One of the most effective ways to learn a different language is with the help of music.
My mom learned Spanish by listening to artists like Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan. She would write down the words and translate it. I can still see her in front of me with her dictionary and notebook. And when she found out what Julio was singing about she would say, he’s so sweet.....lol
Listening to the music paid off cause my mom was fluent in Spanish. Her husband and kids were at that time not so happy with “Amor, Amor” playing in the car and in the house. But guess what? Somehow I picked it up and can sing along with it. I was surprised how many Julio songs I actually know when I visited his concert with my mom a couple of years ago. Besides it did help me with my Spanish.
Stevie Wonder sings “Music is a world within itself with a language we all understand”.
He is right. Music is a universal language. Despite the diversity of music influenced by countless cultures somehow the various musical structures transcend cultural differences. No matter what culture, people (mostly musicians) can read the same piece of music. Some say music is a byproduct of our language evolution. Both are forms of social bonding and besides that music helps your grammar and vocabulary. There are even teaching methods where they advise you to listen to music in the language you want to learn. You can actually learn a language faster this way, cause it helps us to remember words in a fun and creative way.
Most of the times we may not understand the lyrics of foreign songs, but we all share the same emotions when we hear similar chords and melodies. To understand music, we need to understand emotions as well. The same components that make up music which are: pitch, rhythm, and tempo, are also present in everyday speech no matter what language you're speaking. With these patterns present in spoken language, we can interpret emotions from music using the same signals.
So how does it work? This last weekend BTS was in Holland for a concert. The show sold out in less than 30 minutes. They are one of the reasons that K-Pop is up and rising. I’ve been listening to their album and the tunes are good, but what is the strength of this group? They sing in Korean and I have no clue what they’re singing about. Somehow the language doesn’t seem to be a problem at all cause they draw big and diverse crowds with their performances, sell out stadiums and have a fanbase who call themselves A.R.M.Y. and the beauty of it is that the fans can actually sing along with their songs in Korean. I admire the fact that somehow they can touch millions of people with their songs in a language that the biggest part of the western world doesn’t understand.
What makes this group successful? Is it their looks, their style, what they represent or is it the music, the lyrics? Maybe it’s the complete package? Somehow they found a way to leave a big impression in the world of music.
I’m trying to look at it from a music point of view. What makes them unique if you take away the visual image and you just listen to the tunes?
Let me know, cause I really wanna know your thoughts.