Learning French with French Music: living in French #4
For years I’ve spoken about ‘learning French’ but recently I’ve changed my mindset to ‘Living in French’, which is all about learning french ‘the natural way’. The way children learn a language—yes, by total immersion through sound and sight and repetition in particular.
‘French-immersion-at-home’ with music
We all dream of being in France and since March of 2020, that’s not possible for most of us due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Most of us also know that when in France our French language skills improve ‘out-of-sight’. We refer to the ‘magic’ of immersion, but I for one have not previously really taken this to another level.
Now—my focus is a ‘French-immersion-at-home’ approach—another level.
Living in French—how I did it before
I’ve for many years tried to include French in my life. I thought I was serious about this ‘French-immersion-at-home’ approach. However, now I’ve realised that I could do more – much more! So this year I’ve taken it to another level! Up another notch.
I was living WITH French rather than living IN French!
French lyrics continue to provide a wonderful insight into French history, life, and culture—the way the French population lives, loves, and thinks. Suddenly I felt that I was part of the French population, with French friends: real immersion. I was ‘Living IN French’!
I thought that you may be interested to hear what I’ve discovered about French music…
French music then infiltrated everyday life
Hundreds of Songs in French or to translate English language songs into French!—finding such an extensive resource—so deep and rich, I was ecstatic!
We don’t all learn the same way… What’s your learning style?
Some people are aural in their learning preference. Me, I’m visual, so learning by listening alone is challenging… However, there are always solutions, you just have to want it hard enough, search obsessively, and… different solutions can be found.
Here’s how a visual learning person can learn French with music.
How to reveal the lyrics of French music
1. Lyric transcription and translation
I recommend the following site: Lyricstranslate.com and this example: Diamonds by Rihana.
1. First select the language (for me French)
2. then search by name of artist or name of a song, et voilà,
3. then ‘click to see original lyrics and you’re on your way…
Actually learning a song in French
So now you have the lyrics—here we have 8 steps, How to learn to sing French songs.
1. Choose a song you love because you’re going to be living with it for a long time. Listen 1-2 times to familiarise yourself.
2. Go to Lyricstranslate.com and then type in the name of the song. Now you can listen as you read the words.
3. Read the French lyrics (and the English should you need to) to ascertain what it’s about.
4. Listen at normal speed and highlight the sections you find difficult to say or understand
5. Now at a slower speed, repeat and repeat, singing out loud. Start with the first section, then when mastered start from the beginning and sing through to the end of the second section etc.
6. Now repeat #5 (above) but this time at normal speed, singing your heart out!
7. Next is where you may be shy but record yourself, compare and repeat… finesse your pronunciation.
8. Download this song or add it to your playlist so you can revise constantly. Then start on another song.
2. Revealing lyrics: Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music
There are many other sites which searches will reveal such as this with 25+ songs, and this other one, but I’d rather help you discover how to reveal the lyrics when listening to music on Spotify, Apple Music etc
- Open Spotify App
- Select a song
- Bottom right see ‘LYRICS’ – select it.
- If you want to see the entire song lyrics simply select the Slider beside Lyrics (bottom)
If you’d prefer to see lyrics on your phone or tablet, you may have to download the Musixmatch app, and sync your music with Spotify.
Not all songs on Spotify have lyrics… A TIP: once in Spotify search for ‘Behind the lyrics‘. All songs here have lyrics, so ENJOY.’
In order to reveal lyrics in Apple Music select this link.
YouTube Music now displays song lyrics for selected tracks. Both the iOS and Android versions of the YouTube Music app now display song lyrics, although real-time lyrics aren’t supported yet.
Google’s YouTube Music app (PREMIUM) recently joined the ranks of streaming music players that show lyrics for the currently playing song.
French Music Monday – another rich resource
MyFrenchLife.org has published a huge and eclectic series called ‘French Music Monday’.
To check out that series in our archive click here. “Ma Vie Française™ understands that Mondays can be a drag, so we’ll be bringing you a random selection of French musicians and French-language songs to help start your week. ” and we still agree with that statement.
Have you tried all of these ‘learning french with french music tools’? How have you been immersing yourself in French music? Please share your experience with us below.
NOTE: If you have an interest in following this Living IN French series. Please comment below, so as to be sure not to miss out on hearing about the publication of the following parts. Merci.
Living in French Series
Part #3 – Learning French by Podcast
How is Your French? PollAt MyFrenchLife we’re so interested in assisting you with your French that we have a simple Poll for you to complete right now. Many thanks for participating. There is only one compulsory question, so this will only take a minute. Please help me with this as it will help me direct our content to your competency level.
Here is the link to our How is your French Poll.