Spotify and Language Learning

I’ve been a big fan of Spotify ever since it launched in the states a number of years ago, not only because it’s great for music discovery, but also because it’s a veritable treasure trove for language learners. For a long while, listening to decent music in foreign languages was a matter of either paying to have CDs shipped to you from another country, or hoping what you wanted to listen to had been uploaded to YouTube. While those are still obvious options, I still like Spotify for its catalog and for its ability to help me discover artists I otherwise would probably never find – especially foreign language artists, which, for a guy stuck in southern Ohio, are woefully absent on the radio airwaves.

Spotify Screenshot Anyway – apparently, Spotify recently updated their software, adding a feature which makes it even better for language learners: a lyrics button. Yes, you can already look up lyrics online, but this is a bit cooler than that. When you click the button, Spotify pulls up the lyrics of the song and highlights each line as it happens in the song. Furthermore, clicking on a particular line will make the song jump to that point, so if you want to listen to a line more than once for practice, this makes it happen easily.

There is a caveat, however – the lyrics are, as far as I know thus far, crowdsourced. So sometimes, you may come across a song that doesn’t have lyrics attached to it yet. You can add lyrics, though, and once that’s done, you can listen to the song and click each line of text as you hear it, which makes it possible for Spotify to then display the lyrics in real-time as the song plays. It’s a relatively painless experience, especially considering a quick google search will usually provide you with the lyrics of a song to copy and paste.

All in all, quite a cool feature; check it out.

 

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