The other day somebody in one of the language groups on Facebook that I am member of asked, โ€œWhat are some of the methods you use to learn a language?โ€.

Well, here is my very very very short answer in ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง and ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น, adapted to the Instagram Reel reality of 30 seconds. Enjoy the video(s) or you can also continue reading under them.

Get ready for me on an English High Speed Train and/or an Italian Frecciarossa.

โญ Music. A lot of music.

โญ Singing along with the songs of The Lion King in every language I know. These songs are usually the first ones I turn to when I start a new language.

โญ Reading Le Petit Prince in every language I study. Every time I read it, I discover something new.

โญ Rereading books I really like in my new language(s): Angels and Demons, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Crusade in Jeans, โ€ฆ. To name only a few.

โญ This might sound strange, but it really works and definitely underrated as a language learning tool: I talk to myself while taking our dogs for a walk. But you could also do while showering or brushing your teeth.

โญ Listening to Podcasts, whenever possible: while running, while cleaning, while cooking, while gardening (but I keep some time for meditation; my mind does need a break every day at least twice).

โญ Making mistakes (and trying to ignore the fear of sounding ridiculous).

โญ Writing on Twitter in my target languages and hoping someone wants to check for those mistakes. In my experience, even if nobody gives feedback (but usually I get some), it is a good practice to add some writing and/or speaking to your language learning. It forces you to focus on sentence structure, you have to look up words you didn’t know and if you make a voice note or video you might have to check the pronunciation of some words (using for example

โญ Classes on Italki with great teachers. Donโ€™t go for good, go for the best for you. Keep in mind that weโ€™re all different and unique and a great teacher for your friend (with or without benefits) might be not your cup of tea.

โญ Participating in language challenges as they force you to focus a bit more on your language(s) during a certain amount of time.

Same singer, other language.

Axelle ๐Ÿ”ด Red ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช singer Axelle Red released the album Con solo pensarlo, which contains ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ versions of some of her ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท songs: the evergreen Sensualitรฉ (Sensualidad) and the ever beautiful Je t’attends (Te esperรฉ) and many more to discover.

The queen ๐Ÿ‘‘ della musica italiana and Co ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

Multilingual, my all time favourite, responsible for my best concert ever (Rome, Stadio Olimpico, 2016) but Laura Pausini is also the first ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น female artist to win a Grammy Award ๐Ÿ†, 2021 winner of a Golden Globe and in her home country known as La regina ๐Ÿ‘‘ della musica italiana.

Almost all her songs exist in an Italian and Spanish version, some in Brazilian Portuguese. Too many to mention, but I won’t let you go without a short trilingual overview.

Flag of Italy - OriginalFlag of Spain - OriginalFlag of Brazil - Original
Due innamorati come noiDos enamoradosApaixonados como nรณs
Incancellabile *InolvidableInesquecivel
Invece noEn cambio noAgora nรฃo
Le cose che viviLas cosas que vivesTudo o que eu vivo
Nel primo sguardoA simple vistaNo primeiro olhar
* second song at my wedding

Her latest song Io sรฌ (Seen) is nominated for an Oscar and more importantly a multilingual feat, released in 6 versions, 5 languages ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง and the soundtrack of La vita davanti a sรฉ (The Life Ahead) casting Sophia Loren.

Many ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น singers soon followed in her footsteps and released Spanish songs and albums; Nek, Tiziano Ferro and Alessandra Amoroso being the most famous and successful ones. Why stop in the land of ๐Ÿ• and ๐Ÿ if with slightly adapting the song gives you access to the ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ speaking world?

Queen ๐Ÿ‘‘ Cรฉline Dion ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

The woman our Google ๐Ÿก wakes us up with on weekdays, sometimes in ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท, sometimes in ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง. Some songs you available in fish and chips version as well as pain, vin et boursin:

  • If That’s What It Takes – Por Que Tu M’Aimes Encore
  • Have A Heart – Partout Je Te Vois
  • Fly – Vole
  • Let Your Heart Decide – Tous Les Secret
  • I don’t know – Je sais pas
  • Et je t’aime encore (same title for both versions)

She has a similar voice in my opinion and like Cรฉline she has ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ citizenship (next to ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช) and while singing mostly in ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Lara Fabian‘s biggest succes was I Will Love Again ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง, also released in ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ as Otro Amor Vendrรก.

