Quicktip #3: Sing songs!

That’s a pretty simple advice (as usual with this series) but it’s true that singing along songs in the language that you want to learn is hugely beneficial. It helps a lot with pronunciation and getting a good grasp of the rhythms of the language; it’s also really good to practice reading a bit faster since you got to keep up with the song.

uta
kanji for song read “uta”

When listening to songs in Japanese, you get to hear the language from another perspective. Lyrics often use more imagery and are sometimes a bit poetic, especially in Japanese, which allows you to get a different understanding of the language.

The rhythms and how the language is accentuated within music are also different and it’s interesting to see how they’re interpreted.

When I find a song I like, I look up the lyrics and sing along, so that’s reading and pronunciation practice. And of course, I try to understand as I sing along and read the lyrics, so that’s both reading and listening comprehension. Then I usually write down some vocabulary that I found in the lyrics and didn’t know.

So when singing songs karaoke style, you get Reading, Listening and Pronunciation practice all at once.

Plus it’s just fun to sing along, really.

The first time I tried to sing along a song in Japanese while reading the lyrics, I couldn’t read half the words and couldn’t keep up in any way. It was pretty ridiculous. With the second song, it got a lot better because I had gotten some practice with the first one. Here is a great video in which the lyrics of the song 前前前世 (zenzenzense) from the movie 君の名は (kimi no na wa) are explained and translated.

This was the first song I tried to sing thanks to this video and I realized how beneficial singing in Japanese was.

Anyway, sing songs and have fun is my advice for the day!

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