Beyond Words - Language Blog

10 Foreign Language Covers

A language acquisition study published in the journal Cognition in 2008 suggests that listening to and singing along with music may play an important role in learning a language. Reported by Cognitive Daily , the study supports that singing in a foreign language can help a student learn that language faster. The concept isn’t unusual. Over the years, several friends have told me they practiced their French listening to Serge Gainsbourg, their Spanish listening to Cafe Tacuba, their Mandarin listening to Carsick Cars, and so forth.

You can test the study’s findings with the 10 Foreign Language Cover Songs we compiled here. Enjoy!


Johnny Cash performing Wer kennt den Weg
A German version of I Walk the Line


Die Ärzte performing Gehn Wie Ein Ägypter
A German cover of The Bangles’ Walk Like An Egyptian


Seu Jorge performing David Bowie’s Life on Mars? in Portuguese


Los Campos Magnéticos performing El Galán de La Paternal
A Spanish cover of The Magnetic Fields’ The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side


Blondie performing Llámame
A Spanish version of Call Me


Mikel Erentxun performing Esta Luz Nunca Se Apagará
A Spanish cover of The Smiths’ There Is A Light That Never Goes Out


Rachid Taha performing Rock El Casbah
An Arabic cover of The Clash’s Rock The Casbah


Adriano Celentano performing Pregherò
An Italian cover of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me


Oksana Mysina and Oxy Rocks performing Не то уж теперь
A Russian cover of Bob Dylan’s Things Have Changed


Shang Shang Typhoon performing レットイットビー
A Japanese cover of The Beatles’ Let It Be


More Music for Language Learners:

Check out Beyond Word’s series Spinning Languages for great foreign language music.

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