokhadze. So this is the first time we get to hear a song sung entirely in Georgian, even though the title is in English. Georgia is the second of the Caucasus countries to sing in its native language this year, Armenia being the other.

Greece: “Oneiro Mou” – Yianna Terzi

Greece has mostly sung in English since 2001, though some of its entries have contained a mixture of English and Greek. This year’s Greek entry is only the second to be sung entirely in Greek, the other one being “Opa!” from 2010. The title “Oneiro Mou” translates to “My Dream”.

Hungary: “Vizlát Nyár” – AWS

This is the second year in a row that the entry from Hungary is sung in Hungarian and the fourth time since 2005. The title “Vizlát nyár” translates to “Goodbye Summer”.

Italy: “No Mi Avete Fatto Niente” – Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro

Italy has never had an entry in Eurovision without Italian lyrics, though we’ve had some entries with a mixture of English and Italian. This year is no exception as Italy’s “No Mi Avete Fatto Niente” is entirely in Italian. The title can be translated to “You Didn’t Do Anything To Me”.

Montenegro: “Inja” – Vanja Radovanovic

Of Montenegro’s ten entries at Eurovision, this is the sixth sung in Montenegrin and the first in that language since 2015. Montenegro also sang in Serbian and Montenegrin when it competed under the flag of Serbia & Montenegro. The title “Inje” can be translated to “Frost”.

Portugal – “O Jardim” – Cláudia Pascoal

Portugal is another country that has always sung in its native language. On three occasions Portugal included lyrics in English — in 2003, 2005 and 2006 — but those were only fragments. And as the host country this year, Portugal saw no reason to switch to English for the first time. The title “O Jardim” translates to “The Garden”.

Serbia: “Nova Deca” – Sanja Ilic & Balkanika

This is their first Serbian-language song since 2013. Prior to that, the Balkan country had only sung in Serbian. Their 2018 entry is the eighth entry to be sung in Serbian (out of eleven entries). The title “Nova Deca” can be translated as “New Children”.

Slovenia: “Hvala, Ne!” – Lea Sirk

Since 1999 Slovenia has sent ten songs in English, seven in Slovenian and two with a mixture of both. The title “Hvala, ne!” translates to “Thanks, but no thanks”. This is Slovenia’s first entry since 2012 to be sung entirely in Slovenian.

Spain: “Tu Canción” – Amaia & Alfred

Spain has utilised its own language for the vast majority of their entries. While most have been solely in Spanish, some (such as Ruth Lorenzo’s “Dancing in the Rain”) have thrown in some English. Only one song — 2016’s “Say Yay!” — was sung entirely in English. The title “Tu Canción” translates as “Your Song”.

Poll: Best Non-English Song 2018

Vote in more of our Eurovision 2018 polls here

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lea
lea
2 years ago

Eugent’s LIVE Performance at The Voice Kids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDRByA_vEVw&t=2s

AngieP
AngieP
2 years ago

Again congrats to countries that chose to send an entry in their language!

Most of them I like, tbh, but my favourites are France, Italy, Armenia and Greece.

Malin
Malin
2 years ago

I hops Jon Hendrik will represent sweden whith a jojk 2019.

R
R
2 years ago

My favorites from these 13 are Albania, Hungary and Greece. 🙂

I like them all, thus I voted for them all. And I really hope all of them make the final!!!

alessio
alessio
2 years ago

albania france and grecce

oggy
oggy
2 years ago

All country should represent National Language for Eurovision. Proud to be Country who represent Non English in Eurovision Song Contest.

Not like Boring English song from Sweden or Germany. Not like Cheap English from Azerbaijan & Russia with their playing cheats.

Sagor
Sagor
2 years ago

“Hvala, ne!” “Hvala, ne ne ne!” “Hvala, ne!”

Mar
Mar
2 years ago

The only correct answer is all of them. I fully and wholeheartedly support every single one of these countries. I live for linguistic diversity.
(France and Greece are particularly good tho)

Music is art+vibs
Music is art+vibs
2 years ago

Whatever wins, I would like it to be real, true, authentic… not a marketing product such as many songs this years, being enjoyable or not. Portugal, Spain and Greece bring this year very personal intimate material and would be very happy od any of them won.

Josh Kennon
Josh Kennon
2 years ago

Of the non-English entries, my top 5 is:
1. France (#1 overall)
2. Greece (#3 overall)
3. Spain (#4 overall)
4. Serbia (#5 overall)
5. Albania (#6 overall)

Ed
Ed
2 years ago

There should be a 1 in 3 quota where in any four given years at least one has to contain non-English verses and/or chorus and 1 in 5 or 7 years where at least one song has to be completely in one minority or official language. Also a rule similar to SVT’s where 35% of songs in any NF are non-English wouldn’t go amiss.

RichUK
RichUK
2 years ago

I voted for Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Albania, Georgia, Armenia and Montenegro.

RichUK
RichUK
2 years ago
Reply to  RichUK

Voted for Greece aswell

kitty
kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  RichUK

You can only vote for one, the poll doesn’t count the second vote

Oscillate
Oscillate
2 years ago

Hungary, Albania and Italy.

