IWTYAL 005: How can I use vocab from songs in conversation?

itunesButtonToday’s episode features a question from Kevin: “How can I take vocabulary from songs and use it in my conversations?”

In this episode:

  • The benefits of learning languages through songs
  • How to re-articulate language from songs in everyday conversation
  • How natural is language from songs?
  • How songs work in different languages
  • Songs as a tool for “discovering” language

Strategies for learning songs:

  1. Identify key words and phrases from the song that I want to be able to use. Then put them in a flashcard app.
  2. Keep a list of the words I want to be able to use and keep it next to me during a language exchange/lesson
  3. Use the vocabulary for writing. For example, write a monologue/mini-speech, then memorise it.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Olly singing in Portuguese:

  • Olly singing in Cantonese:

Flashcard apps mentioned:

Other websites:

  • Lang-8 – corrections from native speakers
  • Rhinospike – audio recordings from native speakers

fluentu review japaneseToday’s featured resource


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  • Take it with a “pinch of salt.” I like it! Much more realistic than taking something with a “grain of salt.” Oh, British. Anyway, great podcast!

    • Hi Shana… thanks so much for the comment! You’re the first ever on a podcast episode! 🙂

      Pinch or grain? Hmm… you’ve made me doubt myself now! Time for some help from Google!

      • The first?! Well then, my pleasure!

        Hope to meet you at the Polyglot Gathering in a few weeks; just noticed you’re on the list as well!

        • Yes, I’ll be there! Better start preparing my talk now!! 🙂