Okay, so you are proficient at reading German while also being familiar with all the classic films. Have you studied the German music scene, though? You need to narrow down your choices of where to enjoy German music because there are a sheer number of options before you. Did you take German pop music into consideration?
What Makes German Pop Music Popular?
It is entertaining. And it is true that trying to read could be a fantastic method for learning German, but listening to music can be a lot of fun. Also, it is a perfect justification for having a German pop session with your buddies. You can all support one another by singing along or playing lyrical games.
It broadens your vocabulary. Pop music may address a wide range of topics, including politics, current events, and even heartbreak and romance. In fact, due to the variety of subjects covered, listening to pop music is a great method to expand your vocabulary.
You learn the slang of the people there. German idioms can be learned by listening to the singing of native speakers. You know, sayings or statements that are difficult to translate, like the English proverb, “the early bird gets the worm,” or, “while in Rome.” German has many difficult-to-translate phrases, which you will learn by listening to them and then using them in your lesson work.
Absorbing vocabulary and grammar. Although it may sound eerie, you will be unconsciously collecting a ton of helpful language and grammar. German will become more natural to you the more German music you listen to. Before you realize it, you will be employing a ton of vocabulary and sentence structures that you had no idea you knew.
It provides a window into German culture. Listening to the most recent pop music can help you blend in with the locals because you will be aware of all the fashions and trends that the Germans are presently adopting.
How to Master German Through Pop Music
First Time, Listen with None Subtitles
Listen to modern pop music for the first time without looking up the lyrics or the subtitles. Why? You will be forced to focus intently on the German you are hearing as a result. If the song has a music video, attempt to minimize the window or close your eyes so that you may concentrate entirely on one sense and not be distracted by the images.
Why can’t the images make the meaning clearer to you? Definitely—depending, of course, on the music video. After your initial listen, add them in and see how much more you can comprehend. Try to identify any words you recognize while you are listening and write them down. If you need to, you are welcome to pause the music to allow for uninterrupted writing.
Any Words You Do Not Understand, Look Them Up
After you have done some initial ‘listening only’, it may be helpful to have a copy of the German lyrics on hand, depending on your level. You should get a long number of results if you search for the song name and “lyrics” on Google. Songtexte.com is the primary (and finest) website for German lyrics.
If you run upon a term or phrase while you analyze these lyrics that you are unfamiliar with, seek it in a dictionary and afterward make a note of it. Use whichever method of recording—an online file, a flashcard app, flashcards in the physical sense, a vocab journal, etc.—that works best for you.
Although some people might find this process to be tedious and protracted, it does not necessarily have to be. For instance, the language learning software offered by FluentU uses a library of real media, such as music videos, and enhances each one with interactive elements like quizzes and subtitles. Adding new phrases to your vocabulary bank as multimedia flashcards is another option.
Writing down new words is essential for expanding your vocabulary, whether you do it manually or with the aid of a program. Set a daily target for yourself, such as mastering four of these terms each day.
Utilize Music Videos to Participate
The Lyrics Training app is an enjoyable activity to engage in after becoming familiar with your lyrics. As the video for the song plays, you fill in the holes in the lyrics in this game. There is a wide collection of songs to pick from, divided into genres and levels of difficulty.
You can choose the level of difficulty for that round after selecting your music, ranging from beginner (with 10% of the missing words) to expert (with all blanks and no words on onscreen to use as prompts). Additionally, there are two playing styles available: “Write Mode,” where you input the missing word, and “Choice Mode”, where you select the right word from four alternatives.
Your performance in the game is recorded, allowing you to compare it to previous times and track your progress.
You will be more than capable of singing along to any of these German pop tunes once you have mastered the lyrics. Actually, a few of these are that ridiculously catchy that you will probably be singing along before you even realize it.
Because it is so much fun and allows you to exercise communicating in addition to listening, this is the ideal practice. Compare your pronunciation to the artists’ as you go word by word, halting to sing just after the original. Does it have the same sound? Can you alter anything to sound somewhat like them?
Sing with your German-learning buddies if you are fortunate enough to have any. You may inform one another to know whether or not there are any pronunciation issues by just talking through the song’s lyrics. And if you begin to sound like something of a local, you may both pat each other on the back.
Top 5 German Pop Bands to Learn the Language
Now that you know why and how to listen to German pop, allow us to present our ranking of the top five pop bands to listen to in German to sharpen your listening of the language.
