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  • Kyle Chua

Spotify Users Express Frustration Over Mandarin Song Titles Automatically Translated to English

A recent test conducted by Spotify has apparently drawn the ire of some listeners after Mandarin song and album titles were automatically translated to English or replaced with names in hanyu pinyin, the romanised way of writing Chinese sounds.

Credit: Spotify

According to Channel News Asia (CNA), the music streaming giant is already in the process of reverting the change, which is expected to be reflected on the platform between now and the coming days.


Many listeners took to Spotify's community forums and social media to express their anger and frustration over the automatic translation. One listener, for example, said the song titles were “not recognisable", citing the change as a “dealbreaker” for Spotify Premium, the paid, ad-free service of the platform. Others soon rallied to his support, echoing his sentiments. Some even went as far as to suggest leaving the platform entirely and switching to competition like Apple Music.


"It is a disrespect to the composers of the songs who put their efforts into giving the song a good title in their native language. Even worse, it is also a disrespect to the Asian languages," reads a thread post from one user.


Another, meanwhile, said some of the nuance and meaning in the titles are lost in translation as some Cantopop songs use words with no English or hanyu pinyin equivalents.

Spotify said the change is part of a multilingual data test that it was piloting. The company advises anyone who has yet to see the changes reverted to try clearing their app’s cache.


“At Spotify, we are always looking at new ways to enhance our listeners’ experience. This often means conducting tests on our platform, including experimenting with multi-language data received from our music partners," Spotify told CNA.


As of writing, the changes have yet to be reverted, with some listeners posting in the forums that they’re still seeing translations as of Thursday.

 
  • Spotify has apparently drawn the ire of some listeners after Mandarin song and album titles were automatically translated to English.

  • Many listeners took to Spotify's community forums and social media to express their anger and frustration over the automatic translation.

  • The issue appears to stem from a multilingual data test the streaming giant was piloting.

  • The company has since said it'll revert the titles back to their native languages, but the changes have yet to reflect for all listeners.

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