25 January 2012

learning songs to memorize vocabulary

I get promotional emails from Jlist.com on a regular basis, and the latest one reminds me of a neat way to hammer more words into your memory when you are studying a language:

Another useful tool for learning Japanese is… karaoke. Yes, going to karaoke is a great for anyone studying Japanese since it provides a stream of kanji and vocabulary words on the screen (providing reading practice) and allows for social feedback from others if you sing the song well, and transcribing or translating songs you want to master is a great way to permanently input new vocabulary into your brain. Plus, if you forget a word when speaking, you can sing the song to yourself in your head until you recall it -- yes, this really works.

I have discarded all my notes of the conlang I made in high school and shortly after high school, but I still remember my translation of the Blue Öyster Cult song Seven Screaming Diz-busters quite well, even after all these years. So I believe it’s true, studying a song in your target language or translating a song into that language can really aid the memory.

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