Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world where multilingual national anthem is sung by different ethnic groups. Rating: ‘True and Correct’


Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world where multilingual national anthem is sung by different ethnic groups


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A national anthem is usually in the national or most common language of the country, whether de facto or official, there are notable exceptions. Most commonly, states with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem, for instance:

The Swiss Psalm, the national anthem of Switzerland, has different lyrics for each of the country’s four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh).
The national anthem of Canada, O Canada, has official lyrics in both English and French which are not translations of each other, and is frequently sung with a mixture of stanzas, representing the country’s bilingual nature.
Amhrán na bhFiann, the anthem of the Republic of Ireland, was written in English, but an Irish translation, although never formally adopted, is now almost always sung.
The current national anthem of South Africa is unique in that five of the country’s eleven official languages are used in the same anthem (the first stanza is divided between two languages, with each of the remaining three stanzas in a different language).
One of the two official national anthems of New Zealand, God Defend New Zealand, is commonly now sung with the first verse in Māori (Aotearoa) and the second in English (God Defend New Zealand). The tune is the same but the words are not a direct translation of each other.
God Bless Fiji has lyrics in English and Fijian which are not translations of each other. Although official, the Fijian version is rarely sung, and it is usually the English version that is performed at international sporting events.
Although Singapore has four official languages, with English being the lingua franca, the national anthem, Majulah Singapura is in Malay and by law can only be sung with its original Malay lyrics, despite the fact that Malay is a minority language in Singapore.
Pakistan’s national anthem Qaumi Taranah is in Persian language which was the cultural and the official language of the Mughal Empire. Pakistanis can understand the anthem as it is considered to be in Persianized Urdu. There is only one word “Ka” which is exclusively from the Urdu language.
There are several countries that do not have official lyrics to their anthems. One of these is the Marcha Real, the anthem of Spain. In 2007 a national competition to write words was held, but no lyrics were chosen.[2] Other anthems with no words include Inno Nazionale della Repubblica, the anthem of San Marino, and that of Kosovo, entitled Europe.
The national anthem of India, “Jana Gana Mana“, has lyrics in the Bengali language, despite the fact that India has 22 official languages, with Hindi being the first official language and the most widely spoken of them.
Despite the most common language in Wales being English, the anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” is sung in the native language of Wales In which is the Welsh Language.



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