Why People Enjoy Music in Languages they do not Understand


Music is a universal language, as just about all languages and cultures enjoy some form of music. With such a wide range of music to explore, there is plenty of room for exploration. In fact, many people listen to music in languages that they don’t even understand. For example, a non-Spanish speaker may listen to Spanish singers, while a French speaker may be a big fan of K-pop. So why exactly do people enjoy music even when they can’t understand the lyrics being sung? Let’s take a look. 


Many people listen to music for the beat and sound rather than the words and lyrics, explaining why some people listen to music in new languages. While there are some listeners that resonate with lyrics and enjoy their meaning, for others the song’s words are less important. For those that love dancing, you may listen to songs you don’t understand simply because they are up-tempo and easy to dance to. Alternatively, you may be an athlete or weightlifter that enjoys getting adrenaline from listening to fast beats rather than lyrics. Lyrics are only a part of a song, and there are many parts of a song one can enjoy.

Experience New Cultures

Another reason why people listen to music in languages they do not understand is to experience and embrace new cultures. Music is an important part of the culture, and often you will find the two intertwined. Listening to the music associated with other cultures is a great window through which to view what these cultures are like. Another culture’s music can help teach you what is valued in that culture. Additionally, your new shared musical experience will make it easier to connect with others in that culture.

Learn New Leagues

When learning a new language, something linguists advise is consuming media such as television in the language you are trying to learn. In a similar vein, listening to songs sung in foreign languages could help you learn and recognize words from that language. A base understanding of the language is required, but it can help you learn how to properly use words and educate you on slang. Music is an important part of culture and language, so if you ever attempt to learn a new language it is highly recommended that you check out that language’s music. 

Lift Moods

One of the main reasons why people listen to music they cannot understand is simply because they like the songs and they raise their mood. Up-tempo beats and catchy music can appeal to anyone, not just people that speak the language. For example, many people love Latin music simply because it is energizing and lifts their moods. People listen to music with no lyrics all the time to alter their moods, such as those who listen to classical music to calm down or feel relaxed. Just because you can’t understand the lyrics, does not mean a song can’t make you feel good.