Understanding songs in English entirely!

2 16 113
Hallo people =) Sei que já existe tópico no fórum sobre o assunto mas ainda estou com dúvidas em relação a esse 'entendimento de músicas' haha

Então, Quando vcs ouvem uma música quanto mais ou menos vocês conseguem pegar da letra?

In my opinion, It's so hard to understand what the singers are saying :(

I really like to listen to songs in english, they do help me to get new vocabulary yet there's songs that I find too hard to understand, one of those is Eminem's ''Detroit vs Everybody''(It's impossible haha)

So, what do you guys think about it? Is it possible to understand all the lyrics of a song?

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Hi there!

When I started learning English in the 80's, I loved to understand the lyrics of my favorite songs. By the way, that's how I got to know English, I enjoyed listening to rock, pop, musicals, almost everything and I thought "write the lyrics, why not?", so I did start writing lyrics, lots of them. Then I could check if that was correct, comparing what I had written to the official lyrics (that kind of stuff was available if you had the album, with lots of information, it was expensive but worth it).
Well, I guess "rap" is not the easiest style, but surely, it is an excellent source to test your listening skills.

I must say I am a terrible learner of English with that style, maybe due to the fact I do not like it so much.
I'll try to describe how I learned, maybe it'll be of some help:

I usually listened to Maddona, for instance, let's see "Like a Prayer", sort of rock/pop/Gospel...
First thing - you know the singer, the kind of song he/she sings and the name of the song, that is "you know the context";

It is important to have good quality equipment, in our case - good radio, ipod, MP3. I used to practice in the car, when I had the chance (closed windows, not to loud music, it's like a studio);

Write it down, anything you understand. Not necessary to say you don't need paper (use a gadget, your mobile, tablet, whatever you have or like, everything is easier to learn if you enjoy doing that). When you write you can compare to the original "thing", you can make notes and even study, why not?
Just be careful not to get grammar rules from songs. Music can be extremely informal, and almost always ...it is; ;)

Using the song I chose there are words that can be confusing, specially in a song, with many sounds. Words such as sigh/sign, alone/along, there/their and so on. When you read what you wrote, just taking a glance you can catch some mistakes, something that doesn't make sense, should be a different thing...That's the part when you start chosing this or that word. That is not just a guess, because there is a context... It is like you are the poet who is writing that song; :D

I can tell you I usually understand 80% to 90% of the lyrics, some are too easy, so 100% is not that hard, but I think that is not the point. Sometimes, we understand less than 50% of a song in Portuguese. Think about "Águas de Março", just a few people are able to say by heart the interminable list of nouns found in that memorable song. I have heard things like "é um resto de toco... É um toco sozinho.... É um povo sozinho... É um pouco sozinho... "A friend of mine say "Um polvo sozinho." :o That last sounds absurd (because of the context and the sound of that word in the song). My point is, that is a famous song here in Brazil and in the world, easy and slow... Why is that so hard :?:

Finally, my piece of advice is "if you like it, go for it", try once, twice and if it is not enough try harder... Think that not all native speakers are able to write the lyrics of New York New York, an easy song! Why? When practicing listening with songs, pay attention to the singer, if he/she changed the stress of some words. Sometimes they do that because of the melody, that's why my last advice is don't use songs to practice melody of the language, intonation, stress and things like that by listening to music.

Enjoy your favorite songs and keep up learning. 8-)


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2 16 113
Thank you a bunch for the help, very good! :)
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