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Music in foreign languages
July 10, 2011
16:08
Lisa
Netherlands

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I love music in foreign languages, even when I'm not learning the language, but I have a bit of an unusual taste so it's hard for me to find music I like. It also just seems to be very hard to find music in a different language when you're not living in a country where the language is spoken. Sooo… what do you listen to?

I speak: I'm learning: I kind of speak:
July 10, 2011
19:58
Benny
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See my comment here. Just listening to radio can help!

Otherwise there are music discovery sites that help you find music, and I've had some success with them myself, especially since they have some good international selections. Last.fm and Pandora are OK, although they are blocked or paid in most countries. If you can access such a site and give it ONE example of music you like, then they may have a "music like this" option to send you down an interesting path.

The best thing may be to be specific about your tastes and ask natives what they'd recommend :)

Speaks: English Spanish Italian Portuguese German Irish French Esperanto Mandarin (Taiwan) Nederlands American Sign Language
July 10, 2011
22:04
duckshirt
Koblenz, DE

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I have some music I like in French – I thought about making a French music thread in the foreign language section, but I don't really know the language well enough to even start the discussion…  My favorite artist is definitely [Beware! This is SPAM posted by a third party]ae… he's from Belgium and a mix of hip-hop and techno which is the style I like.  He had a song that was really popular in Europe last summer, so I checked out the rest of his album and liked it.  Another one people may like is Coeur de Pirate, who's from Quebec and is a very good singer/songwriter/pianist with catchy songs, although it's not the type of music I usually listen to.  I actually have a Pandora station in which I downvote everything that's not in French, so I have some good stuff there, but not a ton, and unfortunately there is hardly any Dutch music on Pandora, so I haven't gotten into that at all.

 

I can actually sing along to some songs completely, though, without having studied the language, so I'll have a good start when I decide to.Laugh

Native: English Conversational: Spanish Dutch Basic (on hold): French

Currently learning: German (mission thread) My German Video Blog!

July 11, 2011
06:35
logie100
New Zealand

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What I do is if I happen to come across a really good song in the foreign language im learning on youtube, I'll click on the top commenters youtube page and go through their favourites :D

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July 11, 2011
08:12
Hekje
Providence, Rhode Island

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I find native speakers, or even people just studying the language, and ask them what they'd recommend. To me, asking for a simple music recommendation is an easy way to get people to help if you're otherwise worried about imposing on their time. Wink

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July 11, 2011
13:29
Lisa
Netherlands

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I kind of meant to simply create a topic to ask everyone what you listen to, but I.. uh, something went wrong? I didn't really know how to phrase it, I guess. I just remembered why I'm shy on forums! :P

I've asked native speakers for recommendations, but as I said, I have an unusual taste. I do know some good bands who sing in foreign languages though.

logie100 said:

What I do is if I happen to come across a really good song in the foreign language im learning on youtube, I'll click on the top commenters youtube page and go through their favourites :D

That's a great idea!

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July 11, 2011
22:27
Hekje
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Lisa said:

I kind of meant to simply create a topic to ask everyone what you listen to, but I.. uh, something went wrong? I didn't really know how to phrase it, I guess. I just remembered why I'm shy on forums! :P

I didn't post any links at first because I saw you were from the Netherlands, so all the 'foreign' music I've found is presumably known to you. Wink  For the record, though, I got De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig and The Opposites recommended to me here, and I'm also liking Marco Borsato, Bløf, and Acda en De Munnik.

This band is Iranian, and while it's not what I'd typically listen to, I love this song in Farsi. I have more opinions on weird American music – what kind of music or artists do you like?

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July 12, 2011
11:46
tummai
Himeji, Japan

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Since I started learning Swedish seriously, Dungen has been getting a lot of play time:

 

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July 14, 2011
16:53
Lisa
Netherlands

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I like Dungen too! Another Swedish band I like is bob hund.

Blueslant, haha yes, I know those artists/bands. If you like 80s music (I love it :p), I recommend Doe Maar. A bit more alternative and very nice too are Spinvis and Roosbeef.

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July 14, 2011
20:39
Polyglottally
Canada

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Here are some of the world music blogs I subscribe to:

About.com's World Music – http://worldmusic.about.com/

Aurgasm – http://aurgasm.us/

Putumayo – http://www.putumayo.com/blog/

SoundRoots – http://www.soundroots.org/

I too love world music, so I started my own blog to capture and share what I find. So far there isn't much there, but I hope to catch up with my backlog of music over time. Here's the link: http://polyglottally.com/blog/world-music

Right now I'm listening to stuff recorded by David Fanshawe (http://www.fanshawe.com/), who went around the world recording indigenous folk music. Really happy stuff for summertime!

J.

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July 15, 2011
08:58
rajith
Colombo, Sri Lanka

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I too face the same problem sometimes.. that is I'm very choosy on what I listen to.

When I started learning Spanish, I removed all the English and Sinhalese music from my playlist, and started filling it up with Spanish music. But had trouble finding good ones. I too would love suggestions from you all.

