Before the age of the internet, yes there used to be no internet, or just very few people surfed it, you used to have to buy a CD or, eek, a cassette or record, in order to get the written lyrics to help you with exercises in which to improve your Spanish fluency. Well, luckily when I lived in Venezuela I had plenty of people that could help. So my best friend Felipo listened to the entire track of a couple of songs that had been given to me a few years prior and wrote down all the words. Up to that point I had heard each song no less than 100 times each and could make out many of the words, but once Felipo wrote them all down for me on paper I was able to memorize the whole thing. In fact, just the other day I tested my memory and to my surprise was able to recite most of the song still to this day and it’s been several years since I even thought about it. Those two songs were “El Tiburon” and “Pedro Navaja” by Ruben Blades, old school salsa from the 70s. That’s when the salsa was really good, when the songs told a vivid story. Memorizing songs will help your fluency, it will teach you how to say new phrases and guess what? It will also improve your grammar. So for all those Spanish students out there across the globe dreading wading through the hundreds of pages from a text book, here is a great way to have fun while learning. When you memorize lyrics you don’t have to think about what is being said. The words are automatically “downloaded” into you mind and BOOM, you are speaking fluently, at least for a little bit.
What songs are best to improve Spanish fluency?
I do recommend in another post that beginners practice with children’s Spanish songs, but that’s not for fluency, rather learning vocabulary and to create a foundation of simple grammar. I’m asking you to try out cooler, modern songs to not only have fun, but to focus on mastering speech fluency, how NOT to sound like a robot when you talk. Now I do think salsa songs are the best for advanced learning, at least older Salsa from the 70s. They don’t just repeat the same chorus over and over and that’s all, rather they tell a story which will fill your head with lots of vocabulary. Chorus is good for beginners because it is easier to understand. A new hipper, popular song will be played on the radio more so you can hear it several times further making it easier to memorize. Plus it’s a way to know what people are listening to today. In general, today’s songs, no matter the genre, are simpler and easier to follow than the salsa songs previously mentioned, which often times are 10 minutes long! So let’s check out “Estoy Enamorado-” (I’m in Love) a slow song by Latin hip hop artists Wisin & Yandel. I love these guys, their songs range from slow to fast with very catchy lyrics and they are always on the radio here where I live. Click here to go to a video on Youtube to hear Estoy Enamorado, by Wisin &Yandel. Read the lyrics “letras” while you listen to the song. I’ve also provided the lyrics farther down here, just scroll down in a minute. Make sure to click the link below the lyrics to print off a copy. By the way, a great place for the “letras” for Latin songs is www.musica.com. That’s where I go. The song is about the singer thinking about the woman he loves, describing how he feels about her and how he wants to tell her about those feelings. How to Practice Spanish Fluency with this Song 1. Focus on the chorus: Estoy enamorado Te lo quiero confesar Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte English translation I’m in love I want to confess it to you Completely in love (my translation) I’m always thinking about you, I’m never going to let you go 2.
*Great Fluency Tip
Notice the running of the words together in the Chorus “Te lo quiero confesar,” sounds like “Teloquiero confesar,” two words instead of four. “Me la paso pensandote,” sounds like “Melapasopensandote,” two words instead of four again. “..nunca voy a soltarte,” sounds like “..nuncavoya soltarte.” 3. Listen to the song at least 3 times before looking up any of the words with a Spanish-English dictionary. Spanish sounds fast to many English speakers and although I believe English sounds fast to others too, I do believe that Spanish theoretically could be spoken faster- more words per minute. This is because many words begin and end with vowels. You do not use your tongue or lips to pronounce them which allows you to slip right into the next word more easily, like in the chorus above. If you are in Spanish classes right now you rarely see teachers conducting lessons that improve fluency. This exercise will help. Have fun! (My apologies ahead of time, I did not input ALL the Spanish punctuation. ) Letras de la canción: Estoy Enamorado Una nueva mañana me levante pensando en todas las cosas lindas que hemos hecho W con Yandel. Pensando en tu olor, tu piel Para mi lo eres todo Quisiera estar siempre a tu lado Huir de todo mal (de todo mal) De tu cuerpo un esclavo Y creo que te he demostrado que Estoy enamorado (Simplemente) Te lo quiero confesar (Te lo queria decir) Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte (Rumba) Estoy enamorado Te lo quiero confesar Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote (Todo el tiempo) nunca voy a soltarte Escucha, W Queria progreso a la calle le dio un receso Mi voz tenia peso como un corazon preso Ella me libro de todo mal con tan solo un beso Ha sido un proceso pero el amor ya no da regreso Yo sigo a su lado, su amor es sagrado Tengo muy claro del amor el significado Ella tiene regaño conmigo ha batallado Vamos soldado nos hemos ayudado Estoy enamorado (Escuchame bien) Te lo quiero confesar (Yo te lo queria decir) Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte (Princesa) Estoy enamorado Te lo quiero confesar Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte (Ey Doble!) Ella tiene la sustancia de la perseverancia Tengo amor en abundancia Princesa tu has cambiado mi arrogancia Veinticinco problemas, cuarenta circunstancias Y yo te quiero decir, que tu cuerpo quiero consumir sin disumir, ella me empieza a dirigir Me toca y yo me empiezo a derretir (Tiene magia) Eres la mujer de mi vida lo tengo que admitir Señores Yandel! Quisiera estar siempre a tu lado Huir de todo mal (Solo quiero que dios me de la oportunidad) De tu cuerpo un esclavo Y creo que te he demostrado que Estoy enamorado (Presta atencion) Te lo quiero confesar (W, Yandel) Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte Estoy enamorado Te lo quiero confesar (W&Y Records) Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte eh Evidentemente tiene magia Tiene la llave de mi corazon en sus manos Quienes son? W, Yandel Victor ‘El Nazi’, Nesty El Profesor Gomez, W&Y Records Señora te lo tengo que decir Escucha bien Quisiera estar siempre a tu lado Huir de todo mal (de todo mal) De tu cuerpo un esclavo Y creo que te he demostrado que Estoy enamorado Te lo quiero confesar Totalmente ilusionado Me la paso pensandote nunca voy a soltarte Hope you enjoyed the song and keep returning to my blog for more Spanish fluency tips!
- Yandel Presenta: Hable De Ti… (rubirdz.wordpress.com)
- Songs that Connect Spanish and English (latinmusicforgringos.com)