I had a bit of free time this afternoon so I decided to sit down and record a song in Cantonese.
I discovered this song – 愛是永恆 – some time ago and really loved it.
You can find the lyrics here.
Learning songs perhaps isn't an immediately obvious language learning activity, but I've found it to be one of my favourites.
Above all, I think what happens is that it endears you to the language more than almost anything else you can do.
You find a song you like…
You learn the lyrics…
And you sing!
Apart from being pretty cool, there are naturally lots of benefits:
To be honest, it can definitely take some time to commit a song to memory.
A lot of repetition is required to get the lyrics into your head, and practising the performance itself can take just as much work as memorising the words!
Sometimes people ask if they need to know what the words mean… and the answer is yes!
I've learnt songs before without learning the meaning of what I was singing, and I regretted it.
It's a huge wasted opportunity to spend all that time memorising something, only to not be able to use anything you've learnt in conversation. Apart from anything, the time it takes to learn the meaning of the lyrics is probably only 5% of the total work of learning a song — so it's definitely worth it.
In terms of how to memorise a song, I wrote a detailed post here.
So, can I set you a little challenge?
I'm sure you have a favourite song in the language you're learning, so why not take some time to learn it? Apart from anything, it'll give you a nice break from your regular routine, and I guarantee you'll get some newfound motivation!
Good luck, and post the video here in the comments where you're done 🙂
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