italki World Cup Language Challengers: Are you staying motivated? Have you or are you close to completing your 3 lessons per week? We have officially made into the third week of the challenge and it’s time for another update on how I am doing so far. As mentioned in my previous post: I’m still in the process of moving house at the moment. Which means I wasn’t able to complete any lessons with a Community Tutor or Professional Teacher this week (yet!), but I am still using what I can to keep myself motivated in learning Catalan.
How Do I Stay Motivated?
By searching for music in the target language on YouTube and listen to each song until I find singers/bands I enjoy. If you remember my goals from the first week was to learn lyrics to Entre Nosaltres by La Porta Dels Somnis and Jugarem A Estimar-Nos by Marta Roure but that ended up not happening or rather I did learn the lyrics to Entre Nosaltres but found the chorus a bit to fast for my liking that it made it difficult to sing along with. I found Damià Olivella’s Més enllà much easier to follow. Now the question is whether or not I can actually translate the lyrics without too much effort.
Translating Lyrics To Your Native Language
One of the best indicators that you’re improving in your target language is how well you can translate things with little to no effort, while being accurate at the same time. What do I mean by this? Have you ever tried to translate a song into your native language from one of your weaker languages (or better yet a language you don’t know)? Many of us have: Even I was guilty of this in the past!
It can be extremely difficult to figure out what the lyrics of a song could potentially mean. There are many factors at play here:
1) The use of slang 2)Differentiating dialects 3) The music is so loud it prevents you from hearing all of the lyrics. 4) The singer is mumbling.
Any of these could make it very difficult for you to learn the song (without having to rely on another person’s translation- which could be just as incorrect as yours). I’ve done this technique to determine how well I’ve improved my listening and reading comprehension in the target language. (In this case: Catalan) I’ve noticed that as I made progress, the translation tended to flow much more naturally than it did when I made my first attempt at it.
How To Make The Most Out Of Learning Lyrics
Listen to the song as many times as you can while following along with the lyrics at the same time. Do this until you can sing along with having to rely on the lyrics. (if possible) After memorising the lyrics, translate each world using a dictionary (book or online whichever is the most convenient for you) and look up each word to determine their meaning. There will most likely be words that won’t have an exact translation into your native language. This is completely normal as every language has its own sets of words and phrases that can’t be accurately translated into other languages.
From there you can examine how the target language structure’s its sentences. It can also give you insight into local cultures, dialects, slang, and how to powerfully express yourself in your target language. Listening to music could increase your motivation to help you reach fluency! Susanna Zaraysky has mentioned that learning lyrics could help you memorise important grammatical patterns because your enjoying a catchy song in your target language.
Music engages more parts of your brain than language does. You’re more apt to remember something if you remember it to a tune.
Do you think music is a great motivator when it comes to learning foreign languages? Do you follow these techniques yourself? I’d love to hear what you think.