Some words are best left untranslated, including the song titles on Spotify!
If you’re an avid user of Spotify and if you have a playlist of Mandarin or Cantonese songs, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the changes that happened recently. The Mandopop and Candopop titles have been translated to English and users of the music streaming application are NOT happy about the changes.
Not only that but some of the Mandopop titles are also replaced with names in Hanyu Pinyin (汉语拼音).
So don’t be surprised if you see Jay Chou’s 紅顏如霜 being translated to Cold Hearted. The changes, however, are not consistent as some Mandopop and Candopop titles remain in their original language.
The changes started to take place last week and it did not take long for some of the users to start a forum as a platform for them to express their dissatisfactions. A lot of them shared screenshots of their current Mandopop and Cantopop playlists which have been translated.
‘This is a dealbreaker!’
The angry Spotify users had a lot to say, and one of them even went to the extent of calling this a ‘dealbreaker’ as the changes have made it almost impossible for them to search for Chinese titles.
According to Channel News Asia, some users have also shown a ‘change of heart’ when they highlight the possibility of switching to Apple Music if the changes on the Spotify app remains.
The value of Asian languages
In the meantime, a number of users said the translation is disrespecting the effort and hard work of the composers to come up with good song titles.
‘It’s also disrespecting the Asian languages as it undermines its value and significance.’
“We’re undoing the changes”
If you’re worried that the changes will stay, fret not! Spotify told Channel News Asia yesterday (July 19) that they are reverting the translations.
‘Users can look out for changes in the next few days,’ Spotify said.
The initial changes took place when Spotify conducted tests and experimented with the multi-language data received from its music partners.
‘At Spotify, we are always looking at new ways to enhance (the experience for) our listeners.’
Fellow Spotify users, have you noticed the changes in the music streaming application recently? Are you a fan of the changes and are you glad that they are undoing the translations?
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