Availability of songs we know that are sung in foreign language

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Posts35Likes31Joined20/9/2019LocationRizal / PH
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Tagalog
Learning English, Russian

I love the idea of incorporating songs and music in learning foreign languages. I've also made a few posts and replies on learning languages using songs and music. 


Just this week my friends have been teasing me about my studies in Russian language while were in a restaurant. They then played a song translated into Russian and tried to sing it in gibberish. Of course they're just making fun while waiting for our food to be served. Then it dawned on me. It's kinda fun and this could be another addition on how we can use music/songs in learning languages. You can't rely on singing them to learn and understand the correct way to pronounce the words. But you can memorize the words this way as well as the phrases in the language you're learning.


I think other learners would also agree that its useful to memorize the words as you sing them along because that's how most teachers in toddlers would have you do, sing the Alphabet. Problem is the availability of songs that you want to sing, specially if they are in your native language, are not really translated to other languages. So we end up searching for songs of other countries. So for example if you're learning German, you need to search for German songs. This could be hard since you'll first start to memorize the tune before you can actually sing it. 


Going back to my friends, they were actually singing "Love is an open door" from the movie Frozen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9BageU6y9Y). So I quickly searched for similar popular cartoon movie songs in Youtube. I searched for the title of their songs then I added "in Russian" in my search since that's the language I'm learning. It worked. This time I searched Aladdin's A whole new world (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbMW-CGwGs) which is even better because the subtitles have Russian and English translations. So this made me realize that there's a foreign language translation to almost every cartoon song that I watched. I'm assuming most of us do know these songs because it's either we watch them or we watch them with our kids. 


So if you're someone like me who's used to singing songs in the foreign language they're learning to memorize the words and phrases and you want to use a song that you're already familiar with, try the popular cartoon songs, more often than not they have a translation to a lot of languages. Better if you can search a version in Youtube that has subtitles both in English and the foreign language you are learning.


As for my friends, jokes are on them because I ended up singing the chorus of "Love is an open door" in Russian and I'm confident I got the correct words. Just don't ask my if I got the correct tune. :D

"Не волнуйтесь"

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#1
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Posts48Likes49Joined23/9/2019LocationNovi Sad / RS
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Serbian
Learning Danish, English, Russian

Disney songs and Disney cartoons in general are a gold mine when it comes to getting immersed in a foreign language. I've watched most of them so many times, it feels like I would understand everything even if it were in Klingon :D Hearing the Pokemon song in tons of different languages was also great fun.


There's something you gotta be careful about when it comes to songs, though, a lot of the times lyrics aren't directly translated from the original language, but are just rewritten to sound good, and the meaning is secondary. For example, the Serbian version of "Let it go" is called "Sad je kraj", which isn't even close to the original meaning, since it means "It's the end" as opposed to "Let it go". So the moral is, I guess, enjoy your songs, but don't use them as a dictionary :D

JEG KAN IKKE FORSTÅ

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#2
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Posts1147Likes746Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Learning Tagalog
Other Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai

jpormento wrote:
You can't rely on singing them to learn and understand the correct way to pronounce the words

This is a very good point and one that often gets ignored. Pronouncing words the way you hear them in specific songs is not a good idea, yet many beginners like to heavily rely on songs because they are "fun". Songs can be a good way to get comprehensible input, but caution should be taken. I advise people to wait until they are intermediate, and have a firm grasp on pronunciation, before they dig into songs deeply.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#3
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Posts81Likes41Joined26/9/2019LocationKR
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Korean

It is a very great idea of learning a new language through its songs.


In these days, K-POP has been gradually popular among teenagers. They try to learn Korean through K-POP songs.


This was the most impressive moment for me in Youtube video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OymNiX4TeJE


It is the VoiceKid in Germany where teenagers come and sing for auditions.


This girl named Evelyne sang one of BTS songs perfectly in Korean.


As you see this, nowadays, people learn languages from songs and lyrics :)

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#4
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Posts48Likes49Joined23/9/2019LocationNovi Sad / RS
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Learning Danish, English, Russian

That was really impressive, JaeHong, thanks for sharing. Does the girl actually speak Korean, or did she learn the lyrics by heart? I didn't catch that as I don't speak German. I actually love some Korean songs and I really want to sing them out loud, but it's slightly embarassing since I just can't remember the lyrics in a language I don't understand. But IDIOTAPE is a terrific band regardless. :)


I also remember when a girl from Britain surprised me by singing the entire Serbian winning Eurovision entry from 2007, entirely in Serbian! I was floored, it was cool as heck and her pronunciation was really good even though she doesn't speak Serbian at all. It's wonderful how music can connect people :)


JEG KAN IKKE FORSTÅ

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#5
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Posts35Likes31Joined20/9/2019LocationRizal / PH
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Learning English, Russian

Kosta.Cirkovic wrote:
There's something you gotta be careful about when it comes to songs, though, a lot of the times lyrics aren't directly translated from the original language, but are just rewritten to sound good, and the meaning is secondary. For example, the Serbian version of "Let it go" is called "Sad je kraj", which isn't even close to the original meaning, since it means "It's the end" as opposed to "Let it go". So the moral is, I guess, enjoy your songs, but don't use them as a dictionary :D


Oh you're right. as I go along searching for other songs in foreign language that I can use for learning, I noticed some songs had that problem. I only found two so far so I didn't pay too much attention. Thanks for the heads up. I think that's something we really need to watch out for if we are going to use this method. This is fun and you may not notice that the translations are not correct anymore. 


As for them being a gold mine, yes these Disney cartoons really is. I just love how I can manage to learn a new word or two and understand them. And of course I already know most of the Disney cartoon songs out there so it's just like reviewing what's being said by the characters.


leosmith wrote:
jpormento wrote:
You can't rely on singing them to learn and understand the correct way to pronounce the words

This is a very good point and one that often gets ignored. Pronouncing words the way you hear them in specific songs is not a good idea, yet many beginners like to heavily rely on songs because they are "fun". Songs can be a good way to get comprehensible input, but caution should be taken. I advise people to wait until they are intermediate, and have a firm grasp on pronunciation, before they dig into songs deeply.


Yes, at least be on intermediate level. Or if they really want to start with songs right away, just pick the shows that you're very familiar with the lines because this will make you very alert if you see anything wrong with the translation. The last two movies I've re-watched are Hercules and Mulan. I can literally narrate the entire movie and write down the lines if I want to. It made me really alert if there's any word mentioned that seemed odd.



"Не волнуйтесь"

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#6
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Posts81Likes41Joined26/9/2019LocationKR
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Korean

Kosta.Cirkovic wrote:
That was really impressive, JaeHong, thanks for sharing. Does the girl actually speak Korean, or did she learn the lyrics by heart?


She is from Germany, She speaks German, yet she doesn't speak Korean fluently or not even in beginner level. However, as the video indicates that she started learning Korean through BTS songs and now she could perfectly perform BTS song in Korean literally! :)

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