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Thread: Song lyrics for language learning

  1. #1
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    Default Song lyrics for language learning

    Lately I have been getting email requests for the lyrics of 'La Pared' by Joe Veras. Most requestors indicated that they were learning Spanish and would like the lyrics of the song. These requests have peaked my curiosity. I totally agree that song lyrics are a great not to mention fun way to learn a language. This type of learning is like an all inclusive deal in my opinion meaning the lyrics could have good grammar, bad grammar, colloquial expressions, idioms, slang etc. but the end result is the same you will know more vocabulary, expressions and understand more than you did before. A perfect example is the thread in this forum titled 'Tumbao'. Something so simple could have two different interpretations. One aspect about songs for learning a language that always amazes me is the title. Sometimes if I am not familiar with the artist or genre just by reading the song titles I know right away if it's a Cuban, Dominican, Colombian etc. artist because of the expressions in the title. There are some titles of songs that I am curious about because the usage is slang (I will try to include them in the thread later on).

    I would love to hear people's opinions and thoughts about songs as a language learning tool and which genre do think is the best for beginners, bachata, merengue, salsa or bolero. Also, how do the lyrics help or improve your language learning.


    LDG
    Last edited by Marianopolita; 06-16-2005 at 10:38 AM. Reason: grammar

  2. #2
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    Lesley speaking for myself I think that when I really like a song it motivates me to learn the words more so than trying to learn the proper way to use verbs/nouns ect and the rules behind them.

    In other words makes the learning fun because there is a motive behind it.

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    Default That's the way I learned

    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley D
    Lately I have been getting email requests for the lyrics of 'La Pared' by Joe Veras. Most requestors indicated that they were learning Spanish and would like the lyrics of the song. These requests have peaked my curiosity. I totally agree that song lyrics are a great not to mention fun way to learn a language. This type of learning is like an all inclusive deal in my opinion meaning the lyrics could have good grammar, bad grammar, colloquial expressions, idioms, slang etc. but the end result is the same you will know more vocabulary, expressions and understand more than you did before. A perfect example is the thread in this forum titled 'Tumbao'. Something so simple could have two different interpretations. One aspect about songs for learning a language that always amazes me is the title. Sometimes if I am not familiar with the artist or genre just by reading the song titles I know right away if it's a Cuban, Dominican, Colombian etc. artist because of the expressions in the title. There are some titles of songs that I am curious about because it's slang (I will try to include them in the thread later on).

    I would love to hear people's opinions and thoughts about songs as a language learning tool and which genre do think is the best for beginners, bachata, merengue, salsa or bolero. Also, how do the lyrics help or improve your language learning.


    LDG
    I started to learn spanish from singing Latin Karaoke, my first songs was Suavemente by Elvis Crespo and No Me Digas Que No by La Makina, years ago when I was in between jobs there was a Dominican Bar called Las Tres Palmas and they had Latin Karaoke on Tuesdays with $2 Presidentes I picked a song I liked and looked up every word and the words in slang i.e. "Pequena echata pa' ca" I asked my friends. Without picking up a book I was able to read, speak and write spanish. Also, the songs are great with learning pronounciation.

    It's better to start off with merengue because they are simple songs and repeat a lot of verses and choruses. Bolero, because its slow and you will be able to pick up what they are saying easily. Salsa, should be last because its Fast.

    p.s. TV Novelas is another great tool, I personally keep the TV on mute for the close caption (spanish words on screen) and listen to it thru my stereo. I Loved "Rubi", can't wait for Part Two.

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    It also helps with pronounciation.

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    Default Hermanita by Aventura

    Hermanita by Aventura, one of my all time favourite songs...it was the first spanish song that ever stuck in my head. So I found the lyrics in spanish..printed out a badly translated verios of it using www.freetranslation.com...
    But figured out basically what meant what...and now I know all the lyrics by heart...plus it really helped me pick up spanish words..and now I sing along to lotsa Spanish songs without having to look up the words.

    You know when you are first learning a language you will hit a certain plateau where it feels like you are not learning anything (not cuz you know alot..but cuz you are just having trouble picking things up anymore..or whatever the reason)When I got to my first Spanish platuea I found learning song lyrics helped me break that. It's how I learned alot of the words that I use in everday spanish.

    Very effective IMHO..

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    I learned a lot more Spanish ever since I started watching telenovelas. It helped a lot I was suprised how much. When I hear them using a word and I can't figure it out I try to ask a friend or look it up.
    I also try to hear the words in songs and I am beginning to understand more compared to a few years ago.

    Ricardo900- Rubi was really good I'm still waiting for part 2 as well

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    Default Nice replies all

    Here are examples of song titles that are slang or idiomatic expressions. Test yourself. Do you understand the meaning:

    No se le va una
    El negro pega con to'
    Por la maceta
    Estoy salao'
    Ta' pisao
    Me muero chin a chin
    Caliche
    Ta' bien to'
    Pgate ms
    Eso e pa lo do
    Que le den candela
    Rey muerto rey puesto
    --------------------------

    As per my original post one title I don't understand is 'son zapateado'. It's a song by Orquesta Guayacn -Colombian salsa). If you know what that means please enlighten me.... maybe if I pay close attention to lyrics I will figure it out.


    LDG.
    Last edited by Marianopolita; 06-16-2005 at 09:34 PM.

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    I think songs are also a good way of testing your knowledge of the spanish language.....When I started learning spanish there was no way I could pick out words from songs. Now I can hear just about every word, and I know what 90% of them mean. Also its good because they use liasons, and you can begin to understand where the liasons go ect.
    Also some songs have phrases which are used in every day speach and this is a good way to pick them up.
    A good example of a liason is the song "No me ensenaste" By Thalia
    "como olvidarte si nunca aprendi"

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    Angel's cousin is my best friend in the DR. She loves Christian music, so I've started getting some English discs for her and doing the translation to Spanish...not such an easy feat. I think it will be an excellent way for her to learn more English, though.

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    Default Trina...

    This sounds wonderful and there's no doubt in my mind that Angel's cousin will learn English via this method especially if she is a true novata. Christian songs or spiritual music is relatively slow pace therefore it won't be overwhelming for her. You are doing the translation- good luck! It's definitely not an easy task but you benefit too not to mention you are lending a helping hand. That in itself makes it worthwhile in my opinion. As well this morning I was thinking about your post and as a general comment bolero as a genre is extremely helpful to the untrained ear. The reason why I say this is because the pace is slow, the Spanish is usually very clear and sentences are not run on or cut off thus facilitating one's learning experience. The late Celia Cruz who is known as 'la guarachera' for salsa and other rhythms has some beautiful boleros in her repertoire. My favorites are 'Siento la nostalgia de Palmeras' and 'Por si acaso no regreso'. I recommend her boleros as well as anything from Charlie Zaa.

    Later

    LDG.
    Last edited by Marianopolita; 06-22-2005 at 09:10 PM. Reason: punctuation

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