Let’s dance with J.Lo ๐Ÿ•บ, Enrique ๐Ÿ’ƒ, Shakira ๐Ÿ‘ฏ and Mika ๐Ÿฉฐ!

Saying that the combination ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง is popular is the understatement of this and the former century.

As a teenager I had Jennifer Lopez‘s first CD (On the 6) and ๐ŸŽค and ๐Ÿ•บto the lyrics of Waiting for Tonight (I did turn of the lights and closed the curtains first), but when I reached the ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ version on the ๐Ÿ’ฟ (Una noche mรกs) I had to limit my lip-sincying to the title (I only started stuyding ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ at the age of 33). But whenever, wherever I hear it now I’m proud to say I know the lyrics. ยกOlรฉ!

Talking about Whenever, Wherever Shakira sang Suerte to the same lyrics and to celebrate the FIFA World Cup 2010 โšฝ Waka Waka (Esto es Africa) became Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).

Enrique Iglesias tried to Escape in ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง y intentรณ Escapar en ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ, but dancing was in both languages Bailamos.

Multilingual Mika turned Staring at the Sun ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง into Tant Que J’ai Le Soleil ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท (or the other way around) and Elle M’a Dit ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท became creatively Emily ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง.

So now, voulez-vous danser ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ‘ฏ๐Ÿฉฐ avec moi?

These guys and gals are the ones I turn to when I’ve just started a ๐Ÿ†• language.

Disney has an abundance of songs available and what’s more important to you as language learner/lover/addict (delete as appropriate) they exist in a myriad of languages and often also in different versions of the same language (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ and ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ, ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท and ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น, ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ and ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช…).

I recently rediscovered Timon and Pumbaa, the ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ way. My fav is Can You Feel the Love Tonight. Not only because I like the song, but also because the happy couple (they are a couple, right; or is that just an impression only I have?) have a short conversation before and after the song; a conversation I know by heart in ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง, ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท, ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ and ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น (not yet in ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ, but don’t worry I’ll get there). Ain’t I a strange ๐Ÿ‘ฝ guy, right?

  • ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Can You Feel the Love Tonight
  • ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Es la Noche del amor
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Esta Noche es para amar
  • ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท L’amour Brille sous les ร‰toiles
  • ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Nesta Noite o Amor Chegou
  • ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Esta Noite o amor Chegou
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Kann es wirklich Liebe sein
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น L’amore รจ nell’aria Stasera
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Fรธl Hvordan Dit Liv Bli’r Fyldt
  • ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ‘s Avonds Bloeit de Liefde op

Still haven’t had enough of The ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ‘‘? On Youtube you can find a multi-language version in 16 (!) languages.

If you don’t like Simba’s adventures, well… who’s strange ๐Ÿ‘ฝ now? No just kidding of course. It really is l’embarras du choix as we say in ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท . There’s Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast ๐Ÿ‘น, Moana… and

  • Laat het Los
  • Libรฉrรฉe, Delivrรฉe
  • Lass Jetzt Los
  • All’alba Sorgerรฒ
  • Vol Volar

aka Frozen’s Let it go in ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ and many more as you might have already seen on Youtube or in this Spotify playlist. There are 44 official versions but who’s counting?

You know the melody (it really helps!), you know what it is about (or you quickly check the lyrics in another language).

โ€ผ๏ธ Mind you, this can also be a first step to watching a ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽž๏ธ in your target language: it becomes easier when you’ve already listened to the songs.

So put the songs on ๐Ÿ”‚ and ๐ŸŽค along!

Main article about music and language learning is just one click away.

But there are more songs to discover…

  • Interested in the covers that could accompany you on your language learning adventure? Click here.
  • Multilingual songs are sometimes a 50/50 story, sometimes just a pinch of that other language. If you want to discover a few examples: click here.
  • Same song, same performer, other language(s). You know the drill by now: click here.