Way back in the 1950s, people sang in their own language. It was a more disconnected world and local customs and traditions were distinct between counties. It's still true to an extent today, but it lessens every year.
When Elvis came along in 1954, he toured his local Southern states, before going national in 1956. A new sound, and new way of life, emerged and had an instant recognition thanks to television.
It was The Beatles who took the cultural change that Elvis started and swept it across the world, so it could never go back. And along with this revolution came the spread of English as the language of music.
When the Beatles started, they recorded two songs in German (She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand). This was because the German market wanted German voices (not unreasonably). This would soon stop as pop music spread and internationally it was English voices on the radio.
The Eurovision Song Contest banned songs sung in English from 1978-1998 due to a lack of native-tongue songs (including Abba's famous win). The Wikipedia rules for Eurovision states: "Some [modern] entries are performed in English to reach broader audiences, though this is sometimes looked upon as unpatriotic." The winners (chosen by the European public) are still usually singing in English.
Which brings us to Duran Duran. By 1981, the world of rock'n'pop had firmly established English as the standard language. But these wonders from around the world (provided by Guilles and Frank) show that there was still a clear need to appeal to local markets on the cover if not the record itself.
Duran Duran have recorded one of their songs in a foreign language, Someone Else Not Me, and did so twice - in French and Spanish (videos below). The lyrics for them are here. J.R. Kiss previously discussed in Cherry Lipstick how The Reflex might be managed in French. You can see from the cover of Girls On Film one of the problems he raised - the lyrics in Spanish don't scan. And the least said about 'pintalabios cereza' all over the lens the better.
Planet Earth, France (Frank)
Girls On Film, Spanish language (Frank)
My Own Way, France (Frank)
Carnival, Spanish language (Guilles)
Hungry Like The Wolf, Spanish language (Guilles)
Is There Something I Should Know, Spanish language (Guilles)
Union Of The Snake, Mexico (Frank)
Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Spanish language (Guilles)
Is There Something I Should Know (Arena version), Argentina (Frank)
So Red The Rose, Spanish language (Guilles)
Big Thing 7", Mexico (promo) (Frank)
More from Frank:
Website: duranduran collection
More from Guilles:
Cherry Lipstick Interview: 'In Conversation'
Someone Else Not Me (Spanish language version)
Someone Else Not Me (French language version)