Learning a language through songs? Sounds too good to be true?
Music has always been an inevitable part of our life, why not use Russian songs for improving your Russian? I know a lot of people who started learning a new language just because they heard a nice song and liked the language. I’m not an exception: I began to learn Swedish just because I like how it sounds and because most of my favourite singers are from Sweden and Finland.
Let’s look at how you can use music for your language learning.
Choose the song you like. Actually, this is one of the basic principles of self-learning: learn on things you like, don’t force yourself.
Sing it. It’s great for your pronunciation. So, if you like singing in the shower, take this for a spin 🙂
Read the lyrics while listening. Have both texts of lyrics in front of you so you can avoid misunderstanding the lyrics or memorizing them with errors. Pay attention to the pronunciation and word stress as you read. Try to identify the words you know and understand their context in the song.
Music is sticky. If you like the song (and even if you don’t like it:), the melody and lyrics can get stuck in your head. Be sure, you will learn it forever. The famous song “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette helped me a lot in learning modal verbs and perfect infinitives in English.
Listen to the song multiple times: repetition is key when learning any language. Listen to the same song multiple times, focusing on different aspects each time—pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, or overall meaning. This will help familiarize yourself with the sounds and structures of the Russian language.
Choose songs with simple lyrics. Start by listening to songs with basic vocabulary and slower tempo, as they will be easier to understand. Idiomatic expressions and wordplay can make it difficult for beginners to understand the lyrics.
Pay attention to the stressed syllables, and how grammar works in the context.
Watch music videos with subtitles: find music videos on platforms like YouTube that provide subtitles in both Russian and your native language. Watching the visual representation of the song can help you contextualize and understand the lyrics better, enhancing your listening skills and language comprehension.
Take notes and discuss difficulties: while listening to songs, make notes of words or phrases you don’t understand. Discuss these difficulties with your Russian teacher or fellow learners to gain more clarity and improve your comprehension skills.
Explore the culture and history. The songs reflect the culture, mentality and moods of the people, as well as the events that occur or have occurred in the country. We all know the famous Rasputin song by Boney M. The main character of the song is a famous historical character with far from the best reputation.
Sometimes grammar and vocabulary can be a bit “exotic” or understandable only to native speakers, e.g. Russian rock music. Unlike its western brother, Russian rock music sounds more ‘pop’ and lyrics are much more important than deafening sounds of guitars.
So, here we are. I think learning Russian music can become a great motivation for you to learn our beautiful (but sometimes tricky language :).
And, if you want to make the most of this learning: improve your vocabulary, review your grammar, and practice your speaking and writing under the supervision of a
strict teacher, welcome to my song course.
- 10 songs
- Duration 1 month (1 song in three days)
- A lot of tasks for speaking and writing.
- All your tasks are checked by the teacher (me)
- I’m ready to answer your question on weekdays
- Quizlet links for practicing new vocabulary
Find more here
What are you favourite Russian songs?