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Marje singing in it helps you learn a language (20) RE: singing in it helps you learn a language 22 Jul 13

Now I think about it,I studied languages at school and beyond. For A-level I had to learn various poems by heart, or at least chunks of them. We also had a teacher who was fond of singing, so we learned and sang lots of songs in French and German.

The words of most of the poems are long forgotten, even though I once knew them well enough to be able to analyse them and comment on their style, structure, etc, but I can still remember many songs and carols we learned and sang. This seems to reinforce Jack's original point - that singing in a language, rather than, say, reciting in it, helps you retain language. I still occasionally use phrases from those songs to help me remember certain vocabulary and expressions.

I have occasionally learned a foreign song "phonetically" without any real understanding, but I never retain any of this for long once the original purpose or performance is achieved. You do need to understand the language, and you need to have memorised the song.


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