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Poll: Do you only listen to songs where you can understand the lyrics?

#1
Aug 16, 2012 9:11 PM

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This came up a while back with some of my friends. As an anime fan, I have plenty of J-Pop songs in my library. However, I also have plenty of Mando-pop, Canto-pop, K-Pop, and even Swedish and Spanish songs in my library. One friend was baffled why I would listen to songs with languages that I don't necessarily understand. He only listen to songs with lyrics that he understands regardless of the genre (thus limiting his songs to just English songs), and actually refuse to listen to songs in other languages. Another friend has a similar opinion, although in his case is English and Mandarin songs only.

Songs do get dubbed into different language, or to put it more correctly, covered. One may think this is similar to sub vs dub argument, but it's not the same. Most of the times, the song is covered by the original artist themselves. This is a common practice in Chinese music where the artists frequently release at least two versions of their songs, one in Mandarin and one in Cantonese. Also Latin artists like Ricky Martin cover their songs both in English and Spanish. Another example is the popular Romanian group O-zone with their song Dragostea din tei. Even Japanese artists like B'z self-covers some of their songs into English. One may still prefer the performance of the artist in one language than another though.

I do appreciate being able to understand the lyrics of a song, but personally a song is not just about the lyrics. There's the music too. Heck, plenty of mainstream music nowadays have non-sensical lyrics anyway, even if you understand the language. Since this is an anime forum, I would think most would be exposed to songs with languages other than their native tongue. Do you only listen to songs where you can understand the lyrics? Does it matter?
 
#2
Aug 16, 2012 9:13 PM

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Nope, lyrics don't really mean that much.

I've got songs in about 10 different languages on my computer, I can understand 3 of those languages.
"If you love someone
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Cause love comes once
If you’re lucky enough"
 
#3
Aug 16, 2012 9:14 PM

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Nope, I like songs of many different languages that I don't understand. What the lyrics say doesn't matter to me as much as how they sound.
 
#4
Aug 16, 2012 9:14 PM

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No sir,I do not.
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#5
Aug 16, 2012 9:14 PM

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Foreign language implications aside. I listen to Scat(jazz).
So no, I don't only listen to lyrics I understand.

 
#6
Aug 16, 2012 9:15 PM

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No. As long as it sounds good.
 
#7
Aug 16, 2012 9:15 PM

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I enjoy listening to Sigor Ros and the *language* they even sing in is made up. The music is still deeply emotional for me even though I don't understand anything that is being said, just like instrumental.
 
#8
Aug 16, 2012 9:17 PM

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Music is a universal language, regardless of what the language is.
 
#9
Aug 16, 2012 9:18 PM

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there's no general standard for my music. it depends on the type of musician and the intent of his music. if i listen to can, i don't care about whatever damo suzuki is screeching out. but if i'm listening to some foreveralone-core album like hospice then yeah, the lyrics matter.
 
Aug 16, 2012 9:19 PM

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I have quite a few different languages on my computer. It does not matter to me if I understand them.

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Aug 16, 2012 9:22 PM

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Actually, I'm the opposite. I listen to music for the mood it creates. So when a song comes around that has lyrics I don't understand, I find it can actually add to my enjoyment of the song because Im listening to the emotion behind the voice rather then focusing on the lyrics themselves.

I think I only have 15-20 songs on my ipod that have lyrics I can understand
 
Aug 16, 2012 9:29 PM

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no, if it sounds good whats it matter what they say.
 
Aug 16, 2012 9:29 PM

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Sometimes, especially when I can relate to the lyrics of the song, I'm like.. /(*o*)\

Usually though, if a song has good music or good vocals or both, I'll listen to it. Doesn't really matter what language it is in, although I stick mostly to japanese songs.



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Aug 16, 2012 9:33 PM

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90% of the time I don't even pay attention to lyrics regardless of whether or not I can understand them, so songs where I can't understand the words don't bother me at all.

I have music from 30 different countries and in about 18 different languages by my count, and I can only understand about 2 of the languages that I listen to songs in.
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Aug 16, 2012 10:08 PM
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I can understand about 30% of the music on my iTunes, I find listening to music in other languages is easier to study with.
 
Aug 16, 2012 10:13 PM

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Nope but the vast majority of songs I listen to are in English. The only non English band/artist that I listen to more than a song of their's is Asian Kung-Fu Generation. Those guys are incredible and I still have a ton of their music I've got to check out.
 
