Why You Need to Listen to More Foreign Music

I’m an active person; I exercise almost every day so my “In the Gym” playlist also gets a workout. Every few weeks, I look through this playlist, add new songs, and get rid of ones I usually skip. Today, I noticed a pattern. Usually, the songs I delete are in English, and the songs I add are in another language.

After awhile, I realized why: 1. it is easier to dislike a song’s lyrics in my native language, and 2. it aligns with my interests. First, when you speak a language to the level where you can pick up on subtle rhyme patterns, play-on-words, and cheeky references, you can be turned-off by bad lyrics. Have I ever fallen out of love with a song once I understood the lyrics? Yes. On the other hand, some of my favorite workout songs are in languages I don’t understand (German, Arabic, and French for example) because I like the beat and how it fits into my routine. For all I know, they could be singing their to-do list.

In addition, I love foreign languages – I look forward to #clearthelist every month, I learned my first foreign language when I was 6, and I’m currently studying my fourth. I believe that if someone is a true language nerd, they can appreciate something about any language, regardless if they speak it. Also, I’ve noticed an increase in comprehension and vocab acquisition in my target languages after changing my playlist to almost 50% non-English music. Turns out that I’m not alone, according to this post from Fluent in 3 Months.

What’s the key takeaway? If your New Years resolution is something about learning a new language, find a new song every week that you enjoy in your target language. It could make all the difference.

Have you done this before? Do you have a favorite song in a non-native language? Leave a comment below!

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