Something I found pretty crazy when I traveled around the world was that no matter if I was in Vietnam or Greece or Peru, I would always hear English music on the radio. I love looking through these lists because I like finding new music, but also because listening to music in another language is a great way to improve your language skills for a few reasons. Singing song lyrics over and over can also help with pronunciation. I used to sing a bunch of French songs pretty well and not even know what the song I was singing meant! We also remember music lyrics a lot easier than we remember some other facts.
How to Learn Languages with Bilingual Songs
1963: “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto
The situation just might be changing, however. Take Spanish, for example. At the least, Latin music impact is growing in this country. Popular hip-hop might still be sung most often in English, yet traces of reggaeton , a genre of music originating in Puerto Rico in the s, can often be heard as well. We wanted to learn more about the history of non-English music in the United States, so we decided to take a look at the songs that made it to the top of the Billboard Hot Since mid, Billboard has been the foremost resource for tracking singles in the United States. This gives us over 60 years to work with and over 1, number-one hits. Despite that, only seven foreign-language songs managed to make it to the top of the list. Here, we look at each of them.
A couple of caveats to this list: first, it actually includes more than 10 songs. Also, no songs sung in Spanish are on this list. Also, I could go 10 songs deep with those songs alone; so, no songs sung in Spanish on this particular foreign-language song list. You know, songs like these:. The band released a new EP, Hot Number , earlier this year. For a frame of reference, imagine Kid Rock could really flow which Subliminal assuredly can and was really a conservative which Subliminal assuredly is. My favorite version of the song is done by Louisiana singer-songwriter Chelsea Rainwater. I always loved this song because the album version is just Boozoo and his accordion, no backing band.
Bilingualism, until now, has been either a fact of life you live in a place where multiple languages are used or a uniquely fascinating albeit somewhat nerdy talent. There are just so many beautiful ways to look at it or, rather, listen to it : Multiple languages are respected as forms of expression, bridges are connected and people from different backgrounds can sing along to the same tune. By engaging in musical expression with multiple languages , bilingual songs are intrinsically more nuanced than monolingual songs. Not to mention, bilingual songs are powerful pieces which capture glimpses of bilingual culture. Bilingual music is also the best recipe for high-powered learning.