Why Music And Films Are Great For Learning Mandarin
How many foreign languages do you know? One? Two? You’d be surprised that you probably can call up a few phrases in quite a number of languages even though you’ve never learnt them formally. If you love to listen to foreign music or watch foreign films, the chances are, you would have subconsciously picked up of a little bit here and there of the languages.
Learning Chinese is no different. If you want to pick up the Chinese language, one effortless way to expose yourself to words and phrases is through consuming their music and films. While it may not be able to systematically teach you the grammar or how to write the characters, it can help you in more ways than one when it comes to speaking, comprehending, and vocabulary.
Here’s why using music and film can be a great help to your Chinese learning journey:
1. It’s fun
Most of us listen to music and watch movies because we love it. It helps us destress and immerse in new stories and realities.
The enjoyable nature of watching films or listening to music removes the pressure from learning the language. The learning process can happen so naturally that we don’t even realise it! After a while, you will be able to remember all the characters’ catchphrases, and the hook of your favourite song’s chorus will unknowingly become your new earworm.
2. It’s conversational
Learning from textbooks can be slightly more artificial because they tend to teach learners the more formal ways of speaking and writing. In contrast, movies provide a wealth of scenarios for conversations. Although these are scripted and possibly over-dramatised, they are still great examples of conversations you can easily learn from. You can familiarise yourself with the accent and pick up new words and phrases that people use in conversation.
3. It exposes you to Chinese culture
Watching Chinese-language films will not only familiarise you with their language, but also their culture. Through movies, you will notice things like how people interact with each other, especially how they show respect and politeness. You might also get a glimpse of their cultural traditions and values.
Music can also teach you about their culture, especially popular culture. By knowing the ‘in’ songs, you will understand the trends and have a talking point with other Chinese or Chinese-speaking friends.
4. You get to choose
One huge advantage of learning from music and films is this: You get to choose! Depending on your interests and mood, you can pick the songs you want to listen to, and the films you want to watch. With this autonomy and interest, you will be more invested to learn. You might find yourself being motivated to search up the meanings of words of phrases after listening to a song, because you want to understand the lyrics behind the beautiful song.
And there you have it! Of course, the many Mandarin courses in Singapore offer a more systematic and effective way of learning Chinese, but who’s to say music and film can’t be a great supplement to your learning? If you didn’t realise how helpful music and film can be for language learning, now you do – and you also have a great excuse to listen and watch more!