Aug 16, 2012 10:34 PM

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I used to be like that, but not at all anymore thanks to anime, too many amazing songs. And I listen to a lot of hardcore, and most of the lyrics aren't understandable even in my native English, so no, there's no point in avoiding listening to something that I don't understand. It's actually pretty cool listening to Japanese music, because the more I listen over time, the more I start to recognize bits and pieces of the lyrics. Maybe in a few years, when I've learned Japanese, I'll be able to understand them.

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Aug 16, 2012 10:41 PM

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iranian death metal
nope
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Aug 16, 2012 11:12 PM

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I think it's a gift to not understand J-pop lyrics, because they are probably God awful. Instead I just pretend they are singing about sophisticated things and it's all good.

Besides that, it depends on the genre. For instance, a big part of hip-hop for me are the swag to the million billion lyrics, which I'd like to understand. Similar idea for witty punk-rock that relies on quality lyricism. In most other cases I'd just take the highly quality vocals, in whichever language they come in.

Regicide said:
iranian death metal
nope

No one can understand English death metal either, so yeah.
LoneWolf said:
@Josh - Makes me sad to call myself Canadian.
 
Aug 16, 2012 11:18 PM

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Post-Josh said:
I think it's a gift to not understand J-pop lyrics, because they are probably God awful. Instead I just pretend they are singing about sophisticated things and it's all good.


You probably should look up Hide (former X-Japan guitarist)...
He writes quite poetically...
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Aug 16, 2012 11:30 PM

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Post-Josh said:

Regicide said:
iranian death metal
nope

No one can understand English death metal either, so yeah.

I can actually. Some vocalists are more difficult to understand than others, but you get used to it.
私のホバークラフトは鰻でいっぱいです
 
Aug 16, 2012 11:36 PM

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I only listen to kpop and jpop; it just sounds like mumble jumble to me. Good mumble jumble, though.
 
Aug 16, 2012 11:43 PM

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Kyzix said:
Post-Josh said:

Regicide said:
iranian death metal
nope

No one can understand English death metal either, so yeah.

I can actually. Some vocalists are more difficult to understand than others, but you get used to it.


Yup, I can mostly understand death metal vocalists as well. But nope, I'll listen to just about any language.
 
Aug 16, 2012 11:43 PM

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itsvero said:
I only listen to kpop and jpop; it just sounds like mumble jumble to me. Good mumble jumble, though.


Believe me, just about 95% of all popular Kpop lyrics are corny love songs...I personally listen to kpop only for the good melodies...I rarely pay attention to the lyrics...
Modified by Exposed_Joker, Aug 17, 2012 12:01 AM
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Aug 17, 2012 12:08 AM

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No. In fact, I prefer listening to songs where I can't understand the lyrics because half the time they're stupid anyway. If I can't understand the lyrics, it makes it easier to enjoy the music. Of course, that doesn't stop me from looking up the lyrics, but I rarely remember them anyway.

Also, music helps a lot when learning other languages. My Chinese teacher always used music as an aid. It really made the class more enjoyable (until she made us sing in front of everyone).
 
Aug 17, 2012 12:15 AM

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I don't understand Alien, so I don't listen to dubstep.
 
Aug 17, 2012 12:18 AM

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Not really, albeit me and a friend concluded that we prefer that have meaning I still don't really care if i can understands them or not. Hell, i know you meant it language wiise, well I listen to death metal and some black metal.
Now, count up your sins!
 
Aug 17, 2012 1:05 AM

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Okay so basically everyone on this thread listens to weaboo music.
lol @ img bbcode not working, mal is such a great site
 
Aug 17, 2012 1:08 AM

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xxangelchanxx said:
Okay so basically everyone on this thread listens to weaboo music.
i'd rather listen to weeaboo music, then like, muse lolz.
 
Aug 17, 2012 2:09 AM

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I don't but I do personally find it disgusting when someone says that they only listen to songs that they can understand the lyrics. I find it annoying and in a way, very rude.
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Aug 17, 2012 2:40 AM

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Show me a man who understands Pig Destroyer lyrics and I will show you a man who lies through his teeth.
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Aug 17, 2012 2:44 AM
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Music is universal
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There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong
 
Aug 17, 2012 3:27 AM

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Not at all ._. There are lyrics of songs in my native language that aren't clearly understandable (reading along while listening is cheating), then I would have to listen to less varying music :S
 
Aug 17, 2012 3:42 AM

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I listen to Death metal and Black metal...You can understand the lyrics but only if you listened to that song at least 50 times and memorised it part by part...

Grindcore,pornogrind and noisecore...even way harder...

BUt that does not matter because we the fans of such music mostly listen to it because of the awesome instrumental pieces so the vocals in such music is only a supplement to the rest of the band...in contrast to pop music which emphasises only on vocals.

