Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

2009 Ukulele & Languages highlights

30 2009

Today will be the last post of the year 2009. I’ve therefore decided to review all the great many things that have happened on Ukulele & Languages this year. If you are new to this website, here is a chance to find out about its contents.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Al from Uke Hunt as my ukulele learning would have stopped in its tracks had it not been for the huge amount of quality information available on his website and for his e-books which are perfect for people learning on their own.  Al‘s support all through the year has really been invaluable and I am extremely grateful for all the great help without which Ukulele & Languages would never have come to exist.

For those of you who are new to this blog, I’d like to inform you that my posts were written in French until the 27th of April 2009, around the time I started thinking about what my blog should focus on. Up until this date, my website was only keeping track of the different discoveries I made about the ukulele world.

Ukulele & Languages was really born on the 4th of May 2009, with a post on Ukulele and European Languages.

January 2009 to April 2009 :

How I discovered the ukulele

Discovering the many different styles of music that can be played on a uke :


Kaléidoscope de styles /1

Kaléidoscope de styles /2

Kaléidoscope de styles /3

Useful ukulele tutorials

Film themes on ukulele

John King, the late classical ukulele virtuoso

Ukulele original songs

Ukulele songs inspired by nature

April 2009 :

THE post that made me switch the language of this website from French to English.

May 2009 :

Ukulele & Languages is born !

Asked myself  what my main centers of interest were to which I answered Ukulele and Languages.

How could I combine the two on my website ? Answer :

Ukulele and European Languages

Ukulele songs in Dutch, Yorkshire dialect and Russian

Ukulele in various islands

Ukulele and languages – Asia

Ukulele songs from Latin America

Ukulele and Eastern European Languages

Ukulele in French speaking countries

Ukulele in Latin

June 2009 :

More languages explored :

Ukulele songs in German

Ukulele songs from Oceania

Ukulele songs from Greece

Ukulele from Russia

– Ukulele from Thailand and Burma

Ukulele from Italy

–  The story of Wanganui, New Zealand, on ukulele

Ukulele songs in Portuguese

Ukulele songs in Danish

July 2009 :

The month of the Paris Uke Fest. A very important month as I got to meet other ukulele players, write a guest post on my favourite blog, and of course continued my search for ukulele songs in many different languages.

Paris Uke Fest : Part One and Part Two

More Ukulele Languages :

Ukulele songs from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

Ukulele from Brazil

Ukulele in the Arctic

Ukulele songs in Swahili (Africa)

August 2009 :

The month of my birthday which explains the Ukulele birthday songs from around the world post.
As a birthday present and a really great one, my husband and I designed and developed the current site.

New ukulele languages were added to the Ukulele & Languages collection :

Ukulele song in Irish

–  Ukulele in the land of the Rising Sun (Japan)

Ukulele songs in Hungarian

August was also the month of my first interview of a ukulele player :

Meet Sofia, an Icelandic ukulele player

… and the month of the creation of the Language Fun category :

funny language videos

September 2009 :

September marked the start of a series of interviews of Fingerstyle ukulelists :

Ken Middleton

Herman Vandecauter

Jamie Holding

Valéry Sauvage

Towards the end of the month, I took my first fingerstyle ukulele lesson over Skype with Herman Vandecauter, another major event in my ukulele learning process.

More Language Fun posts :

Oddities from Ireland and Norway

Fishy translation on a northbound ferry

Ukulele World Tour continued :

Ukulele songs from Poland and Ukraine

German ukulele commercials and song in Plattdeutsch

Ukulele in Indonesia

Ukulele and creole languages

October 2009 :

October’s fingerstyle uke interviews included :

Wilfried Welti’s

Tim from Austin, Texas (ukuleletim)

The Language Fun section featured a fun way to learn Japanese, a revolutionary method to revise geography and a thoughful video about endangered languages.

A major event in October was a ukulele video in Malay created by Shasha and Elmi from Brunei and dedicated to Ukulele & Languages :

Meanwhile the Ukulele World Tour took us to Norway, Korea, Singapore and China, Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador.

November 2009 :

November’s biggest highlight has to be the interview of my favourite ukulele blogger, Al from Uke Hunt, who revealed a little bit about himself and once again displayed his excellent sense of humour.

On the fingerstyle uke side of things, an interview of Rob MacKillop.

I also did a review of Patti Plinko’s excellent EP : Bohemian Suicide in the Ukulele Albums section.

Our Ukulele World Tour uncovered a Lithuanian ukulele player, a Turkish ukulele song, and went through  a French ukulele week featuring ukulele instrumentals by French playersamong other things.

Aside from the blog, a very important event in my ukulele learning process was the visit of Flamby1er Alex from the COULE, the firt ukulele player I got to play with. There is so much to learn from another uke player !

December 2009

In December it was time to find out about the latest fingerstyle uke world news and to travel to the cold and snowy Scandinavian countries to get a bit of Christmas spirit :

Christmas in Norway in 2009

Swedish live advent calendar

Norwegian Christmas, ukulele in Saami

The December Ukulele World Tour also included travelling to Russia with a Russian Uke Tube and to Spain without forgetting a World Tour of Christmas songs on ukulele.

December also marked my first fingerstyle uke attempt, a way to thank Herman for the great ukulele lessons over Skype.

December’s Album Review was Galapaghost’s great first EP : Our Lost Generation.

December 2009 will also be remembered for the longest post I’ve ever written on Ukulele & Languages, this very one.

With this post I have tried to highlight this year’s worth of U&L posts and I would really appreciate if you could take a couple of minutes and leave a comment giving me some feedback on the things you’ve liked and disliked on the blog this year, so that I start 2010 knowing what I should keep, improve, get rid of and so on.

I wish you all the very best for 2010, thank you for reading !


  1. Ron Hale on the 31st of December 2009 @ 03:46

    Since you’re looking back…When you revisit recordings, videos that you stumbled upon earlier in your playing (especially very early), has the intervening time and instrument experience changed your views, your appreciation for the music and the people making it? I can look back at the discoveries early in my fifteen months on the instrument now and understand more about just what went into the music making and the time and effort required to produce the sounds.

    Some things that impressed me early on don’t any longer and vice versa, and sometimes my opinion can change virtually overnight on a style of music, a performance, a performer, an issue (which makes commenting on ukulele blogs an iffy proposition, when what one says may not be what one feels only a short time later).

  2. Armelle Europe on the 31st of December 2009 @ 18:10

    Ron : My opinion of someone’s performance might change over time, yes. However it has nothing to do with the complexity or technicality that went into the music, but much more with a video’s ability to speak to my emotions.
    Depending on the mood I am in, a video might or might not move me so you are right about the possible change of appreciation.
    Another aspect of this blog is to document ukulele videos in as many languages possible and there are some languages for which the choice of videos is limited. This means that I am more lenient on the quality of videos in rare languages than I am on say, ukulele videos in English.

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