I love Spotify. I’ve been using it since it first came out in the U.S., and I’ve probably listened to more music since then than any time before.
It wasn’t until a few weeks into my use of Spotify that I thought to search for the only Spanish artist I knew at the time, Chenoa.
I was amazed when she was there, until I remembered that Spotify was in Europe long before it came over here – which had some pretty good implications for its foreign-language content.
Since then, I’ve expanded my knowledge of both Spanish and French music drastically. There are months where I’ve listened to Spanish and French music more than English music.
I thought I had hit the peak of Spotify’s usefulness toward my language-learning, but then, TuneWiki showed up – a Spotify app that scrolls through the lyrics to a song as it’s playing.
Suddenly, Spotify became a serious tool for working on my listening skills.
Sure, simply listening to music isn’t going to make you fluent in something, but listening to music while reading the lyrics does some very helpful things for you:
- It helps you learn to separate the words from each other as you hear them, instead of just hearing a long string of gibberish
- It introduces you to different ways to pronounce things via dialects, contractions, and slang
- It gives you extra practice with reading comprehension, since you are forced to read along at a relatively quick speed
- Bonus: listening to rap basically puts you on hard mode
It’s similar to reading along in a book while listening to the audiobook (also a good idea, by the way) – it’s just probably going to have a more casual vocabulary.
I would like to point out that TuneWiki’s lyric database isn’t perfect. There are occasionally some errors, and not all songs have lyrics available.
Luckily, anyone who makes an account with TuneWiki can add or edit lyrics – you can use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to register, so it shouldn’t take longer than a minute.
If you see something incorrect or find a song without lyrics in TuneWiki, take a minute to find the correct lyrics somewhere and add them.
Looking for small mistakes yourself is also a good way to practice your listening skills!
If you don’t want to use Spotify for some reason, you can always just look up the lyrics to a song somewhere else and follow along. The point is to actively listen to the music. Simply having something playing in the background isn’t going to do you much good – you have to try to understand it!
If you do, you’ll soon find yourself understanding much more without needing to see the words.
Check out the Powlyglot Spotify playlists here or on the language pages – you might just find a new favorite artist.