Learning A Language With Music Just Got Easier | The Perfect Key

Jayson Frascatore
4 min readMar 15, 2023

Why didn’t I think of doing this before? Those are the exact words I thought to myself the moment I made learning languages so much easier for myself. For years, I’ve given up listening to music in English by choice. Personally, I don’t care for music in English to begin with, but I’ve listened to music in a myriad of different languages — even ones I’m not studying, like Indonesian, Arabic, and Hindi. What I’ve finally realized is that I’ve only been using half of the material and not using the music to its full potential.

The Realization
My biggest flaw was listening to the song on YouTube, singing along with the lyrics by reading them from the video, and actually enjoying what I’m listening to. Yet what I failed to do was learn the meaning of most of the words. Sure, you can get a sense of what’s being said in a language you’re studying, but what was the point if you’re not learning? It finally clicked. Have I been missing out on new material all this time? Not necessarily. Although the rate of learning faster? Absolutely.

My initial thought was that I need to pretend I’m a baby that doesn’t even have a native language yet, so that I’m not constantly translating in my head and that the definition will come with time. While this could work mainly while you’re reading large volumes of content such as chapter books by looking for context and annotations, it doesn’t exactly work with music since songs are repetitive and only last about 3 minutes.

The Discovery
While using my laptop to listen to music, I found a video for the lyrics of the song “Mi Error, Mi Fantasia” by Edith Marquez I heard play on RCN 1470 — a Spanish-language radio station in Mexico — while using the TuneIn Radio app on my phone.

Here, I adjusted the Google Chrome tabs by shrinking them and putting them side by side so that I didn’t have to keep switching back and forth. One of them has the video of the lyrics and the other tab open has Google Translate. This way, with the dual tabs open, it would be easier to type the lyrics and be able to copy the spelling if needed.

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Jayson Frascatore

I write about languages, politics, current events, and climate change | Curated 25x | Buy me coffee beans https://ko-fi.com/jaysonfras