Foreign-Language Music

As a foreign-language student, sometimes I struggle connecting what I’m learning in the classroom with my outside world. Everyday, I spend an hour or two dealing with the Spanish language and then I throw it away to converse with my family and friends in English. The T.V shows I watch are in English. The books I read are in English. The music I listen to is in English. And this last point is one I recently realized I could begin to solve: why not listen to Spanish music?

Seeing as I’ve only been in Spanish for a couple years, I decided to start off slowly – literally. The first Spanish-language song I decided to listen to is a slower ballad called Mi Todo by Mariah Carey:

Another big reason besides tempo why I chose this song is that the lyrics are up on screen. I would say I’m much better at reading Spanish tha I am at listening to it – for some reason, my brain is much better at translating Spanish when it has something concrete, such as words on paper, to utilizer.

Mi Todo additionally contains no verb conjugations or grammer rules that I have not encountered in my Spanish class – in other words, the song is a simple one that I can comprehend without having to grab a Spanish-to-English translator. Now, listening to music is something I do regularly, and because it is something I do regularly, I can consistently connect with the musical part of hispanic culture (and anyone who knows anything about hispanic culture knows that music is a huge part of it).

Another part of my issue that I have been considering addressing is the whole English T.V. shows thing. In my area, at least, there are many Spanish-language television channels such as Telemundo. The issue with this is that Telemundo focuses mainly on soap operas (also called ‘telenovelas’), and I don’t like English soap operas, so why would I like Spanish soap operas? But then, one could counter, aren’t Spanish soap operas a huge part of modern hispanic culture? Aren’t they just as valuable to learning as Spanish-language music is? And to that I have no counter.

Beyond my personal issues with connecting with hispanic culture, I urge my readers to connect with foreign languages in their own way, whether that consists of music, television shows, foreign-language books, or anything else that they deem valuable for learning. So, get to it!


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