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Does music help you learn Japanese?


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It definitely helps me. I didn't realize it till later, but I just naturally started to pick up words that were in the lyrics. Of course, it didn't make me a Japanese master, but it did help a little.

Listening to the song while looking at the lyrics helps even more because you get to see the characters.  :smile:

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Hey guys I hope this is right place to as this question. Can you guys suggest some good singers and bands in Japanese? The only ones I know of are  Ayumi Hamasaki, Meiko Kaji and a band called Perfume. When I was looking on youtube for Japanese songs a lot of them sang in English?  :shy:

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Well, it depends what you like :) I must say I like embarassingly cutesy j-pop so I can recommend you some of that :D The most popular pop group in Japan is probably AKB48. They definitely sing in Japanese, not English :D There's also S/mileage, Morning Musume and ClariS.

Bonus, the song I'm currently obsessed with - a bit different from all that girl band stuff:

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I'm a huge fan of idol groups XD My favorite group is Morning Musume., but I also really like AKB48/SKE48/NMB48/HKT48,etc. Like Czarownica said, it really depends on what type of music you like. I can probably recommend some songs to you if you tell me what type of music you like.

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Cool, which song did you listen to? :D

I would also recommend SKE48 if you're more into the energetic/dancing music. They are also the strongest performers among the ***48 groups in my opinion. (even found you a subtitled video  :wink:)

SKE48 - Aozora Kataomoi (Live) / Sub español - English sub / Romani lyrics

And if you're into Osaka/Kansai-ben fan, then NMB48 would be for you. They're pretty good as well and are consider the "sexiest" among the groups. They're interesting because they speak in Kansai-ben. I've been learning bits of Kansai-ben from their shows lately  :tongue:

http://youtu.be/o9x23NlSo7c

Then HKT48 is the baby group, lol. If you're looking for little sister type/cute songs, then you might be interested in their music :)

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Konnichwa Miya! I listened to "Baby, Baby, Baby" "sugar rush" and some with names in Japanese. I like their music a lot! Thanks for the both of the videos. I really like both songs  :grin: What is kansai-ben? Also are there a lot of Japanese radios you can listen to online that plays Japanese pop?

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Kansai-ben is a dialect spoken in the Kansai region in Japan. NMB48 is from Osaka so they speak/sing with a Kansai-ben. However when they're in Tokyo, I notice some of them try to speak "standard" Japanese.

I don't really listen to Japanese radio much. Sometimes I'll listen to Japan-a-radio, but they play really old Jpop songs, lol.

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As a matter of fact, YES.

Actually, music is one of my reasons on why I chose to learn Japanese (or any other language for that matter).

There was a time that I got hooked to listening to K-Pop and I studied a little bit of Korean. It's really weird to find yourself singing a foreign music and not knowing the meaning. You might already be saying something bad and yet you still do not know it.

Also, listening to music helps me memorize words. Haha.

My favorite music as of the moment is Kimi ga kureta mono (Secret Base) - by Zone (now Scandal). It's also the ending music in AnoHana (Anime). I memorized the song just by listening to it over and over hahaha

And I am proud to say that I understand MOST of the lyrics. haha MOST.

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Kansai-ben is a dialect spoken in the Kansai region in Japan. NMB48 is from Osaka so they speak/sing with a Kansai-ben. However when they're in Tokyo, I notice some of them try to speak "standard" Japanese.

I don't really listen to Japanese radio much. Sometimes I'll listen to Japan-a-radio, but they play really old Jpop songs, lol.

Arigato, Miya!  :grin:

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No, in my case music alone doesn't help me to learn japanese... because I'm a highly visual and auditive person, so I need both of those requisites to be met in order for me to learn something efficiently :)  Listening music lacks the visual part, so that's why I just can't learn that way :(  I wish I could, and I really don't doubt some people can actually learn this way; I believe some can!  Sadly I'm not in that group of people :(

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  • 2 months later...

I see that there are idol fans in here. Wotas unite!  :grin:  You guys should check out Momoiro Clover Z too if you are into idols.  :wink:

Anyway, back on topic. Just like Miya, I didn't realize that I was starting to learn new words by knowing the lyrics of the songs I listen to. I try to memorize the lyrics in Romaji and don't pay attention to the translation, but sometimes you get the gist of the meanings especially if you have an idea what the song is about. Words like kokoro, namida and kimochi are often used in sad ballad songs or love songs, so you know that these are about emotions or feelings of a person.

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Yeah, Momoclo songs always have an upbeat tempo to match their energetic dancing.

