I’ll admit it — I’m a huge fan of “the karaoke method” for learning Chinese. It’s why I wrote a few years back about 8 Bands to Help You Learn Mandarin Chinese for Matador. And it’s also why I’m happy to share this post from Yang of Learn Mandarin Now.
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Listening to Chinese love songs is a really great way to learn Chinese, and was highly rated in a recent survey we undertook, details of which are consolidated in our blog post: How to Learn Chinese: 50+ bloggers give their tips.
We believe Jocelyn agrees with this, as recall reading one of her own previous blogs on the subject some time ago; so, before we go further, many thanks to her for letting us from Learn Mandarin Now make another guest post here, but this time all about one of our favourite topics: Chinese Love Songs!
Whilst, naturally, everyone has their own tastes in music, listening to Chinese love songs is, perhaps, one of the very best ways to learn Chinese, as it will be sure to get the attention of your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband—and probably find you a “special” tutor into the bargain!
Some of the songs below, both from the past and more modern times, can be considered “classics” and are extremely popular amongst many Chinese people—in some cases being an integral part of Chinese music culture.
Here are four we especially like:
This song is really one of the classic Chinese love songs and almost all Chinese, no matter old or young, will know the lyrics and are happy to sing along with it.
The song was actually written in the early 1970s but it was not until the late 1970s that it came to prominence and fame when Teresa Teng’s(邓丽君) version, which has been described as: love song with a waltz-like lilt”, made the song known throughout Asia.
The essence of the song expressing the feelings that words cannot adequately convey the speaker’s love, whereas the moon, a symbol of romance the world over, can.
First released in 1993 by the famous Jacky Cheung’s (张学友), this song became one of the most popular Chinese love songs in the 1990s. Jacky Cheung, with records sales of over 25 million and internationally famous, is known as one of the “Four Heavenly Kings”（四大天王） of Hong Kong.
In addition to the song, the music video was also very popular in China and, if you ever went to KTV in the country during the 1990s, you would have almost certainly heard people asking for and singing along with this song.
3. Red Bean – 红豆
Written by the famous Hong Kong lyricist Lin Xi(林夕), Red Bean is one of the most famous and successful of Faye Wong’s(王菲) love songs, released in 1998 at the height of her success.
Faye Wong is considered to be one of the “divas” of Chinese music, as well as the queen of “Canto-pop”—and one of the highest paid singers in the region. These days, Faye Wong rarely appears on TV or in movies or releases any new albums, yet when she does do a concert it’s usually sold out in just minutes, no matter how high the ticket prices.
Marry Me Today, sung in a duet by famous Taiwanese artists David Tao(陶喆) and Jolin Tsai(蔡依林) is, not surprisingly in view of its title, one of the most popular songs heard at Chinese weddings.
Released in 2006 on David Tao’s fifth studio album “Beautiful”, this song became an almost instant hit for the singer, for whom it subsequently won the “best song” at the prestigious GMA Awards. It can usually be heard at any typical KTV session where couples love to sing it together/to each other.
There are so many Chinese love songs to choose from that we had a hard time selecting only four. In fact, if you have some special love song which has helped you learn Mandarin Chinese, be sure to let us know by visiting our website: www.learnmandarinnow.com.
Yang is a serial web entrepreneur whose latest website is www.learnmandarinnow.com. He is passionate about learning new languages and cultures.