View Poll Results: lyrics

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  1. emilie's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
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    #1

    Wink Lyrics

    Do english speakers need lyrics to understand the words of the song ?
    what should i do to listen and talk like americans? Answer from english speaker only please

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Lyrics

    I frequently am unable to understand song lyrics. In the song that goes "I ain't no holler back girl" it sure sounded like she was saying "I ain't no Hall of Fat girl." Not that it made any sense, but it's what it sounded like to me.

    You may enjoy reading this so you know just how common it is:
    Mondegreen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Listen to American broadcasts, watch American TV (if you can stand how stupid most of it is) and watch American movies.

    (I don't find the many American accents superior to any other, though, so I would still encourage you to watch the far better English television shows, Australian movies, etc.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #3

    Re: Lyrics

    Another good example is Lady GaGa. I have no clue what she is saying in any song of hers that I have heard, and would need to read the lyrics to understand (although I doubt it would make any more sense). This is indeed the case in Barb_D's example. I hear 'I ain't no holla' back girl'. What a 'holla' back girl' is is a mystery to me.

    Often, I learn that what I thought were the lyrics to a song are completely wrong, although I can't think of any specific examples at this time.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Lyrics

    One famous one is "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" as "Excuse me while I kiss this guy." Or my personal favorite "There's a bad moon on the rise" as "There's a bathroom on the right." Frankly, knowing where the bathroom (toilet) is is far more useful than knowing about the moon!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: Lyrics

    " I was without a face ! "

    Oops, sorry, not a native speaker (but I didn't vote).

  4. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #6

    Re: Lyrics

    Quote Originally Posted by emilie View Post
    Do english speakers need lyrics to understand the words of the song ?
    what should i do to listen and talk like americans? Answer from english speaker only please
    To be able to talk like an American? Well, I wouldn't do it by listening to lyrics, that's for sure. That reminds me of a person I met in Spain who was trying to learn English solely by reading Shakespeare!

    Actually, this could be a very interesting thread. There must be websites that allow you to listen to American English with subtitles to help you. There is a Spanish-learning website that does this (lomastv.com) Or perhaps just play movies over and over, looking at the subtitles as necessary. Start with American Graffiti. And then there are those great movies with Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper and John Wayne!

    Any ideas out there?

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    #7

    Re: Lyrics

    Quote Originally Posted by kfredson View Post
    Or perhaps just play movies over and over, looking at the subtitles as necessary.
    From times to times I ask myself if that is possible. I mean learn a foreign language just by watching movies and relying in subtitles. Of course the main focus would be in spoken English, stressing only speaking and listening skills.
    I think that could be possible, but I know of no one who has mastered English (or another foreign language) with this method.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #8

    Re: Lyrics

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    From times to times I ask myself if that is possible. I mean learn a foreign language just by watching movies and relying in subtitles. Of course the main focus would be in spoken English, stressing only speaking and listening skills.
    I think that could be possible, but I know of no one who has mastered English (or another foreign language) with this method.
    When I lived in Ireland I met a Moroccan man who was bilingual in Arabic and French which are the two main languages in Morocco (it is a former French colony). He spoke pretty good English and he told me he had learned it entirely from watching DVDs and talking to tourists.

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