1. Countdown to Linguavision
  2. Date and Location
  3. Registration
  4. Performer Bios
  5. What is it?
  6. How does it work?
  7. Prizes
  8. Judging
  9. Rules
  10. Become a Volunteer
  11. Rationale
  12. Videos


Countdown to Linguavision

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Date and Location

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020
  • 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Kailash Mital Theatre


Registration is now closed.

Performer Bios

Masaki headshot     Paige looks at camera wearing a black top with yellow happy face flowers on it.     Yiwen & her little white dog     Matt in a hat     Judith in a Spanish speaking city     Tess smiles for the camera     3 singers in black shirts and sunglasses     Magic lamp     Matryoshka doll on a table     Holly standing downtown     Chunyang sits in a room with a guitar and many different coloured lights     Sonya under a pine tree     Makua in her winter coat under a tree     Sileo in front of a lake at sunset          Tomas playing guitar in a Hawaiian shirt     Charlotte makes a peace sign as a shadow puppet

What is it?

Linguavision is a singing competition for Carleton language learners.  Contestants (individuals and groups) sing songs in the language they’re learning in front of a live audience.  A panel of judges (and the audience) then scores performances on both language and singing criteria.  Highest scores win cash prizes.

How does it work?

  1. Register to participate: in the interest of time and efficiency, we can only admit a limited number of contestants into Linguavision. You can register as an individual or a group (maximum 6 members).  Each entry costs $10 regardless of the number of people in your group. To ensure a diversity of languages, there is a limited number of entries per language to a maximum of 20 total entries.
  2. Select a song: don’t just go to iTunes and type “Spanish”. Spend some time exploring the music and musical culture of the country or countries where the language you’re learning is spoken. Who knows what you’ll find. You can choose a song that:
  • already exists in the target language
  • you (and your group members) translate from one language to another
  • you (and your group members) have written on your own
  1. Prepare: if the past few years is any indication, there is A LOT of talent and enthusiasm out there…so definitely spend some time getting ready!
  2. Submit music: prior to the competition, performers who will use a musical backing track must submit it to organizers.  Sending this information in on time and complete is part of the judging criteria, so please stay on top of it.  Participants wishing to play instruments must contact organizers in advance to discuss feasibility and requirements (culanguage@carleton.ca).
  3. Compete: the event will be approximately 3 hours in length.

IMPORTANT:  in the interest of fairness, past contestants whose entries have won more than $150 are not eligible to register during the first week of registration. If space remains after this first week, we may open registration to these past competitors.


Contestants will compete for prizes in two main categories: “Open Category” and “Original Song Category”.  Judges will evaluate contestants on the basis of this our judging criteria (below) with final decisions ratified by our team of “Super Judges”.  Prizewinners will also be selected, independent of category, for “Audience” and “Judges’ Choice” awards. No entry can win more than one prize.  In the event that an entry also wins the “Audience Choice” , the prize of greater value will be awarded and the next best entry will move up into the vacant slot: 

  • Open Category

1st $300
2nd $200
3rd $100
Honourable Mention $75
Honourable Mention $75
  • Original Song Category

1st $300
2nd $200

Audience Choice & Judges’ Choice *

Audience members will receive a ballot when they arrive and will use it to cast their vote for the “Audience Choice” awards.  There will be two awards in this category.

In addition, judges can collectively select a number of “Judges’ Choice” awards.  The number of prizes of this type is at the discretion of our judging team with final decisions made by our “Super Judges”.


Performers will be judged by a panel of judges made up of experts in language and/or music.  Judging takes into account:

  • originality
  • interpretation
  • creativity
  • linguistic accuracy
  • linguistic complexity
  • accent/pronunciation
  • costumes, stagecraft & choreography
  • spirit & enthusiasm
  • playing an instrument vs. karaoke
  • required materials submitted on time

All prize winners will be selected by the judging panel except for the “Audience Choice” prizes which will be chosen through audience participation.  Judges’ decisions are final.  Only one prize per entry.


  1. Participants must be current Carleton students and must sing in the language they are (or have been) studying at Carleton.  In order to be eligible, singers must be taking or have successfully completed a language learning course at Carleton between January 2018 and April 2020 and the language they sing in may not be their home language or mother tongue.  An individual can only compete in one entry.
  2. Songs must be in one of these languages currently taught at Carleton including: Arabic, Anishinaabemowin, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Korean, Kurdish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish.  ESLA students are encouraged to sing in English.  Only ESLA students are eligible to sing in English.  Students taking Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, or Ancient Greek in the College of the Humanities may also choose to enter.
  3. Participants may also sing in groups.
  4. Groups can sing in more than one language, provided that each person who sings is singing in the language she/he is learning (e.g. a duet with one English speaker singing in Chinese and one Chinese speaker singing in English). Exceptions to this rule may be considered by judges, at their discretion, in situations in which there is a shared chorus or other parts.
  5. Lyrics must adhere to the University’s Human Rights Policies and Procedures and Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Policy.
  6. Songs must be no longer than 3 minutes in length.  If sung with a musical backing track, the track must have only minimal vocals and/or vocal imitations on it and must be from a legal source.  Organizers reserve the right to determine what “minimal vocals and/or vocal imitations” means.  If you are using a backing track, you must submit it to organizers prior to the deadline.
  7. Participants wishing to play instruments must contact organizers in advance to discuss feasibility and requirements (culanguage@carleton.ca).
  8. Professional musicians are not eligible to compete.**
  9. Given limitations of time and space, organizers reserve the right to close registration at their discretion.  A waiting list will be available.  Organizers also reserve the autonomy to make decisions, where appropriate, to ensure a balanced representation of languages.

** This limitation is currently being reviewed.  Present limitation indicates that for the purposes of this competition, “professional” means people who make their living exclusively by playing music.   

Become a Volunteer

Click here to become a Linguavision volunteer.


Language, offers a unique window on the nation (or nations) and/or culture in which it is spoken as a mother tongue; even in diaspora, language tells a story. And by looking at the words people use to express their emotions, needs, and aspirations, to talk to (and about) their loved ones, their neighbours, and their governments, we can learn a lot about a country, its history, and its people. One of the most accessible ways to discover samples of this “language in action” is by exploring a country’s music. From Beijing to Bogota, Hokkaido to Hamburg, people have always looked to the power of song to tell their stories…of bad times not forgotten and good times yet to come. This competition is about creating an opportunity for you to take your language learning outside the classroom, to dig deeper into the language you’re studying…and to uncover the music the people who use it have created.