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The case of a multilingual rock band

Watch this interview with Guto Pryce of the Super Furry Animals talking about the role of English and Welsh for his and the band’s music.

Listen to this interview with Guto Pryce, member of Welsh band Super Furry Animals.

He talks about the role of English and Welsh for his and the band’s music, and about the different power exercised by each of the two languages in the world of rock music.

Multilingual artists and groups are increasingly common. Sometimes they reflect the complexity of the linguistic landscape of a particular location, and sometimes they are the product of the artists’ own mobility: their travels and their collaborations with people from all over the world.

An example of how diverse these connections may be, and of how they can draw on different kinds of local and global links, as well as distinct traditions and cultural heritages, is the Namibian singer Shishani. She has Namibian and Belgian roots and collaborates with a range of artists, from European musicians to women from the nomadic San communities.

You can find her biography here.

And if you want to listen to her, here is a link to one of her recordings.

Now select another bilingual or multilingual band. They should work in at least one language you know.

  • How and where do they use their different languages?
  • Do they keep them separate, or mix them?
  • Do they make any use of translation in their music or in the way they present themselves, for instance on social media?
  • Are there political implications in their choice of using multiple languages?

Post a short description of your chosen group, pointing out the key points of interest in their work from a translation point of view.

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Working with Translation: Theory and Practice

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