Die Fantastischen Vier
One of the first hip-hop ensembles to rap in German was The Fantastic Four from Stuttgart, also known as Die Fantastischen Vier. They have been active since the 1980s and are still quite popular, just like Die Ärzte, about which we will write later.
The song “Die Da” is a great option for learning German because it includes a grammar point that is not covered in class. The third-person preposition typically takes the place of a definite article in spoken German.
Look to their lyrics to see how they accomplish this: “Es ist die da, die da am eingang steht.” (It is her there, who’s standing at the entrance.). Simply replace “sie” with “die” and you are done. And that is a fantastic illustration of how to employ a relative clause as well! The relative pronoun “die” moves the next verb to the bottom of the phrase after the comma.
One of the earliest international superstars of German pop music, Nena, must be mentioned in a blog post about German pop music, so here she is. Her song “99 Luftballons” (99 Balloons) was originally published in 1983 and received positive reviews all around the world. German pop music, as previously said, covers a wide range of topics, and “99 Luftballons” by Nena is one of its most political songs due to its anti-war lyrics. Because the English song was rewritten rather than translated verbatim from German, comparing and contrasting the two versions would be a good German exercise.
Nena has continued to release new albums and go on regular tours since her 1980s blockbuster hit. She sang a duet with fellow ‘80s legend Kim Wilde in 2002 for the popular song “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime”.
Wir Sind Helden
Even though We Sind Helden (We Are Heroes) disbanded in 2012, their incredible pop legacy endures. The group is frequently referred to as being a member of something like the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) culture, a subgenre of new wave and punk rock.
The band’s name was inspired by David Bowie’s “Heroes”, and they are originally from Berlin. Wir Sind Helden, like Silbermond (the next on our list), had a sizable international fan base; in fact, in 2006 and 2007, they performed three sold-out shows in London. Additionally, one of their tracks was included in the FIFA ‘08 video game by EA Sports, the sequel to the most popular ever football video game, which even found its place among the best German online sportsbooks, to which we refer as Bundesliga betting sites.
Another one of their songs worth listening to is “Guten Tag” (Hello), which was their breakthrough success in 2002. They also have the extremely well-known “Denkmal” (Memorial) song. But thanks to the handy word chips throughout the Bob Dylan-inspired film, “Nur ein Wort” (Only a Word) has to be our favorite when it comes to speaking German fluently.
Silbermond (Silver Moon) is indeed the ideal option if you like your pop to lean toward the more rocky end of the spectrum. Stephanie Kloß is the band’s lead vocalist, and the group is from Bautzen in eastern Saxony. The trio formed the band Jast (Yes) in 2000 after meeting in the Christian youth club “Ten Sing” in 1998. The following year, they adopted their current moniker.
Even though they only sing in German, they have a decent international reputation and have even shared the stage with artists like Chris de Burgh and Green Day. At the 2009 MTV Music Awards, they took home the Best German Act Award. You cannot go amiss with these prize winners if you want to boost your German including some pop.
Although “Das Beste” (The Best), one of Silbermond’s most well-known songs, has somewhat sappy lyrics, it is arguably the most romantic song on our list. However, it will assist you with verb conjugation. There are many sentences that start with “ich” and “du”, therefore, learning how to combine their verb forms will be quite useful. You should listen to “Ja” (Yes) and “Unter Meiner Haut” (Under My Skin) if this gets your senses craving for more.
There is no cause why you should not incorporate Die Ärzte (The Doctors) into your studies as they have been utilized to study German in classrooms for a number of years due to their amusing song topics and positive lyrics.
Die Ärzte got their start in the 1980s punk movement in Berlin. Before forming their medical alias, two of the members—Bela B. and Farin Urlaub—were in numerous punk bands. Rodrigo González joined them in 1993, forming their present line-up.
The anti-Nazi anthem “Schrei nach Liebe” (Cry for Love) and “Hurra” (Hoorah) are two of their most known songs. They have adopted a more ‘poppier’ sound in recent years. One of their older tracks from the 1980s, “Westerland” (Western Country) was perhaps one of their initial songs to have a pop vibe. It honors a region on Sylt, an island off the northern coast of Germany. It is a beautiful song to learn German to because the chorus frequently uses short sentences.
This article should have whetted your thirst for some German music. You have found yet another way to begin mastering German if you combine this with your commitment to doing so.