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Learning Languages Through Music


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I think it's helpful for a beginner. Some phrases aren't even grammatically correct but you'll have the time to figure that out later, you should start with the pronunciation. I learned a little bit of Spanish and Italian through music. English? From Cartoon Network!!!

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I learned English at a young age. I actually, do not remember at what point I learned it. I was exposed to the language, and started speaking it without it being taught to me.

So by the time I was 4 years old I was fully bilingual.

I realized that exposure to a different language at a young age, creates a better understanding.

After i moved to US> I spoke Spanish to my kids, who were born here. I played Spanish music to them.

3 of the five understand and speak the language. The other two, had no idea, except a few words here and there.

One of the two, I exposed to so much music that after being a teenager, she started doing it on her own, and has made a point of learning Spanish. She speaks it really well, and even uses it at her job to speak to Spanish customers.

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As I have replied in another thread, learning a certain language has to cover all areas of speaking, listening and writing. Listening to music is also one effective way in learning a language fast. When repetitively done, we become acquainted with the lyrics of the song or music and we subconsciously instill that in our minds. :) It's like another form of audio learning tool.

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I think it's a fun way to learn new words and helps with pronunciation. Although I don't think it's too helpful for sentence structure because a lot of songs are composed of sentence fragments and phrases.

I listened to a lot of J-Pop when I was learning Japanese and I am now able to translate the lyrics as a I listen to them.

I've been trying to listen to K-Pop to get used to the pronunciation of Korean words and I think it's helpful.

Has anyone used music to help them learn languages?

I think you're absolutely right. And this mechanism has been proved by many a teacher. I have even seen my little girl (she's 3) learning to count from cbeebies through their musical programs. I believe it works because people are much more willing to learn through mimicking if  that mimicking is fun. And what's more fun than a song?

While I was teaching English in Hamburg, I sometimes used lyrics from famous songs to infer meaning, and help build comprehension.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In my experience, I've found that I've learned English mostly through music. True there are a lot of soundtracks that do not even make any sense, or their phrasing is pretty shaky, but most of the songs I listen to motivate me to learn the language in which i'm listening to the song in.

This is especially true for songs with lots of beats (like hip hop and rap) because you learn to make sense of words and (in the case of rapping) learn about rhyming words.

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I think music and other audio supports are important when studying a language because we can pick up the sonority of the language. If you are lucky enough to have mp3 songs or podcasts in the languages you're learning that is great, televison shows and movies in that language, especially movies with subtitles, are excellent!

Not that you can learn the language only through that, but it's a good help.

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Music is one of the ways to immerse yourself in the language that you're learning. I find it extremely helpful for me. I listen to music everywhere I go, so I might as well listen to music of the language I'm learning. It's a great way to hear pronunciation as well as sing along and practice pronunciation. Furthermore it's helpful in learning common phrases. There is also a lot of vocabulary you can get out of listening to music.

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I think listening to music is a good way to boost learning a language :cool:. It has helped me with my pronunciations just as watching a movie does.

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One good thing about picking up language through music is that it is much more natural, unlike the perfect grammar/pronunciation you hear on news broadcasts for example. Even without trying many people will learn off by heart the lyrics of many of their favourite songs so certainly something you should be doing a lot of, for listening comprehension.

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I think music is part of the "immersion" you can do (along with reading, movies, etc.) to help you become more familiar and comfortable with a language.  When I was in the northeast, I watched Canadian tv which had songs and shows in French and now I live in the southwest, I watch Mexican channels and do think it helps with Spanish.  I would love to learn Italian and I am an opera fan and I would think this would help with picking up the language.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Music for me is a really great way for me to learn language. The reason for me is because I am really into beats and rhythm  therefore music is something that listen to a lot. Making learning languages through it something that I do effortlessly.

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I think it would be very good for helping with pronunciation, if you can sing along to your favourite foreign songs. The only issue I can think of, is if the singer is mispronouncing words for rhyming effect or what have you.

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It can be pretty helpful, depending on what type of music you listen to. With mainstream pop music I don't think you'd develop any sort of a proper vocabulary. If you listen to Hip Hop, you're going to learn a lot of bad grammar. All this said, I think it's a good way to learn a new language, because it's an enjoyable way to do so. I don't think you can really learn a language just by listening to music.

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I know Spanish, a little bit of Chinese, and some Tagalog. I absolutely agree that music helps with learning languages. We learned a Chinese song in my Chinese class, and that is the one thing that I can pretty much always remember on demand when it comes to speaking Chinese. I also know a Tagalog song, Pusong Bato. I have no idea what most of the words mean. But, I can still sing it. Music is fun, catchy, and easy to remember, which is all essential for learning English.

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One thing that should be noted is that singing involves different parts of the brain from speaking. I suspect that listening to singing is different from listening to speech. Singing a foreign language would then imprint the language on more of the brain. It would also help avoid boredom and increase attention to the learning process.

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English songs are the best way and the most creative way to learn music. Specially for the songs which are sung on a very good pace and from a fluent English singer. I learned English and had the most wonderful time by listening to Hillsong which is an Australian worship team or band. It really is good to listen to music which has sense rather than those which have no sense at all.

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I could see this being a pretty fun way of learning a language but I think that it might be pretty inefficient. There are a lot of turns of phrase in music that are unique to the medium. I would use it as a supplement to whatever other method you might use. It could definitely be a fun way to learn though. 

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Oh, that doesn't work for me. I'm trying to re-learn French (I used to be fluent but lack of practice changed that) and music hasn't helped. Whenever I listen to French music I'm unable to follow the lyrics. I found that movies are more helpful. But if you're a beginner, I would suggest using subtitles first.

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I believe that music is a good way to learn a new language. Although I haven't really accomplished learning a new one with this. But I can sing some foreign songs, I still don't know what they mean though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sure incorporating music into language learning will make it way more fun than otherwise. Singing catchy songs in the target language is an almost painless way to learn a whole bunch of new words and boost vocabulary. The best thing is, what is learned this way, will never be forgotten!

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I started learning German through music. I used to be a huge fan of Tokio Hotel when I was a teenager. Their songs were in German and I learned them by heart, not even knowing what they meant. I started looking for translations of the songs and every time I heard the song I tried to remember the translation. I really learned a lot of German words from this! 

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