July 25th, 2016
Shawn wrote to us asking for help with a lullaby in Portuguese that his grandma sang to him. Here’s his email: Hi, I was trying to find a Portuguese lullaby that my vovo used to sing with me, something about a sleeping baby. Dorme bebezinho sobra so na coma Za dormede yama I’m getting no […]
April 11th, 2016
The Portuguese first made contact with Japan in 1543. This started the Nanban Trade Period which extended several decades. During this time, the Portuguese introduced tempura and refined sugar to Japan. Sadao Mazuka wrote to me about some of these culinary influences… Konpeito (金平糖 = confeito [Portuguese] = comfit [English]); When I was young I […]
November 18th, 2015
Going door-to-door for treats between Halloween and Christmas-time has been common throughout the West for the past few centuries. These traditions have their roots in Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that was celebrated from October 31st to November 1st, the halfway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It was a festival that […]
November 10th, 2015
Since the "Happy Birthday to You" song has recently gone out of copyright, we’ve enhanced our collection of Birthday Songs around the World! There are however two birthday songs that we know of that are widely sung and that are still under copyright. One is a Portuguese Birthday Song called "Parabéns a você" (Congratulations). It […]
April 14th, 2015
Watch Darth Vader say, "I am your father" to Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie in 20 different languages (as dubbed in the movies). You can see a list of the languages with their voice actors below the video. Languages and Voice Actors: English (Original) – James Earl Jones Spanish (1980) – Isidro Olace […]
October 21st, 2014
Monique and I have been adding a lot of Drop the Handkerchief Games to Mama Lisa’s World. This got Monique thinking about the actual meaning of handkerchief in different languages. Here are some of her thoughts… "I was thinking about the word for handkerchief in some languages and it’s funny what they literally mean. In […]
March 27th, 2014
Here’s a video to hear animal sounds around the world… Bow Wow Meow – Animal Sounds in Different Languages from properniceinnit on Vimeo. The languages are: English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Canadian-French, Romanian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Bengali, Brazilian-Portuguese, Colombian-Spanish, Swahili and Mongolian. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
May 2nd, 2013
Jen wrote to me looking for help with a childhood rhyme. Here’s her email: I stumbled onto your site while looking for an answer to an age-old family question. When I was a little girl, my grandma and grandpa, both of whom were Portuguese, used to recite a rhyme to me in Portuguese while bouncing […]
December 1st, 2012
This Christmas song was sent to us from the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. It’s sung throughout the Portuguese speaking world. The carol starts with a child leaving his shoe on the windowsill outside. In Portugal, children do this for the Epiphany (the day that celebrates the Three Kings’ visit to Jesus). Children leave straw […]
February 17th, 2012
Open Culture has a page of free language learning links covering 40 languages. Here are some of the languages you can find links for… Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, Gaelic, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maori, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swahili, […]
January 6th, 2012
Sarah wrote asking for help with a childhood song that her father used to sing to her. Here’s what she wrote… My father died [recently]… While rolling through memories of him & my childhood a song kept repeating. We were an Air Force family & had been stationed at Lajes Field AFB [in the Portuguese […]
November 18th, 2011
We were asked about two Portuguese kids songs. Please let us know if you can help with either song in the comments below. The Portuguese part may be phonetically written. 1. Tan galinhas, tan galinhas My brother and I are trying to find the lyrics/music to a song our grandmother used to sing when we […]
July 30th, 2010
Librivox just released another bunch of recordings of fairy tales in various languages, including Hungarian, Russian, German, English, Italian and Portuguese (with links to the text of each tale). This is the 3rd collection they’ve posted. Fairy Tale Collection #1 also includes recordings in Latvian, Danish, Romanian, Yiddish and French. You can also check out […]
March 31st, 2010
Amber wrote: Hello, I was wondering if you knew any titles of children’s books that are written in Portuguese? I teach a class of two year olds and one of my students has a birthday coming up soon and I want to get her some books. She’s from Brazil and speaks Portuguese. Of course I […]
March 6th, 2010
Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World. She sent me some proverbs about March from different European countries in response to a post I did about Italian Proverbs about March. Here’s what Monique wrote… Here are some proverbs in Occitan, Catalan, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German about […]
