Pibs, how do you account for ABBA then since they were writing in a second language and some of their lyrics are quite good?
There are exceptions of course.
But when you're not completely familiar with a languaghe it will be more difficult to write good texts.
I think I write fairly good English. But quite often I have trouble finding the best (most correct) words, and I assume that sometimes you find my writing a bit (quite?) awkward (had to look up that word). Additionally, I'm not quite up to date regarding the finer details, the nuances (that word too), and I quite often tend to use quite the same words again and again. Which makes writing good lyrics quite difficult.
One more thing: If you think in your native language, and in your mind have to translate what you intend to say into English, "disaster" is bound to happen. One example: A Norwegian singer had the following phrase in one of his songs: "The Bells are Ringing for You Now", which is a translation of "Klokkene ringer for deg", which is the Norwegian title of "For Whom the Bells Toll".
There are also quite commonly used phrases which won't give a meaning when translated to another language. For instance: "Vis ham hvor David kjÃ¸pte Ã¸let" is a call for taking revenge on a person (not necessarily physically) . Translated directly to English that would be "Show him where David bought the ale". I don't think that makes much sense in English (I may of course be quite wrong).
The same problem may quite often apply to Enghlishmen trying Norwegian. "Raining cats and dogs" -> "Det regner katter og hunder". Quite a few whouldn't know what you were talking about. Unless you were together in heavy rain, probably.
So, there are quite a lot of difficulties involved when trying to express yourself artistically in a foreign language, even if you know it quite well.
Don't get me started on typos.
pibbuR who thinks that he quite often overuses (correct English?) the word "quite".
PS. One additional difficulty: Unlike English, in Norwegian compound word are made by sticking the parts together. "Chief Justice of the Supreme court"? That would be "Høyesterettsjustitiarius" ("Supremecourtchiefjustice"). To me, knowing when to write expressions like that separated and when to join the parts is qu… eh… hard. DS