Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Learning Japanese from songs?


I have been listening to Japanese songs for a while and have been able to learn some vocabulary by reading the translation along with the lyrics.
But every now I come across a bit of unusual grammar or something like a particle where I don't think it should be.
I am by no means fluent but it got me thinking, is the grammar in Japanese songs reliable?
As in, do they take liberties with word order similar to English songs, making sentences that wouldn't sound right when just spoken?


Yes, most Japanese songs tend to use very poetic language in lyrics and do take a LOT of liberties with word order. A lot of lines from songs wouldn't make sense to say in normal conversation.
I translate Japanese songs for a hobby, and sometimes when I'm stuck on a line or a word, I'll ask one of my Japanese friends/coworkers if they can help me out...and most the time, when I read them the line or even just a word, they can tell right away that it's song lyrics and say it sounds funny or doesn't make much sense and most often don't know how to translate it or what exactly the meaning should be.

I think translating Japanese songs helps a lot with vocabulary and kanji learning, and once you already know grammar, conjugation, etc, it can help you test that knowledge and get more flexible with understanding the language when it's not spoken in perfect grammatical form, but if you're basing the majority of your Japanese-learning purely on songs, you're going to learn a strange way of speaking haha.

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