Sing me a song, you're a singer
June 4, 2017 4:16 AM   Subscribe

LyricsTraining is a pretty fun site to practice listening comprehension and learn songs in about a dozen different languages.

(Tip: when you're browsing videos, if you check the "Pending Review" box you'll see more choices, most of which are all still good quality.)
posted by Wolfdog (9 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
This had a lot more promise than it delivered. I'm not sure the people who made this have ever created a cloze exercise before - the words they left out for you to guess seemed totally random. I did Shakira's "Esto es África" song and the first blank was the word "caen" - an incredibly difficult guess! Later blanks were words like "y" and "Africa".

Once again, no love for Chinese . . .
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:46 AM on June 4, 2017


The deletions are randomized on each play. That does lead to some less-than-optimal deletions but in the aggregate I think it works pretty well, and makes replay more interesting (and there's always Expert mode, which is not randomized, and Karaoke mode).

One of the best things about the site is that it has a good editor for you to sync videos yourself. I think in fact most of the videos are user submissions and whoever runs the site mostly just reviews them for "publication". You can sync any video you want and keep it unpublished.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:03 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I also found it a bit underwhelming; while the deletions are randomised on each play, what's removed has to be interesting to try and fill.
posted by Merus at 5:43 AM on June 4, 2017


That was pretty fun!

I picked a French song. Weirdly, it was simultaneously sung in sign language and subtitled in German, so I kept getting distracted by trying to learn the signs, and paying attention to the German, and then forgot to listen for the French.

But it turns out it's pretty easy to fill in the blank of something you didn't hear at all by keyboard mashing until you hit the right letters.

Also my final two words were "la" from a sequence that went "la la la la la la", so that wasn't too tricky...
posted by lollusc at 5:57 AM on June 4, 2017


"Derrière Les Mots" on easiest setting (French) worked pretty well for me.
posted by amtho at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2017


Props for using Dio in your headline. Disappointment in that "Heaven and Hell" wasn't offered amongst all the dance pop.
posted by Ber at 9:05 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


The deletions are randomized on each play.

Yeah. I understand why they did it that way but that means the only difference between "Easy" and "Expert" is the number of words missing, not how difficult it is to fill in the blanks. As lollusc said, filling in "la" in a string of "la la la la la la" isn't exactly rocket science.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:34 AM on June 4, 2017


It also doesn't lend itself well to actually learning a language, as their About page boasts. There's no vocabulary or even grammar building if a preposition or proper name is just as likely to be your target as a noun or verb conjugation.

Don't get me wrong, I love using cloze exercises in my classes, but there has to be a point or it's just noise. I see you have the option to choose your own blanks if you make an account and create an exercise - that's definitely way more useful.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:48 AM on June 4, 2017


I disagree about the usefulness. I mean, sure, it's not a complete language course, but it's a low-stress way to make one's self actually listen to a language and match written text to heard text; filling in the words is just a tiny bit challenging, but you're actually having to pay attention to all the _other_ words, while seeing them in written form, to find which ones are missing.

It's an easy way to increase listening, which is hard to do -- in real life, trying to listen to second language speech is usually very stressful, and fast, and you can't easily ask people to repeat things; here, it's easy and nobody's looking at you or waiting for you, and you're not at risk of going into the wrong room or ending up with the wrong food.

There are other listening exercises, sure, but they are very time-consuming to create and seldom this culturally relevant. Also, there's rhythm!
posted by amtho at 3:25 AM on June 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


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