Learning German Through Music

As you know, I’m on a quest to find the most enjoyable ways I can improve my listening comprehension in German so that improving it doesn’t turn into a chore.  So far I’m enjoying listening to the radio, podcasts and audio books, but I just stumbled across a really fun website that helps improve your listening comprehension through music called Lyrics Training. The idea is a simple one: select the language and the level of difficulty and then the site plays you a youtube video of a song in that language and you have to fill-in the blanks in the lyrics.  The languages they have on offer are: English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish.  You can also choose to have the lyrics sheet with only 10% or 25% of the lyrics missing or you can ramp it up to Expert mode where you have to type in all the lyrics.  Also, you can choose the type of music you really enjoying listening to or let the site choose the music for you.

The only real downside of the site is that it isn’t particularly user-friendly to begin with. Working out how everything works is really a matter of trial and error and there are no instructions on the front page to tell you how it all works. There is a help button on the Play page that tells you how to listen to the last line again or skip a word if you don’t know it, but an FAQ that tells you how the whole site works would be a handy addition.

The bonus of this site is discovering new music in German (or whatever language you are learning).  Since I discovered it yesterday I have added Die Toten Hosen’s classic song Tage wie diese to my You Tube favourites

And discovered a German language version of Gangnam Style which really needs to be seen to be believed.

If you have used Lyric Training or decide to give it a go, let me know what you think of it.  Also, if you know of other fun ways that I can improve my listening comprehension, please tell me in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Learning German Through Music

  1. Back in the day, I got into a few albums of Die Prinzen — notably, Küssen Verboten. The lyrics struck me as particularly clear and well-pronounced, and the pronunciation was as close to standard German as anything I’d ever heard in pop music (despite or because of the group’s origin in Leipzig).

    Seems kinda cheesy in retrospect now, but in 1992-93, the tunes were catchy and gave me something to learn from that wasn’t too Sesame Streety. I graduated from there to die Toten Hosen and Fantastischen Vier, but those felt like varsity-level compared to die Prinzen’s stuff.

  2. Haha that’s awesome!! I’ve never used Lyric Training but that’s a really fantastic tip!

    That German version of Gangnam Style is GOLD. Hah!!!

    It’s a bit dorky, but my favorite German band is an a capella group (they call it “vocal pop”) called the Wise Guys. In the beginning of my German language-learning days, I was drawn to it because of the fact that it was so funny to hear German a capella. Now, several years later, I STILL learn new words and phrases from listening to their songs. I feel like I understand more and more with each listen!

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