Ed Sheeran's "Bibia Be Ye Ye"

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“Bibia Be Ye Ye” is the title of a track on Ed Sheeran’s new album. In the song, the verses are sung in English while the chorus is in Twi, a dialect of the Akan language. Akan is a major native language of Ghana. While Sheeran was writing his new album, he vacationed in Ghana for a few weeks and linked up with a popular musician (Fuse ODG) while there. His time there inspired him to add part of their culture and language to his album. As most of his fame comes from American and European entertainment cultures, the mixing in of an African language adds more multicultural and multilingual recognition on a global superstar scale. The language borrowing could also be viewed as a form of language appropriation though, where Sheeran is using only a few chosen words of Twi to liven up his song, which he still translates back to English in the video’s lyrics description.

Posted by Abby Woods on May 1, 2017


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