Solo activity

A simple activity you can do to learn English through music on you own is to use Google translate and lyrics websites to understand the story of a song. First, pick a song that you like. Then take the first line and copy and paste it into google translate. This program has a function to hear the speech of the text. It is computer generated so it will not be perfect. It will also have a rough translation of the meaning in a literal (semantic) sense. Use this tool to piece together the story of the song line by line. The literal meaning is not likely to be the true meaning of the song (pragmatic meaning). Your task is to try to interpret the story and find the true meaning behind the song. Try speaking the lyrics as well as singing the song.

Solo activity example

Song: Hey Jude

Artist: The Beatles

Song Difficulty: Easy

English Difficulty: Easy

Note: These translations are using Google Translate, not a professional translator so mistakes are to be expected. Learn to identify mistakes so you can better understand the differences between English and Mandarin. 

1st verse lyrics

Line 1: Hey Jude, don’t make it bad

Translation: 嘿裘德,不要让它坏

Line 2: Take a sad song and make it better

Translation: 拿一首悲伤的歌,让它更好

Line 3: Remember to let her into your heart

Translation: 记住让她进入你的心

Line 4: Then you can start to make it better

Translation: 然后你可以开始做得更好