New Game: Learn that Song!

There seems to be very few, if any, naysayers about learning language through music. In my experience, learning with music is a great way to work on pronunciation and it is also a great way to remember vocabulary or grammar.  I still remember in my earlier stages when I was trying to write a sentence and couldn’t figure out if だけ or が came first when combined.  Then I remembered a phrase from Utada Hikaru’s Heart Station: 神様だけが知っている秘密.  Well, that was easy.  Music also comes in handy during tests, since you’re bound to be tested on proper grammar usage at some point if you’re taking classes.  Remembering songs is like having all the answers in your head.


With the total (self)destruction of my music library, I decided to start a new game.  I’m all about the games. It’s called learn that song.  Cool way to learn strange vocab that “no one ever uses”.  You know how much I love those kind of words.

These are the rules I’m following. Feel free to make up your own:

  1. Pick a song you don’t mind listening to many, many times.
  2. If it’s not there already, add the song (back) to your music library of choice.
  3. Look up the lyrics online.
  4.  Write them out by hand. Leave blank words you can’t recognize.
  5. Listen to the song some more.
  6. Try to fill in the blanks and other trouble spots.  Add the unknown words to a list.
  7. Look at the real lyrics and compare.
  8. Fix the mistakes on your lyrics.
  9. Listen to the song again while reading through your written lyrics.
  10. Make SRS cards of the unknown words, with audio if possible It’s very easy to add audio nowadays.
  11. If you’re not tired of the song, listen to it some more. And sing along!
  12. Never look at the lyrics again. Train your listening and memorization skills. The only way to make them better is to train them.
That’s all.
What kind of language learning “games” have you created?  Let me know with a comment!


Author: Koyami

I'm Koyami. I am a freelance Japanese-English Translator and I enjoy learning new skills and reading in my spare time. Current pursuits include juggling, piano, and collecting all of the 十二国記 books. Follow me on Twitter and Google+ for blog updates, my Japanese word of the day, and more!