I don’t really know why, but I love singing in other languages. In the last two years, with my choir and others, I have sung pieces is Xhosa, Hebrew, Latin, Ndebele & Zulu, German, Yoruba, Welsh, Hungarian, Spanish, Russian, and most recently in French. While I can’t say that I always have as much fun as Benny the Irish Polyglot singing a German pop song, I also can’t think of how to have more fun practicing another language.
The first two of Benny Lewis’ “7 reasons to learn languages through singing,” are at the heart why I enjoy it so much. I feel like I am building a bridge to another culture when I can master the words of a song well enough that they can be heard and understood in the language of that culture.
There is even evidence that singing can help you learn a language more easily. A University of Edinburgh study found that groups of adults who listened and repeated short phrases by singing them, performed better in tests than those who learned by speaking them. Learning by listening and repeating phrases has been basis for popular audio courses such as Pimsleur language programs, as well as online resources like Mango Connect, and free web and mobile apps like Duolingo.
Once you get your foothold in a language, one of these books on diction in singing can help polish your pronunciation, or satisfy your inner perfectionist.