Music is a great way to pick up a language! Songs are short so you can fit a little learning into your daily routine without pushing yourself, and music is readily available just about everywhere you turn! Why aren't you using music already in your language studies? Here are some great ways music can help you learn Portuguese.
Become a fan
How about finding a Portuguese artist to listen to? Try sites like Last FM which list the country's most popular artists and see which you like the most. How about Ana Moura, who has stolen the hearts of half of Europe and provided the opening song for Eurovision 2018? The biggest artists like Ana will have extensive back catalogs of music for you to listen to, and as you work your way through their music you will get used to their pronunciation and accent which will help you learn.
Popular artists mean YouTube channels and Spotify playlists, as well as music available on services like Deezer and Tune In. You can follow Ana on her website and find out if she is performing somewhere near you so you can experience her music live. And with popular artists comes a huge fan following, meaning lots of people for you to meet online. Lots of language study buddies!.
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Create a playlist
If you're one of those people who doesn't leave the house without music then let that be the perfect excuse for learning Portuguese. Whether it is your commute to work, your company when on a long journey, or to keep you motivated in the gym, get some Portuguese music to listen to. So where to start? Try the Portugal Top 50 on Spotify to see what music works for you. This is how we discovered Bairro by Wet Bed Gang and now we can't stop listening!
Don't be disappointed if you don't understand every word from the moment you start listening, and do be aware that often music in other languages involves a liberal use of English profanities, just in case you aren't listening alone! Once you have a few songs on your playlist go about your day as normal. How many Portuguese words are in your head by the end of the day?
Lyrics are a great way to pick up new phrases and words. Find a song that you like; give Terremoto by Anitta and Kevinho a go if you don't know where to start. Your first task is to listen — a lot! What words do you understand already? What do you think you know? What do you need to find out? Listen as many times as you can stand then find the lyrics on a site like Letras and listen again. What did you get right? What did you mishear?
Finally, when you are comfortable with the lyrics and think you have a decent translation, check your lyrics against those on a site like Lyrics Translate to see how you did. This is a great way to perfect pronunciation while picking up new vocabulary and learning colloquialisms and phrases.
One of the easiest ways to pick up the lyrics of a song is to read them while you are listening. Thanks to the beautiful YouTubers who create these videos for you, there is a huge amount of music already available; you just need to choose some! We like O Sol by Vitor Kley; here it is as a lyric video so you can turn your living room into a private karaoke session as you sing along.
It is always best to find popular songs to practice with since this tends to mean more lyric videos and therefore means more accurate translations so you can be sure of what it is you're reading. If you are lucky you might even find some with English translations to help you out. Whether that be videos with English subtitles or beautiful translated covers like this one, there is so much to discover!
Music is an amazing resource for learning a language. What other way is there to learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar in about three minutes without feeling overwhelmed? If you need a break from textbooks and traditional learning then a few minutes each day learning a new song is not a bad way to pick up some Portuguese. When are you going to give it a go?