Multi Language Musicians That Can Help You Improve In A Second Language
As we’ve mentioned before, music and lyrics can help you to become even more familiar with a second language, building on the lessons learned through classes or online training. The main benefits of listening to songs in your chosen second language are that you will pick up on the natural rhythm of words and phrases, as well as learning colloquial language that you may not hear in the formal setting of a class.
Many famous musical artists choose to record some of their work in two, three or more languages, in order to reach as many of their fans as possible, all over the world. One of the most recognised stars who takes this approach is Celine Dion. Whilst she used to be mocked for singing in her native French as well as English, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, she is now recognised as an accomplished linguist who goes above and beyond to communicate with fans.
Of course, in the modern world we live in, it is now much easier to access both music and language classes online. In fact, almost every type of popular leisure activity has now found its place on the internet. You can catch up with the latest shows on Netflix (and even switch off the subtitles for foreign language programmes, if you’re brave), indulge in a few fast-paced games at pokerstarscasino.com, and listen to all of your favourite radio stations. As we’re sure you’re already aware, there are also great resources like rosettastone.com available for learning another language.
However you choose to access music these days, no matter which second language you are learning, there will probably be a musician whose work you enjoy enough to listen to as an extra vocabulary boost. Below, we’ve listed some of the most recognised and successful along with a little bit of information about their work in other languages.
As Castilian Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the entire world, it is no surprise that many big names in the music world release songs using it. Whether Spanish is their first language or second, a song released using it will be sure to find an audience.
Global superstar Beyoncé hails from the state of Texas in the US; in her home state, about a third of people speak Spanish at home rather than English. 2007 saw the singer release her first EP, Irreemplazable, featuring re-recordings in Spanish of hits from her album B’Day. Whilst Beyoncé herself doesn’t speak Spanish, she was recorded as saying that she recognised a lot of her fans spoke Spanish as their mother tongue and that releasing her music in this language was important. If you’re already a Beyoncé fan, then this could be the perfect way to polish up your Spanish pronunciation.
Of course, many crossover artists have Spanish as their first language but it is the English versions of their songs which become hits. Big names like Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Cardi B all grew up speaking Spanish and have recorded songs and even full albums in the language. Shakira regularly switches between the language of her native Colombia and English, successfully appealing to a global audience and providing people with a handy way to practice their Spanish whilst singing along.
Earlier we mentioned star of the Vegas stage Celine Dion, who grew up speaking both French and English as a French-Canadian. French is widely spoken across the world from the 20-odd Francophone African countries to the Caribbean to Europe to Canada. This may account for the success of bands such as Christine and the Queens and Arcade Fire, both of whom record some or all of their music in French. If mainstream pop is not really your jam, then you’re in luck as these two kooky alternative bands provide a great way to brush up on French verbs and vocabulary.
German and Swedish
Whilst ABBA found global superstardom singing in English, there are some recordings of them singing in their native language of Swedish. Favourite hits like ‘Fernando’, ‘SOS’, ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Honey Honey’ can all be found recorded in Swedish and are a fun way to practice pronunciation.
Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk may be more celebrated for their beats than they are for their lyrics, but they have unwittingly introduced a global audience to the German language. Lyrics featured on Kraftwerk songs range from subjects such as driving on the Autobahn to searching for human connection via the computer, so they can provide quite a varied vocabulary.
Outside of the biggest global languages like Spanish and English, there have also been breakthrough artists from other languages. Icelandic musical genius Björk generally writes her lyrics in English but you can learn the occasional Icelandic word or phrase from her song titles or songs like ‘Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu’. Fugees’ founder Wyclef Jean hails from Haiti and so often uses Creole language and turns of phrase in his music; Haitian Creole is a French-based language and is one of the official languages of the country. Gogol Bordello are, in fact, an American punk band but their members hail from all over the world; they often include the Romani and Russian languages in their songs (amongst others) as a reference to some members’ ancestry.