...also i have some j-rock on my hard drive...
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Aug 17, 2012 3:44 AM

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I don't ONLY listen to songs that I understand, but I prefer to because it makes it easier to sing along w/o looking up the lyrics lol.



 
Aug 17, 2012 4:29 AM

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You don't need to understand the lyrics to understand her potato-y sadness



AnnoKano said:
Show me a man who understands Pig Destroyer lyrics and I will show you a man who lies through his teeth.


It's all about memorization.

 
Aug 17, 2012 4:39 AM

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Of course not. If I limited myself like that I'd never l get to know to a lot of great music out there. And, no, I'm not talking about Japanese songs only, but also Russian, German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish etc.
I listen to everything that catches my interest regardless of the language or the country of origin.
Now that I think about, I estimate that not more than 20% of my music collection is in the languages I understand (though that's partially due to a massive amount of instrumental music I listen to).

P.S.
Wow, poll results are so uniform, I'm a bit surprised.
Modified by metamorphius, Aug 17, 2012 4:43 AM
 
Aug 17, 2012 5:29 AM

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No. I listen to Korean pop music.

So you might say I listen only to music where I don't understand the lyrics.
.
 
Aug 17, 2012 6:40 AM

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Annoiato said:
xxangelchanxx said:
Okay so basically everyone on this thread listens to weaboo music.
i'd rather listen to weeaboo music, then like, muse lolz.


Woah, wait a minute, just stop right there.

Muse are awesome.
"If you love someone
Follow your heart
Cause love comes once
If you’re lucky enough"
 
Aug 17, 2012 7:11 AM
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xxangelchanxx said:
Okay so basically everyone on this thread listens to weaboo music.


nope, only a little :/ I listen to mostly rap
 
Aug 17, 2012 7:19 AM
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Heh, don't tell me you didn't expect that one-sided score when you were making that poll, let alone making that question, at some anime forum, OP? Well, just like those voters, I don't, too. Hell, in the kind of genre I especially listen to, rock and metal, half of the lyrics are quite hard to grasp even.
 
Aug 17, 2012 7:57 AM

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Im listening to Japanese music right now, and I have been listening to mostly that for the past few weeks, even though I dont have any idea what the lyrics are. Before that, I would also listen to German songs (Rammstein =D) and i still do, although like i said, japanese music has been dominating my playlists recently.
 
Aug 17, 2012 8:18 AM

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No. Lyrics are important for me, but I can enjoy a song even without knowing what the hell it's all about. As long as it sounds good, it's fine.
The only thing you can rely on is that you can't rely on anything.
 
Aug 17, 2012 8:46 AM

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No, there are lots of songs I don't understand what they are talking about which is really enjoyable :D
 
Aug 17, 2012 8:54 AM

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Lyrics don't mean too much to me. If I really like a song I will hum along so words are not necessary. I listen to a lot of Russian music, and since I don't know the language that well I don't really know all the lyrics. I also like some random intro songs for some anime, and I don't know the words for those either (except maybe the random English words they throw in there :P).

If it's a good song, it shouldn't matter.
I wandered through fiction to look for the truth.

 
Aug 17, 2012 9:00 AM

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clownishguy said:
Post-Josh said:
I think it's a gift to not understand J-pop lyrics, because they are probably God awful. Instead I just pretend they are singing about sophisticated things and it's all good.


You probably should look up Hide (former X-Japan guitarist)...
He writes quite poetically...

How is he J-pop? Also I was just over generalizing, I don't literally think there are no lyrically talented J-pop artists.

Annoiato said:
xxangelchanxx said:
Okay so basically everyone on this thread listens to weaboo music.
i'd rather listen to weeaboo music, then like, muse lolz.

Backed. I always rip on my housemate for liking muse.
LoneWolf said:
@Josh - Makes me sad to call myself Canadian.
 
Aug 17, 2012 9:02 AM

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Post-Josh said:
Backed. I always rip on my housemate for liking muse.


Massively disappointed.
"If you love someone
Follow your heart
Cause love comes once
If you’re lucky enough"
 
Aug 17, 2012 9:10 AM

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There are lots of songs in English where I can't understand the lyrics, and it's my native language. I listen to all kinds of songs in at least 8 other languages, all of varying genres, and sometimes I understand them better than English ones.

It's music, so for me, it's more about how it sounds than what it means. Sometimes I can tell from how it sounds what it's about or what the overall mood is, anyway. The words themselves aren't always as important.
 
Aug 17, 2012 10:31 AM

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I like music that i like. Understanding the lyrics isn't a big deal to me.
 
Aug 17, 2012 11:29 AM

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I listen to music that sounds good, in fact most of the music I hear is lyric-less
 
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