Language Learning

Learning Chinese through Music

Music is a valuable tool for improving conversational language skills for foreign language learners.

A good song is the quintessence of the linguistic, poetic, and musical components of the beauty of speech. By emphasizing the pronunciation and intonation of each syllable, a song is a valuable tool for improving conversational language skills for foreign language learners. Like no other language, this applies to Chinese, with its phonetic features.


Why is learning Chinese through music a great idea?

  • Enrichment of vocabulary. It is known that singing in a native language helps kids to increase their vocabulary. So why don't we do the same in Chinese? Try to use music production software and thus analyze the words learned better.
  • Memory stimulation. Have you ever wondered why an obsessive line from an accidentally heard song can firmly sit in your head while more necessary information has been safely forgotten by this time? The thing is that music is a powerful memory trigger, which makes it one of the best tools for learning - and not only a foreign language. Rhyme, metaphors, and other poetic techniques make most poems more memorable than ordinary speech. It's the same in music. The main structural feature of music and songs is repetition.
  • Improved pronunciation. Ever notice that your accent is less noticeable when you sing in a foreign language than when you speak? It is because the rhythm of the music makes it easier and also helps to develop correct pronunciation. The singer forms habits that contribute to the formation of proper speech. Many beginners and intermediate Chinese learners do not open their mouths wide enough when speaking Chinese, which leads to unclear pronunciation. While chanting, you have to open your mouth to design and produce a pleasing tone for each syllable. Subsequently, this habit is carried over to everyday speech.
  • Improving diction. Most of the performers have clear diction and a good accent. People tend to pay more attention to these issues when singing in their native language than when speaking. It is not surprising that singing in a foreign language helps you focus on phrasing and diction more than grammar exercises. We think more about literacy in the construction of sentences than about articulation.


Secrets of Learning Chinese Through Music

First, forget about the lyrics. You will soon find that you know the song almost by heart which means that you are ready to sing without peeping into the text. Second, use the spacing method. You don't have to memorize the song. Having worked through one composition, you can safely move on to the next and then return to the previous one. This is what "spaced repetition" is all about. This method is more effective than trying to memorize everything at once. Of course, the song is considered fully worked out when the composition is brought to its native sound, i.e., there is no problem with listening comprehension.


Song translation as a language learning method

Unquestionably you have come across a situation when you could not understand the meaning of a line. It seems that the words are all familiar. Still, the translation turns out to be completely meaningless. In such a situation, translation services come to the rescue, which will help with eLearning localization. They write explanations for difficult-to-understand lines in a song. And they do it very well. We think it will be interesting for you to read their explanations and take a fresh look at the seemingly familiar text.


An interesting fact

The results of studies of scientists from the institution in Beijing and their colleagues from Hong Kong showed that the recognition of Chinese speech requires the activity of not only the left (responsible for speech recognition) but also from the right (responsible for the perception of music) hemispheres of the brain. Have you noticed that almost all Chinese sing well? It is the ability to recognize and reproduce tones that is the decisive factor here. So why don't we take advantage of the thousands of years of experience of the Chinese?



Now you know that learning Chinese from songs is one of the most productive ways to learn a language. We are sure that you will definitely like this method of improving your knowledge because it is excellent for self-study. If you feel that self-study does not bring the desired result, we advise you to use the services of experienced teachers-musicians of Chinese on Skype, they will help you achieve your goals, and your learning will not be boring.


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