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More than 20 languages represented

24 March 2008 at 21:58 CET

Representatives from 22 countries will sing their song entirely in English. Six more will sing their songs in a mix of English and a national language; Armenian, Hungarian, Catalan (Andorra), Spanish, Hebrew and French. The Romanian representatives will sing in a mix between Romanian and Italian.

Participants from Serbia, Albania, San Marino (Italian), Finland, Portugal, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus (Greek) and Switzerland (Italian) will sing in their local language. The Estonian group Kreisiraadio will sing in a mix between Finnish, German and Serbo-Croatian 'tourist dialect'. The Belgian group Ishtar will sing in an imaginary language.

Since 1999, the European Broadcasting Union allowes participants to sing in the language of their choice. Despite the fear of critics that this would heavily harm language diversity at the Eurovision Song Contest, a large number of languages is represented at the contest nowadays. Those who questioned if it would still be possible to win the contest with a non-English language song were proven wrong; Last year, Marija Šerifović won the contest with Molitva, a song in Serbian language.