For the record, some songs I've found so far,

1. La Bamba – Richie Valens

2. Guantanamera – Helmut Lotti Version

3. Valencia – Helmut Lotti Version

4. Algo pequeñito – Daniel Diges

5. La Macarena – Los del Rio

6. Fotografía – Juanes

7. La historia de Juan – Juanes

8. Colleccionista de Canciones – Camila

I Speak:Sri Lankan Flag | Flag of UK I Learn: Flag of Spain | Flag of Sri Lanka   I Will Learn: Flag of India | Flag of Italy | Flag of Portugal Add Me:   My Blog: http://lifelafiesta.com (add /si/ for Sinhalese and /es/ for Spanish OR click on the flags above)
July 17, 2011
01:47
Katja_Suomi
Finland

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I love singing, and it does help with pronunciation a lot. I learned to speak English without ever talking to anyone – because of singing (and lots of reading). Sorry, neighbours…embarassed

 

I don't sing in Finnish that often, because most Finnish bands I like write lyrics in English, and two that use Finnish (Moonsorrow and Ajattara) are not really.. singable, at least for a normal girl cool. There are many pop songs in Finnish, but they just don't touch my heart that much and lack some drive, I guess.

 

So when I started learning Japanese I decided to find a band I could really fangirl about. I went to Youtube, searched for something like "Top 10 Japanese videos" and found Janne Da Arc! Oh, how I love them now! I sing their songs (and also songs of Ogata Megumi, she's so awesome ^.^), watch their interviews and offshots – so much of colloquial stuff! And singing in Japanese somehow feels easiest of all, it's a very pleasant language for me.

 

So my advice – go find an artist you'd really like, go crazy, listen to everything, check interviews, etc. Passion gives nice fuel for studying wink

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July 18, 2011
17:07
tomfrompoland
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Try jamendo.com :-) The largest resource of music on CC license.

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August 1, 2011
19:04
Ticker
England, UK

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I started finding Norwegian music by just searching for recommendations on Google Answers!

I got linked to Kaizers Orchestra (which is my best band ever right now), Postgirobygget and Erik og Kriss. And I found a blog that has weekly music videos posted and I found singles by Casiokids, Gabrielle and Cir.Cuz through that! Since then my music tastes have changes to include Tyr and Sigur Ros even though I'm not learning Faroese or Icelandic. They're just really good bands.

Also, does anyone else find versions of Disney songs in their target language? It's so cool!

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August 15, 2011
00:12
RiaLucia
San Diego, CA, USA

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Someone else posted a thread on this forum about a great resource for foreign language radio. It's called TuneIn Radio, and you can find stations by region, city, language, type (e.g. Talk vs pop vs Rock, etc). I installed the app on my iPhone and I LOVE it! My only frustration is that it seems the majority of popular music in my target country (Germany) is in English!

I've also found that I enjoy listening to foreign language music even if I have no forseeable intention of learning that language.

Native: English (U.S.)  |  Improving: Deutsch (DE)  |  Hope to Learn: Italiano
August 17, 2011
02:28
sipes23
Chicago, EEUU

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blueslant said:

This band is Iranian, and while it's not what I'd typically listen to, I love this song in Farsi. I have more opinions on weird American music – what kind of music or artists do you like?

Nice. My kids love it. I'll probably listen to this and some of their other stuff, and other Farsi music discovered via these guys when I start that challenge.

Native: American English            Advanced: lingua latina From Basic to Intermediate: فارسی Italiano  Español 
I dream: Frysk Sanskrit My blogs: Dead Linguist, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English My YouTube: sipes23
August 17, 2011
03:44
Hekje
Providence, Rhode Island

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sipes23 said:


I'm glad someone likes it too. If you discover any Farsi music you like, be sure to post it here!

Native:  Basic Fluency:  Dutch - My language log!
August 24, 2011
18:26
Élan
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blueslant said:

sipes23 said:


I'm glad someone likes it too. If you discover any Farsi music you like, be sure to post it here!

That song is hilarious!  It is one of the first songs I translated when I began learning Persian because it looked so funny.  If you like funny songs in Persian, I'd recommend "Chadoro Bardar" by Sandy.  The title means "take off the chador".  It's an old song but very good!  This style of music is called bandari.  It's heavily influenced by Arabic music.  [Sidenote: Don't be offended by the song title!  The song is about an Iranian engagement, where the groom (or his mother/sister in really traditional families) gets to take a look at the possible bride without her chador.]

 

If you like Persian music to sound sweeter, I'd recommend Arian band.  "Gole Aftabgardoon" (Sunflower) is one of my favorite songs of theirs.  Their music is very good for Persian learners because their pronunciation is very clear (and not so full of slang like Barobax and Sandy). 

 

I love Persian music, but when I want to dance I listen to Arabic music!  One of my favorite songs has to be "Hely Meli" by Hamid el-Shaeri.  I also like this Iraqi song, "Khala ya Khala" by Basim Al Ali. 

Native:   English   Learning:   Persian   Next Up:   Spanish   Intrigued By:   Currently: Speaking a lot of Persian & working on a website with resources for Persian learners
August 25, 2011
06:34
sipes23
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I just stumbled across the craziest thing:

 

http://www1.omropfryslan.nl/radioportal.aspx

 

Frisian. Like English, but without 1066 and all that.

 

The music sounded like Prairie Home Companion without Garrison Keillor. I didn't understand a word they were singing. I wasn't paying close attention, nor do I always understand English lyrics as a native speaker. (Just today I had to really listen to a song I thought I had heard before to determine that I actually was hearing the same song.) In the breaks I was able to get the gist of the news. But the kicker was when that they had nonstop "music all da tide." 

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I dream: Frysk Sanskrit My blogs: Dead Linguist, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English My YouTube: sipes23
August 25, 2011
14:20
Hekje
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Élan said:


 

Whoa, I really like both the Persian songs you posted. (I also had no idea until I looked it up just now that "Persian" is the preferred name for the language.) Your music definitely pushes Farsi (Persian?) up near the top of my language bucket list. I absolutely love Dutch music and translating songs has been tons of fun for me throughout the process, so finding out I like Farsi music too is a nice push in another direction.

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