Mmmh mh mhhh mh laaa laa la mhh…. I’m driving in my car, and I’m humming my favourite song… I manage to sing the song’s refrain already after only two weeks in the charts – even with correct lyrics, that’s what I believe at least 😉
It would be so much fun to learn a foreign language with my favourite song. But how does it work best? I was wondering about that question, and I found a method which I enjoy and which is absolutely efficient at the same time: Decoding. I’m going to explain to you today how I use music to learn a language.
How to find music to learn
Which song do you prefer at the moment? My favourite song is currently “Colors” by Jason Derulo – by the way: it’s also the official FIFA World Cup song 2018. The song’s lyrics are easy to find on the internet – use Google for example. Choose a song in the language you want to learn. At songtext.com you can also search for the lyrics’ translation. This helps you get an idea about the song’s topic. I tend to use this method at the beginning.
Translate the song’s lyrics – word for word
Now I’m going to translate the lyrics word for word into my mother tongue. By doing so, I’m able to learn the word’s meanings and the language’s grammar at the same time – in a playful way. Translating into the mother tongue is a great help to learn fast and intuitively – without cramming vocabulary at all! It’s almost comparable to native language acquisition. However, word-for-word translations make it more efficient.
What does decoding mean?
To Decode means to decipher. The native language serves as a supporting factor because we know it inside out. By translating a foreign text word for word into the native language, we learn to understand the foreign language.
Each word is being translated separately, which enables the student to learn easily:
- the word’s meanings
- the word’s use in the context
- the language sentence structure
- the language grammar such as conjugation, tenses and prepositions
- the differences and similarities to our native language
Most important: listen to your song again and again!
I try to listen to the song and read the word-for-word translation simultaneously as often as possible. By doing so, my brain is able to connect single word pairs and to store the word’s meanings as well as the perfect pronunciation. At a later point, I only need the foreign text, as I already know the word’s meanings. And to be honest: I love to sing the song as loud as I can – the best practice for my pronunciation.
I really enjoy learning a language by listening to music. And it’s even a super fast way. Try it out! Create your personal profile today and start learning a language in an easy and brain-friendly way!