culture,  Music

Singing in Dead Languages

One of the bands that I like is called Eluveite which is a melodic death metal band. One of the interesting things about them is that the sing in Gaulish. A dead language that was spoken in Europe.

Unlike singing in Latin, which several bands incorporate into their lyrics, Gaulish has not been well persevered. It was denigrated as a lower class or trashy language and much of the historical writing about it is from the Romans who hated the Gauls. Eluveite even uses linguistic experts to help them find translations for words.

Moreover, unlike some bands which will only use some lyrics in Latin, they make entire songs in Gaulish. Although simplistic lyrics and often repetitive because of the lack of knowledge on the subject, it’s amazing that they can sing in a Language that died over 1,000 years ago. If that’s not making yourself standout then I don’t know what is.

They do have songs in English as well tho, and you can find translations of their songs online that are in Gaulish. What I like the most about it though is the awareness that it brings to languages that have died and are dying.

People talk about “diversity”, but will never talk about preserving the diversity of languages in Europe through the removal of mandating all children learn that language. For instance, Italian as we know it was only spoken by less than 5% of Italians when Italy was unified, but through compulsory schooling forcing kids to learn Italian you lost hundreds of languages/distinct dialects.


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