Belle
Belle
2 years ago

I like France, Greece and Slovenia. The rest of the songs are meh.

Frysk
Frysk
2 years ago

I hope for my own sake that I am right here again. Last year my favorite was Portugal. Looking at the predictions and posts of last year Portugal was as usual one of the least favorites. because it was Portugal, because it was a foreign language, because it was a balad. now it is much higher for the same reasons while the P-song is by far not as good as last year. My overall favorite this year is Georgia. Might not become number 1 but it will come much higher as people think. Because in the end like Salvador Sobral’s… Read more »

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
2 years ago
Reply to  Frysk

Salvador was top 10 in the Odds tho… Portugal was only around 30th/40th place before the song was decided. Soon after Salvador had won Festival de Cancao he entered top 10 and stayed there. I think he was even top 5 the last month before the Show!

Frysk
Frysk
2 years ago
Reply to  Weißbrot

The closer to the contest the better the odds were that is true. But if you look at what people put on youtube and said on wiwibloggs they were so far from this. Wiwibloggers, although I enjoy the page, are more often completely wrong than right. Anyway I cross my fingers for Georgia!!!

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Frysk

Salvador Sobral not only Kuula’s his way to the final, he won the whole thing. 😀

Ron
Ron
2 years ago

Really love the non-English songs this year

1. France (1/43);
2. Armenia (7/43);
3. Greece (8/43);
4. Estonia 10/43)

PP
PP
2 years ago

1.Estonia
2.Serbia
3.Albania

shark
shark
2 years ago

Non-English songs are really strong this year. Italy, France, Solvenia, Portugal, Greece and Albania are among my top favorites

blondboybc
blondboybc
2 years ago

Estonia, Greece, France & Albania are my faces this year. Hope to see more of this.

blondboybc
blondboybc
2 years ago
Reply to  blondboybc

*faves

Joe
Joe
2 years ago

Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and France.

Pedro Sousa
Pedro Sousa
2 years ago

Greece 4 Me <3

Victoria
Victoria
2 years ago

ALBANIA all the way!

up!
up!
2 years ago

It’s always a big plus for me if a song is sung in any other language than English…
Therefore, it’s no surprise I have five non-English contenders among my top10… France on #2, Portugal on #4 and Estonia on #5 and Hungary (#9) and Slovenia (#10) rounding out the top10…

Happy Bat
Happy Bat
2 years ago

Estonia, Italy and Greece are my favorites, besides Portugal. France is winning me over.

esc freak
esc freak
2 years ago

Estonia, Greece and Armenia.

Jello
Jello
2 years ago

The non-English entries this year mostly happen to be the ones i like best. I especially love Italy, France, Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Portugal, it would be lovely if one of those are going to win, another non-English winner would be perfect. I feel singers can express themselves more through their native language, (and not have those awful lyrics), which makes the performance and therefore the entire contest better.

dabamba
dabamba
2 years ago

TOP3
1. Italia
2. Slovenia
3. Serbia

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago

Estonia and Hungary.

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
2 years ago

Saaame.

Colin
Colin
2 years ago

Absolutely!

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 years ago

France has my favorite song along with Belgium. Albania, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are all contenders for my top 10. Hungary bring a rock vibe that is always welcome. I also like Armenia, Serbia and Slovenia. Can’t say that Georgia and Montenegro bring my cup of tea to the contest, but both have very respectable acts. Sing on your language brings authenticity. Most of these songs have good lyrics. While some of the songs in English sound just like if a machine has written them. Also there are some singers that show difficulties with enunciaton. If the writers/artists… Read more »

kitty
kitty
2 years ago

Albania gives me goosebumps!

Hada
Hada
2 years ago

Most of my favorites this year are in their native languages: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Georgia. And others like Greece, France and Montenegro are also great.

Kirby
Kirby
2 years ago

I’d have really loved to have listened to Azeri, Russian, German, Swedish or Hebrew this year ?

L'oiseau
2 years ago

Portugal, Italy, France and Spain by this order. Glad to see more countries going native and I really hope the winner is once again singing in the native language, but I know it’s going to be difficult this year. Hope this trend continues though and have some language we haven’t heard for long like Swedish. Kudos also for Armenia for bringing the first time a song entirely in Armenian.

Mikaela
Mikaela
2 years ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Finland hade a song in Swedish 2012

L'oiseau
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikaela

I know and it was great. Still, that was 6 years ago and the only time since 1998… So, the only time in 20 years!!! And coming form Finland, which illustrates my point very well.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
2 years ago

Spain , France ,Greece,
Armenia after 10 seconds i fall sleep, the most boring this year ,more boring impossible, the same Montenegro,Serbia and Georgia, awful

N.N.
N.N.
2 years ago
Reply to  Donald Duck

Spain fake couple made to won OT and Eurovison natonal final and Eurovision, France maybe fake humanist , did duo, took some emigrants in their homes

Ron
Ron
2 years ago
Reply to  Donald Duck

@Donald Duck – it’s very interesting because the Greek song is the same pace as the Armenian song if not slower.

Andrea
Andrea
2 years ago

Spain’s song bores me. The selling point is their chemistry, not the song.

