1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Has anyone ever sang in publi…


Has anyone ever sang in public (ex: karaoke) in a different language (that you learned)?

This is one of my dreams; to sing in public, at a karaoke specifically, songs in the languages that I am learning. I would love to sing a French, Spanish, and South Korean language songs.

Interestingly, I have already sang in Japanese, but it sucks that I have no idea what exactly I was singing.

I would love to sing in another language and ACTUALLY understand what I am singing.

Has anyone fulfilled this dream?

Is there a way to learn a language through songs, even though the grammar is set up "poetically"?


March 25, 2017



In French, I have sung Le Chante des Partisans. I prefer the Johnny Hallyday version, and his song La Loi de Silence (sp? My French spelling is terrible.) I also like Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin duets.

I have sung several songs in Spanish. Ramon Ayala has some really good but bittersweet songs, like they are happy songs to sing while sad or sad songs to sing while happy. Un Rinconcito en el Cielo and Un Puño de Tierra are my favourites.

In Portuguese, my favourite is Aguas de Março.

And Laura Pausini - I am unsure as to her nationality but she sings good rock songs in several languages.


That is so impressive! --- I can't wait to have the confidence, and knowledge, to sing in another language and truly understand what I'm singing. sigh .... Are you able to gain language skills by singing in another language, and also understand the artistic-grammar in which the lyrics are written? Thanks.


Yes, please. Singing makes your brain retain language faster. Music and memory go hand in hand. Put some good music in your target language and sing your heart away. You don't need to understand everything, you know? At some point you'll get it!


Yes, I've sung songs in English (it's not my native language, so it counts) when my friends and I were playing Rock Band on PlayStation.

These were songs by different bands, from The Beatles to Trivium, it was cool, even though my both clean vocals and screaming techniques are awful :)


I belong to a Swedish choir, and perform at different places all the time. We sing religious songs at Christmas and happy songs in summer. Some are written by my teacher (who is originally from Sweden), some are translated into Swedish, and some were in Swedish in the first place. My favorite is Halsa Dem dar Hemma, which, literally translated, means "greet them at home". I wasn't even intending to learn Swedish when I joined, but I've been in the choir for four years now, and I've picked up a lot of it. Anyways, thanks!

  • 2051

Yes. but I am a classical singer and we are required during our training to sing in French, German and Italian as well as English. Many singers also sing in Latin, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Hebrew to name but a few. It is completely possible but you need to study the language and the diction carefully as well as translate the text so that you know what you are singing about.


Well, I had no audience because it was the middle of the night and it was raining, but I sang a little in Norwegian (various metal bands) and Hebrew (a folk song) once. At work I sometimes quietly sing in Faroese (Týr) but no one can hear me over the machinery (it's an old, loud kitchen). I'm too intimidated to try Finnish, though I listen to a number of bands that use this language (besides, I'm not classically trained to sing so I'm just okay). As a child I sang German songs a few times (I had an interest in the language early on), but they were all children's songs I wouldn't sing now. There might be others I'm forgetting, but mostly I don't sing that much anyway, let alone in another language.

Edit: YES you can learn at least a little of a language by listening to songs in it. I learned a decent amount of Norwegian and Spanish that way, and a tiny hint of Finnish.


Yes - having sung in a choir, I have sung publicly in French, German (both mediaeval and modern pronunciation), Latin (mediaeval pronunciation) and Russian. At school, our teachers (native French and German speakers) used to teach us folk songs and Christmas songs to improve our pronunciation.

I dislike listening to myself speak - I find I am far less inhibited about singing around the house in another language (but maybe that's just me!)

Songs can be a very useful tool in language learning. It is boring to listen to someone SAY the same text over and over again, but if it is a song that you like, it's not a chore. Also, many songs are slower than normal speech (although my listening to Russian rap was asking for trouble!!), so they make easier listening practice than foreign language films.

You are right, you can't really use songs to learn grammar, but they are both useful and fun contributions to learning the spoken language.


All the time! I used to study classical voice, and sang in Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Latin, along with others I'm probably forgetting. I also used to sing with my Russian and Swedish classes as part of song exercises.

Honestly, people think it's way more difficult than it actually is. My voice teacher gave me this advice - learn the meaning of each phrase, and then the meaning of each word, separately. That way, you not only know the overall meaning, but which words to emphasize, etc. The music will also help you with such cues. Another thing to keep in mind is that words may be pronounced differently when sung than they are when spoken - listen to other singers in that language, and the specific song if you can find it, to get an idea.


You are so right! I keep forgetting that, when I was in choir in middle school and high school, I sang many classical songs in many different European languages, but I forgot to truly understand the words so that I can know which words to correctly emphasize. Also, I am recently learning, as you stated correctly, that some words are sung differently from how they sound in normal conversation. So, that is something I must remember to keep in mind. Thank you. :)


Every time I do karaoke (which doesn't happen often). In ES, EN & PT.


I've sung karaoke countless times in Mandarin (and a few times in Japanese and Taiwanese), but I don't know if I'd say it was 'in public', since the karaoke booths are usually rented out to large or small individual groups for a few hours at a time, so it's usually with friends or friends of friends. That being said, if you're learning any East Asian language, you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice not to take advantage of the karaoke culture as a fun and effective learning aid (much more helpful if you're living in an East Asian country, though some cities around the world with large Asian populations might have Asian-style karaoke).

Protip: For songs by artists from Taiwan, China, or Hong Kong (or others that sing in Chinese languages), if you just search the song title plus 'KTV' on YouTube, you can usually find the official music video (if there is one) with the original voice and the lyrics in large print on screen that become highlighted as they're being sung. Unfortunately for Japanese songs, it's much more difficult to find anything with both lyrics and voice, or even the original album version of any song at all available online outside Japan. As for Korean or Southeast Asian music, with which I have no experience, I have no idea how easy it is to find anything with both lyrics and the original voice.

Honestly, I really wish the same kind of karaoke were available for European languages like Hungarian or German or Spanish.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.