Learning a foreign language sometimes devolves into memorizing new words and reciting textbook passages. However, it does not always have to be the case. Learning Chinese through songs is a fun method that intermixes language and culture. You not only learn authentic Chinese through the lyrics plus the song itself may serve as an icebreaker. It is always easier to start a conversation about pop culture versus Confucius. Here are the 5 popular songs that I selected based on their rankings on Baidu music (the No. 1 search engine in China).
List of 5 Popular Songs To Learn Chinese
Little Apple (小苹果; pinyin: xiǎo píng guǒ) is a single by a group called Chopstick Brothers (筷子兄弟), released as a promotional song for the movie Old Boys: The Way of the Dragon (老男孩之猛龙过江). The music video of the song shows scenes of dancing interweaved with 4 short stories about love and romance. One of them contains elements from the legend Adam and Eve. The dance in the music video has also gained popularity in the public.
So, how do can you learn the lyrics? Some of the videos have the words subtitled in, but you can also do a quick Google search for the Chinese lyrics/pinyin and English translation.
Where did the time go (时间都去哪儿了；pinyin: shī jiān dōu qù nǎ’er le) is a single by Zhengliang Wang (王铮亮). This song is about the unconditional love of parents. The lyrics are like a letter from a parent to his/her kid. It was performed at the 2014 Spring Festival Gala (春节联欢晚会). This song is popular because it slows people down from the stress of work to enjoy the quality time with family.
So Cool! (倍儿爽；pinyin: bèi’er shuǎng) is a popular song among young people. It is about the joyous and carefree lifestyle. Some says that it tries to imitate Gangnam Style. You should see for yourself.
Where Are We Going, Dad? (爸爸去哪儿; pinyin: bà ba qù nǎ’er) is the theme song for a Chinese reality TV show broadcast on Hunan Television. The show is based on the original South Korean reality show Dad! Where Are We? It features five celebrity fathers and their children as they travel to rural places and go on camping missions. This show enjoys a high audience rating and season 2 has recently hit the screens.
Heart of the sword (剑心；pinyin: jiàn xīn) is the theme song for a popular TV series called 古剑奇谭. The story derives from a video game that shares the same name.
Sing your heart out! Have fun with these songs and feel free to share your own favorites too.