News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

This article was first published 2 years ago  » Movies » How Many Languages Has Lataji Sung In?

How Many Languages Has Lataji Sung In?

February 06, 2022 10:25 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:


Photograph: Kind courtesy Lata Mangeshkar/Instagram

To millions of Indians, the two words -- Lata and Mangeshkar -- signifies everything beautiful harmonious and desirable in this universe.

For 75 years, she has regaled and healed us with her melodies.

There is no conclusive clarity on how many songs Lataji has actually sung, though she had mentioned that she had sung in 26 languages!

Which of these languages did she find it most difficult to sing in?

"Tamil and Russian," she had said.

"The Tamil language was really difficult for me to handle. I would note down all the lines in English and then master their pronunciation, as they are very particular about accent and diction. Singing in Russian on stage was my other big challenge. It was tough. My Russian songs are not to be found anywhere, as they did not allow my renderings to be recorded. What I sang on stage remained there only."


Among her innumerable linguistic leaps, we must also count a cover version of Anne Murray's well-known ballad, You Needed Me.

Yes, Lataji has sung Anne Murray's teary-eyed love song at a live concert in Canada.

She had reminisced, "Whenever I went for concerts abroad, it was our endeavour to include some local flavour if possible. When I performed in Toronto in 1985, I sang Anne Murray's song on her request."

Lataji had just a few hours to get to know the song, and prepare herself to sing it on stage.

Did you keep track of all the songs that you sang in every language?

"No, it was impossible. So many songs in so many languages, many forgotten. I don't even remember many of the Hindi songs that I sang. But the strangest things was, I've sung in Malaysian! This I got to know when a fan sent me my songs sung in Malaysian. There are eight-nine of them, one of them a duet with a local Malaysian singer. I've no clue when I sang in Malaysian."

When I asked her how she mastered foreign languages in just a few hours she said, "Just writing down the lines and practising their pronunciation. Main hamesha perfection chahti thi (I always strove for perfection)."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox: