The international signs can be used to add expression, information and feeling to a song in any language. Several experiences that have been made in different opportunities can help you to understand it and maybe to add gestures to a song by yourself.


A Brazilian song from Daniela Mercury

This song, about beauty and African heritage in Brazil, is sung in Portuguese and in the african language Ioruba. The international gestures allow us to translate the meaning from one language to the other.

The text of this song, in Portuguese and Ioruba with international signs for both languages:

This song has been presented in several ocassions:

Transatlantic Slave Trade Youth Forum (UNESCO-TST), held 2003 in Denmark:

European Year of Languages 2003 in Barcelona:

The song has been presented by students even to its own author, Daniela Mercury, who showed a great interest in the possibilities offered by the international gestures in stages around the world:

The song as performed by Daniela Mercury:

Swing Low

A well-known afroamerican song. Not so known is the fact that in its origins it was a song that helped slaves to escape from the southern plantations in the USA and follow the “Chariot” (the Big Dipper constellation) to find their route to freedom in the North.

The song has been presented at the UNESCO- Transatlantic Slave Trade Youth Forum in Denmark:


A song by Lourdes Borrell, a teacher at a UNESCO-ASP school in Spain. She sings her sadness about a world that does not live in peace. The song has been performed in the four official languages from the spanish state by teachers taking part at the Spanish UNESCO-ASP schools meeting held on 2002 in Bilbo. This fragment is sung in Galician and Basque languages:

13 de Maio

A Brazilian song by Caetano Veloso that celebrates the day were slaves were liberated by a decree from the Brazilian Princess Isabel, in whose honour people dance in the streets. The song has been presented at the Brazlia UNESCO Schools meeting held in São Luis de Maranhão in 2001:

The song as sung by Caetano Veloso, with lyrics.


A song by Youssou N´Dour from Senegal in Wolof language.

It speaks about the sufferings from the immigrant workers to help their families, saying that they have the right to cry ad asking for solidarity from all parts of the world. The song has been presented at the European Year of Languages 2001 in Barcelona by students from Pontevedra:


A song in more than 60 languages that is the anthem of the World March of Women. It has been presented by students for the WMW meeting in Vigo, 2004:

Himno Galego

The official anthem of Galice, one of the spanish nationalities with its own language. It has been presented at the European Year of Languages in Barcelona, 2001:

Mudam Os Tempos

A song by José Mario Branco about a poem by Luis de Camões, one of the most famous Portuguese poets. It speaks about the changes that happen everywhere.

Presented with overwritten signs and with the corresponding gestures by Portugues students from Santarem.

Ne me quitte pas

Song and poem by Jacques Brel, presented with overwritten signs for the international project Europoems on 2008.

Spanish students from Ponteareas make the gestures corresponding to those signs.

Andaluces de Jaén

A song from the spanish group Jarcha about a poem by Miguel Hernández that asks wether the olive trees should belong to the rich men or else to the land workers who raised them with their work and the help of Nature. With overwritten international signs and presented by spanish students with the corresponding gestures.