Guest Post: Learn Mandarin Chinese Like Lovers Do

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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Learn Mandarin Now Guest Post Picture

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:

1. The Moon Represents My Heart – 月亮代表我的心

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.

2. The Goodbye Kiss – 吻別

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.

4. Marry Me Today-今天你要嫁给我

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. 

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8 Bands to Help You Learn Mandarin Chinese, Pub’d on Matador

Screenshot of my article, 8 bands to help you learn Mandarin Chinese
Check out my latest article at Matador

Matador just published another piece of mine titled 8 Bands to Help You Learn Mandarin Chinese. In it, I recommend eight bands and artists, primarily folks who write and sing their own original music, that can help boost your Mandarin Chinese studies. Here’s a snippet of it:

HEAVY APPLICATION OF THE “KARAOKE METHOD” has improved my Chinese and taught me some conversational phrases like bùzhībùjué (unnoticeably) and búyào jiànwài (don’t be a stranger).

 To find out what bands and artists I recommended, read the full piece at Matador now. And if you like it, share it. Thanks!

The Story of Our Chinese Love Song, Cǎihóng by Yu Quan

Yu Quan, 羽泉
The Chinese pop duo Yu Quan, 羽泉 (photo from baidu.com)

On our first official date together, John happened to slip a CD in my portable CD player, Lěngkù Dàodǐ by Yu Quan. I gave him one of the earbuds, turned the CD player on, and we listened to it all the way to the vegetarian restaurant. I’ll never forget how I felt the moment Cǎihóng, or Rainbow, came on, a song in Chinese that described the ultimate love as more gorgeous than a rainbow. Much of their music captured the kind of innocence and beauty that surrounded my love with John, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he even chose that CD on purpose. Let’s just say this: by the time John and I arrived at that restaurant, I already fell in love twice — with him and this new musical group. Continue reading “The Story of Our Chinese Love Song, Cǎihóng by Yu Quan”