For me, the best songs are from Armenia, Hungary, Italy, Albania, Montenegro and Georgia. They gave me the right kind of goosebumps upon hearing, as well as after I read the translations. Especially Armenia’s. It’s haunting, and it blew me away. I just hope more people can hear the beauty in it.

Ron
Ron
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Wait till you hear the revamp. It’s amazing!

Étoile
Étoile
2 years ago

Mercy is not just Mercy. It means what it means in English and Merci (Thank you in French). Also they play with mer and mère (they are pronounced the same way) which means sea and mother to add the reference of the Sea when the children are drown (je suis tous ces enfants que la mer a pris) and the mother of Mercy. I’m happy that we have 13 songs (of 43) that show their language (a part of who they are, a part of their culture).

Ana
Ana
2 years ago

Actually almost all of my favourites sing in their national languages. Italy, Hungary, Albania, France, Spain… I’m a big fan of multilingual contest, and the fact that there are so many songs not in English this year makes me really happy!

Pasadena
Pasadena
2 years ago

My absolute favourites are non-English language songs. Spain, Portugal and Italy are my top 3. Hungary and Albania are in my top 10.

Darren
Darren
2 years ago

Really glad to see more countries singing in their native language. ESC feels very plastic and soulless when almost every country sings in English. Singing in your native language also makes the song more realistic given that we don’t get absolutely dreadful English (Luna moon me up). This is what ESC is about! Reflecting your culture and national identity through music. It’s great to hear a song and immediately say “Oh that must be France”. Kudos to France, Portugal and Italy though for always singing in their own language and are not just copying last year’s winner, although I do… Read more »

Jmfpds
Jmfpds
2 years ago

I find myself voting for almost every song in that list. Singing in their own language is a big PLUS for me. I voted Hungary, Albania, Portugal, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Georgia, France and Spain. I really want some of those to win this year.

christtina
christtina
2 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKHo35IXhJ8 yiannas rehearsal for mad awards

PP
PP
2 years ago

Overrated in betting odds Estonia, France,Spain, Italy, Portugal. Only see Estonia in TOP 15 from this 5 countries.
Underrated in betting odds Serbia, Albania. I see both in final and in final in TOP 15.

Kris
Kris
2 years ago
Reply to  PP

You need to visit an ophthalmologist

O9
O9
2 years ago
Reply to  PP

Omggggg finally someone who shares the same oppinion with me

Max
Max
2 years ago

Albania and Greece

Paloma Alcalde
Paloma Alcalde
2 years ago

Italy and Albania
Hands down

SpirK
SpirK
2 years ago

7 from these are in my top 10
Greece (1/43)
Estonia (5/43)
Italy (6/43)
Hungary (7/43)
Serbia (8/43)
Spain (9/43)
Montenegro (10/43)
……
Georgia, Slovenia, Albania and Armenia are the only ones not in my top 26.

Pedro Sousa
Pedro Sousa
2 years ago
Reply to  SpirK

You Forgot France And Portugal That Have 2 Be In TOP 26 … What Place U Put Btw ?!?

NickC
NickC
2 years ago

France, France and France.

…And France.

TK
TK
2 years ago

Yikes this is hard!! Many of my faves are non English this year.

1. HUNGARY!!!

2. Greece
3. Portugal
4. Estoni
5. Italy
6. France
7. Serbia

Miguel
Miguel
2 years ago

France, Italy and Portugal.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago

That talk about countries going back to their roots doesn’t work for me. The vast majority is still in English. Countries like France and Italy always sing in their own languages, others like Greece and Serbia switch them after two or three years. The “Sobral effect” does indeed exist, but it will drift away after one winner in English.
Anyway, my favs are Albania, Armenia and France.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jo

…and Portugal.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jo

btw, did you people notice that we don’t have a lot of those ballads this year? Last year there was a way more of them.

Eve
Eve
2 years ago
Reply to  Jo

That story is little exaggerated if you ask me, singing in your language doesn’t mean that song is necessarily good, personally I don’t mind language as long as the song is good.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago
Reply to  Eve

Me too.

Eve
Eve
2 years ago
Reply to  Jo

..But I guess for artists which native language is not English is easier to express emotions in their language.

Amor
Amor
2 years ago
Reply to  Eve

Same, I don’t particularly care which language you sing in as long as the song is good. Just because you are singing in your own national tongue does not mean the song is automatically going to be great. In fact this year, I think this a weak year for national language songs. I only really like 4 out of the 13. Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy.

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Jo

The amount of entries sung in languages other than English have more or less stayed the same, with last year being one of the lowest turn-outs in the histopry of the contest, including one English song containing Italian lyrics.

But what changed is the ratio of English to non-Anglophone songs over the years as a result of not only the lifting of the language rule but also the expansion of the contest to include more countries, and out of those countries are those who are willing to go Anglo.

Colin
Colin
2 years ago

All of them should reach finals (avoid bottom 6 if automatic finalist) to cement the tendency to show more languages on ESC. It doesn’t HAVE to be national language (Estonia), but any diversity is welcome. Good luck to all of them!