February 22nd, 2009
We’d love it if you’d join the Mama Lisa Facebook Group. You can post anything you’d like about your culture. You can post your own musical recordings or YouTube videos… Links to culture and musical sites… Photos of your country… Questions about songs or cultural issues… Anything related to World Culture and Music… Click on […]
February 18th, 2009
Cyndi wrote asking about a rhyme from her grandmother… Lisa, My grandmother always said the same nursery rhyme. She has recently passed away and I would love to know what it means. Words (I am not sure of the spelling), this was not an English rhyme. It is believed to have been Portuguese, but I […]
December 29th, 2007
In many parts of the world, the foods eaten on New Years Eve and New Years Day have important symbolic meanings. These symbols seem to fall into several major categories. The first class symbolizes financial prosperity. This type of food is round like coins. Often, the dish will be round beans, like lentils, that will […]
July 14th, 2007
Teresa wrote: I would love to buy a cd with all those Portuguese nursery rhymes. I have been trying to search on the net and I just can not find anything. Any ideas on how to get the cd with songs featured in your home page. Thanks Teresa I found a couple of Portuguese Children’s […]
January 31st, 2007
I received this note yesterday: Hi, I was wondering if anyone could suggest a nursery rhyme, song or quite from a classic children’s book that is in Portuguese. I am doing my sister-in-law’s baby shower invite and would love to put something like this on there, in her language. Thank you If anyone can help […]
December 22nd, 2006
While I have this link at hand, I’d like to recommend www.freedict.com. It’s a site devoted to free online language dictionaries. You can translate between English and the following languages: Afrikaans Danish Dutch Finnish French Hungarian Indonesian Italian Japanese Latin Norwegian Portuguese Russian Spanish Swahili Swedish I find that it can usually succeed at translating […]
December 4th, 2006
If you’re trying to learn a new language, I’d recommend checking out LanguageGuide.org. Users visit different theme related pages (i.e. about insects, the family, the farm). Each page has images related to the theme. You place your cursor over the images and hear their names pronounced and see them spelled out in the language you […]
November 30th, 2006
A significant part of the Mama Lisa sites is a large collection of songs and nursery rhymes from around the world. We currently have about 750 songs from around 90 countries and cultures. When you consider how many languages there are in those cultures – that’s a lot of information! In order to make it […]
October 21st, 2006
Here’s a lullaby in Portuguese (possibly from Brazil), with an English translation… Nana, nenê, na casa do vovo, vovô não tem cochão, o nenê dorme no chão Sleep, baby At grandpa’s house Grandpa doesn’t have a mattress The baby sleeps on the ground. If anyone knows the tune and can send me a recording, midi […]
May 1st, 2006
In an earlier entry, I wrote about the history of Labor Day. In case you were wondering, here are some of the countries where demonstrations were held or where Labor Day was in some way honored around the world today (in some cases against the wishes of the government)… Russia Belarus Japan Germany Italy Philippines […]
March 15th, 2006
Kathy wrote me… Dear Mamalisa, I was delighted to find your website and will be using it in the future. I am researching translations for the word “grandma” in various languages. I am most interested in the familiar, sweet terms children might call this individual. I am aware that in some cultures this would be […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
receive a free copy of Mama Lisa's Christmas Around The World when you purchase our best selling collection Kid Songs Around The World.
People everywhere love Christmas - but we don't all celebrate it the same way. Mama Lisa's Christmas Around The World is a celebration of the diversity and love with which many different cultures mark this joyful time of year.You'll read about traditions and songs from many different nations. The songs are given in their original languages and with English translations.What makes the book really special is the many comments from Mama Lisa's correspondents who have shared stories and memories from their own lives. The memories of childhood touch us forever!
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In Kid Songs Around The World we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
Christmas Around The World and Kid Songs Around The World are downloadable e-books, which you will gain access to immediately. (They are not physical books.)
We hope these books will help foster a love of international children's songs!
$3.99 for Both Downloadable E-Books Order Here!
A Mama Lisa Book
Over 80 songs and rhymes, in Italian with translations into English. Including favorite songs like "La bella lavanderina" (The Pretty Washerwoman), nursery rhymes like "Batta le Manine" (Clap Your Hands) and Christmas carols like the beloved "Tu scendi dalle stelle" (You Come Down from the Stars). Order Here!