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What do you think about the Japanese language?
Even though it’s on the list of the ten hardest languages to learn, it does not necessarily mean that you can't learn it. With some effective methods, you can master Japanese in no time.
Speaking with native speakers is one of the fastest ways to learn this language.
But today, we’d like to share an interesting approach: learning with songs in Japanese.
Yes, you’ve read that right. So, stay with us to see how you can do it.
The language is more than songs. It’s a variety of themes, things, people, culture, and much more. To get to know the impressive world of Japan and its people, start by finding a Japanese tutor on Justlearn.
Even if it might sound pretty strange, Japanese can be taught through music, indeed.
Below, there are several reasons why music is a useful learning tool.
Learning through music can be quite engaging. Songs are storytellers for many various topics from the romantic ones, through funny and to political topics as well as the ones about the past or the future.
As for the songs in Japanese, they are vital because Japan is the Land of Karaoke. Karaoke was invented in the land of the rising Sun by Daisuke Inoue in 1971.
Learning words and phrases with songs is entertaining. Enjoying the music while new phrases stick to your brain sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
No matter if you are a beginner or you only want to expand your vocabulary in Japanese, there are always some lovely songs to listen to and new slang to learn.
Do you know that feeling when you can’t get a catchy song out of your head so you sing it the whole day? Yes, it can be irritating. But it can be quite useful.
Repeating songs boosts your memory. When you are listening to that catchy tune, your brain does the necessary homework; it pays attention to the accent, pronunciation, sentence structure, expressions.
Thanks to music, over time, you will be able to recognize words and expressions in other contexts and learn their meanings.
Today, songs are available whenever and wherever you want to listen to them. You can download and listen to them on your mobile devices or PC.
You can listen to music in Japanese while you commute to work, or while you’re stuck in traffic. In the morning, or late at night, the choice is all yours. Whenever you feel you want to listen to music, it’s available for you.
While you are listening to songs, not only do you boost your vocabulary and improve listening skills, but you also pick up on different accents. Therefore over time, you can easily recognize the difference between Kyoto and Tokyo accents.
Knowing different accents can help you recognize when a word is properly pronounced.
Now that you know that music can be a handy tool for learning the language, you can start listening to new songs.
The following rules for learning Japanese with music are so simple, and, yet, many of us often forget them.
So it wouldn’t hurt to go through the basics.
When listening to Japanese songs, you should plug in the headphones. This way, you will hear the words better, and you won’t get distracted by your surroundings.
The Japanese language is specific. So their music is too. When you hear some song for the first time, especially if you are a beginner, you may be confused.
For the first several times, you should listen to songs without lyrics. Focus and try to identify where the word stops and the next one begins.
After you’ve listened to a song at least five times, you can search for lyrics and follow along as the song plays. Thanks to the lyrics, you can identify more words, and when you bump into some new expressions, be sure to look for them in the dictionary.
This may be the most interesting part. Since you’ve already listened to a song about ten times, we suppose you memorized it.
So, go ahead, start singing along with the singer. Besides, it’s extra fun and useful because you practice your pronunciation and accent.
Now that we know why and how to learn with songs, let’s see which ones are worth listening to.
This song is perfect for beginners. The same way you can find the English alphabet song, this one, with a pretty catchy tune, shows you syllables of the Japanese language.
There is an available katakana version, too, so you should listen to it.
This one is ideal for learning some of the phrases and expressions, for example, when you are sad, angry, or how to address yourself, etc.
Between expressions, you can hear hiragana syllables.
The singer’s name is Mihara Keigo, so he will be the one who has some motivational things to tell you..
This one is represented as a kids’ song made by Masato Shimon because it was used on the children’s tv show called Hirake Ponkikki. We could say that it’s one of the traditional Japanese songs for kids. It’s written from a fish’s perspective and sings about how the life of fish in Japan looks like.
Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake.
You will definitely have fun while listening to it.
This song is the best of the best of all times. It’s performed by the group SMAP. The reason why we put it on the list is that it’s slow, and therefore, easy to understand and follow. It’s about flowers, and how they have beautiful seeds to plant and grow. It’s actually a metaphor for people.
Even though it’s about underpants, this song is actually a children’s song. Like all songs for kids, this one is also catchy. It’s about an ogre’s (Oni) pair of underpants, and they are strong.
If you don’t believe that you will be listening to it all day, just click on the link above. In no time this one will be on your music list on repeat.
This one is a bit different than the previous ones. Even though the band’s name is Mr.Children, the song is not meant for kids.
It made the eighth best selling Japanese song of all time. The tune and music are light, and a singer pronounces syllables clear and simple, so it makes it more than suitable for practicing.
If you are a beginner, then you probably don’t know which song this is. But if we say ‘Let it go,’ does it say anything to you?
Yes, the worldwide popular cartoon ‘Frozen’ and even more popular song ‘Let it go.’
There is no point to explain why this song is good for learning since you certainly already know.
Press ‘play’ and enjoy.
It’s the song played by Chaga and Askaabout tough times and a powerful vibe that is enough to motivate anyone to do something with their life.
Once you hear it, you will understand why Japanese is a gentle and beautiful language, and why this song is among our favorite famous Japanese songs.
Yes, this is another children’s song. You have to admit that kids’ songs are ideal for language learners because we are all kids when speaking another language, aren’t we?
Besides, it will teach you some quite useful vocabulary, the song is really cute that you won’t resist listening to it several times a day.
As one more benefit, you may find English subtitles so, right away, you can see what the song is about.
Here is one song that is not made for kids. Played by the girl band AKB48, the title of the song means ‘ Love Fortune Cookie.’ The girls are singing about all the positive and the negative the future can bring, just like the fortune cookie. So, this is the song about love, heartbreak, and other everyday things and problems teens come across daily.
We don’t want you, advanced learners, to think that we forgot about you, so here is one song that requires concentration, and it is challenging, indeed.
It is played by hip-hop artist MICHO. Thanks to her, you can improve your rhyming skills, and no more nor less, in Japanese.
The lyrics are in kanji, but the good thing is that in the video description, you can find them in written form, so if you don’t know how to read them, you can copy and paste in the search.
These were 11 catchy songs that are easy to listen to and sing, too.
To make this even more fun, you can organize a karaoke night with your friends, and together you can practice singing these songs.
With songs, you will be one step closer to the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun. And not only will you learn and improve your listening and speaking (in this case singing) skills, but you will get to know the way of life over there in Japan.
Which of the above-mentioned songs is your favorite? And which one you think is too challenging to learn? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Komorebi, Tsundoku, Kintsugi, Komorebi
Momoiro Clover Z
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