I actually don’t listen to a lot of Chinese songs, but when I do, I can tell you right now that they will be on repeat mode for weeks on end until I receive complains. One of my recent addictions is “Bubble” by GEM. If you are tone deaf like me when it comes to music, it is OK, I’ve got you covered. We might not be able to sing the song in a tutoring session, but we can certainly enjoy the music to our heart’s content. Not to mention that the song itself makes for a great discussion. And it is hard to say no to a great discussion topic!
* Clears Throat * Ready to sing?
Before I start, I must say that prior to stumbling into the multi-lingual world of italki, I used to think that I was a weirdo because I liked listening to music in different languages. While being a weirdo is not necessarily a bad thing, it is comforting to know that I am not alone! So, let’s begin!
* Note: As in not knowing the language.
Maybe you also enjoy music from different cultures. If so, then you can use time frequency to express your music preference.
|有时候||yŏu shí hou||sometimes|
If you happen to have a roommate who loves repeat mode, then now is the perfect time to express your annoyance.
The first example that I gave says that I like Korean music because I don’t understand the lyrics (as in, I don’t understand the language). While it is an example, it does reflect some truth! There are some songs that I absolutely love in English, but wish I didn’t understand the words.
However, before we can discuss a song’s lyrics, we need to know some basic information about it. For some reason, I tend to remember the song name better than the artist’s name.
|男歌手||nán gē shŏu||male singer|
|女歌手||nǚ gē shŏu||female singer|
If we add 男 or 女 before 歌手, then we get male artist and female artist respectively. It is the same concept from my previous article Let’s Talk About Your Favorite Movie.
Once you know the name of an artist or band, then we can start talking about the types of the music that you like. Of course you can do this in any order that you prefer.
Vocabulary and expressions:
|不同类型的歌||bù tóng lèi xíng de gē||different types of music|
|流行音乐||liú xíng yīn yuè||pop music|
|古典音乐||gŭ diăn yīn yuè||classical music|
|民歌||mín gē||folk music|
|金属乐||jīn shŭ yuè||metal music|
|摇滚乐||yáo gŭn yuè||rock music|
|欧美音乐||ōu mĕi yīn yuè||European and American music|
|儿歌||ér gē||children’s music|
While there are songs that I wish I didn’t understand the words to, most of the time I love the songs because of the catchy lyrics (歌词 gē cí).
If you are fortunate enough to not be tone deaf like me, then perhaps you love to sing. We can expand our conversation using the same basic structure to talk about songs that you love and how well you sing.
五音不全 is one of my favorite phrases. It means “tone deaf.” I like the sound of its literal translation in Chinese, which means “five sounds not altogether.”
Being 五音不全 means that I can’t teach children songs during my classes with younger learners. Even so, we are still sometimes able enjoy Chinese children’s songs together.
As for you, it might be slightly weird to play your favorite song to your teacher, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to share your music preferences with him or her. Who knows, you might both like 周杰伦! Or maybe you don’t have a particular 歌手 that you like, but you do have a specific 类型的歌 that you enjoy. Whichever is the case, you are now equipped with expressions that you can use to talk about your music preference in Chinese.