Songs: International Communication

Posted in: Essays


photograph courtesy of  Uncensored_AKH
photograph courtesy of Uncensored_AKH

If you know the words to “I Will Survive,” “It’s Raining Men,” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” you will be happy to know that the lyrics to these songs are international currency.

In clubs and cars across Europe, these songs remain on high rotation. Yes, these songs were originally popular decades ago, but believe it or not they remain popular today.

Anglophones don’t always realize that songs like these actually provide English lessons for many non-native English speakers. Ask people you meet during your European travels: how did you learn English so well? Sure, many of them will say they studied English for 12 years or lived in an English-speaking country, but many others will cite music and movies.

Anglophones: Try this at home! To learn another language, check out music and film in another language. Who knows? One day you may find yourself having a conversation with someone in your newly-acquired tongue only to be interrupted by one or another souped-up classic.

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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