Speaking about weird, Japanese idols are often seen as weird by other cultures anyway. I remember watching the music video of one of AKB48's earlier song Skirt Hirari with my sister, and with the exception of Minami Takahashi's solo parts, almost all the solo parts in the song by other members are terrible, and my sister was wondering why even allow these girls to sing when obviously most of them don't have talent for singing. I tried explaining to her that idol in Japan is not just about singing, dancing and acting but more about the overall package, which is why they tend to be more exposed in variety shows as these shows gives them opportunity to showcase their personality and character traits. She still thinks the idea is stupid because for her, a celebrity should excel in at least one of the pillars of the entertainment industry (singing, dancing or acting). If a celebrity doesn't possess talent in one of these then he/she shouldn't be a celebrity at all. She does have a point, but I guess having followed the Japanese entertainment industry for a decade, I probably got used to these idols and I don't see anything wrong with them anymore.  :laugh:

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I don't think listening to music helps much, no. And this is coming from someone who has listened to Japanese music religiously for years. Even if your Japanese is advanced enough that you can actually understand most of the lyrics, when an unfamiliar word or phrase comes up, you're not going to pause the song to look it up.

What does potentially help is singing Japanese songs at karaoke. The lyrics show up on screen, usually in kanji with furigana, so you can actually pick up some new words and kanji that way. It also is good for natural-sounding pronunciation.

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@ lllllllllllllllllllllllll - Yup, this is a cultural difference. Idols in Japan are more like... normal, average everyday people. But it's because they're so 'average' (they don't really excel in anything), that makes people like them. People will think 'Oh, she's just as average as me... so maybe I can be a super idol too one day'. I think Japanese idols are selling "dreams" more than anything. Those who excel in something (Utada Hikaru) aren't considered idols, but "artistes". People don't aim to be like Hikki because they know they might not have the same talents so their chance of making it is slim. But people might aim to be like Maeda Atsuko because she is average and there's actually a chance of making it.

(btw, do you have an oshimen in AKB/SKE/NMB/HKT? ;D)

@ 13vinylinfants - There are also lyrics in some Japanese PVs. So isn't it also possible to grasp some Japanese words if you listen to Jpop and watch their PVs?

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True. I guess what she finds puzzling is that idols are often what defines Jpop music in present times. Even during the time when Hikki was at the peak of her popularity, idols like Morning Musume and Arashi was still way more popular than her and are often seen on music variety shows and topping the Oricon charts. Even today, when you refer to Jpop, the first thing that comes to people's minds are JE boybands or AKB48. I know Japan is known for doing weird things (they have weird but epic variety shows like Gaki no Tsukai lol!) and I guess this is one of the weird things in Japan that is difficult to justify for those who aren't well-versed in Japanese entertainment.

My original oshimen already graduated (Mariko Shinoda), so now my oshimen among the active members is Yuki Kashiwagi.  :grin:

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Yeah, part of being an idol is being good with variety too. Hikki doesn't appear much on variety shows because she's an artist and only needs to focus on her singing career. Personally, I prefer idols more because I like to watch improvement. Idols are also more interesting to watch (variety show-wise) than artistes. That's not to say I don't like good, talented people. It's just that I prefer watching idols :P

Ahh, I see. Yukirin is neat :D My oshimen was Acchan, but she graduated so now my oshi is Kitarie xD I'm pretty much a MD though.

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Haha yeah, idols have a lot to offer which is why they are so much fun to follow. Not to mention their fanservices such as photobooks and stuff.  :grin:

But you have a point, I do also think artists deserve recognition for their talent, which is why I am happy for them when they are winning awards and topping the charts. I actually had mixed emotions when AKB48 beat Mr. Children for the record of selling million copies in the first week of release as I feel that Mr. Children still deserve this record because of pure talent and not because of marketing strategies (handshake events, senbatsu voting tickets and other gimmicks).

Ah yes, Maeda Atsuko the eternal goddess of AKB48. I don't think any current or future AKB48 member will be able to reach the same level of success that Acchan achieved. I love Yukirin for her epic reactions, and her dream is to become an idol so I don't think she will be graduating anytime soon.  :tongue:

Ok I think we really went off-topic here. Sorry about that.  :beaten:

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I personally enjoy Enka music. It does not help me so much in my Japanese studies, however I just really like this kind of music. If you don't know about Enka, you can find lots of it on Youtube while searching for 演歌. There is a really nice Enka song in the world famous film "Kill Bill" and it is called "The flower of carnage". You should check this one out as well. It's great!

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  • 1 month later...

It has totally helped me! Initially it helped me a ton with getting pronunciation down, but after a certain point it was just great for learning vocab. It gets my mind in a framework of 'thinking in Japanese' just by hearing the language spoken for some time. I also translate songs for fun, which helps expand my vocabulary. Really, it's a great learning tool, and also awesome since there are so many talented Japanese artists.

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  • 3 months later...

Listening to music helps me a lot, especially with learning new vocabulary and pronunciation. When I was younger, I used to memorize anime opening and ending songs, and sing them. Once I'm finished with studying Japanese, I'm gonna go and look for the anime songs I used to sing, and translate, just so I know what I actually sang when I was a kid. Haha.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have always been a fan of J-music, with artists ranging from Gackt, T.M. Revolution, UVERworld, SCANDAL, and L'Arc-en-Ciel to Tomoyasu Hotei, Isao Sasaki, and Ichiro Mizuki.  That said, I still think I am very far from learning the Japanese language.  While listening to songs will add to my learning, I cannot say that I have mastered the language.  If at all, it has enriched my knowledge in Japanese vocabulary, but not to other parts of the language such as grammar.

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