Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rapping all day long

I'm still here, happily doing my daily SRS reps, watching telenovelas (no, they're not just for chicas or mujeres) and listening music. Listening A LOT of music, each and every day, for hours and hours. To be honest: I just can't listen to audiobooks or podcasts while commuting. I like reading newspapers, or just staring out of the window while sitting in the train or bus. Not thinking about anything.

So, podcasts are no real option, nor are audiobooks. I have to think too much, and I just want to relax. And music simply helps me to relax, especially Spanish music. I've written more regarding this a while ago, and in the meanwhile I've listened hours and hours to reggaeton, bachata, rock, (latin)rap and more. The last few weeks I've been discovering Spanish rap. At first I was just enjoying the beats and lyrics, so far I could understand them. But then something cool happened.

I have the weird ability to listen to a CD for weeks and weeks, hours and hours per day. And the cool thing is that even after three weeks a CD doesn't bore me. It takes at least 4 - 5 weeks before a CD really starts to bore me. This way I can absorb the lyrics, giving me some new neat vocab to work with, but it also helps me understanding something said at 500 miles per minute. For example: there are quite some natives in the classes I attend, and after school we often continue to speak Spanish, but mostly they speak at 500 miles per minute which was quite difficult for me. Was difficult for me, because now I can understand them without a problem. Sure, sometimes I need a second or two before I fully understand what they've just said, but I can understand it. All because of rap and reggaeton.

Another neat thing that happened is that is influenced my pronounciation. So far I developed an Iberian accent which I really like. I had to work hard to get this accent, but eventually I developed one. It's a pity I didn't find out earlier how music can help to build your accent. For example: I got a CD with some cool reggaeton. As common in parts of Latin-America some singers pronounced the jota as a 'h' - hota. After a while I began saying things like muher, hente, caha, etc., etc. Now, this is something I didn't want to happen because of my Iberian accent.

It took some effort not using it anymore, but it proves that music strongly influences your pronounciation. Instead, I'm listening rap now, from Spain. And it really helps with my pronounciation, both maintaining and building it to perfection.


Jeff said...

Hey Ramses,

Sounds like this is really helping you. Thankfully, I NEVER get annoyed by listening to the same CD over and over again.

Do you have any favorite Spanish rap, reggaeton, bachata, and rock artists? It'd be great to have some recommendations for CD's to buy, as I would love to try this method out -- we all know that it's hard to get used to Spanish being spoken at "500 miles per minute."

Gracias y buena suerte!

Ramses said...


lately I've been listening to 7 notas y colores. Also, I have some CD's of 995 (nueve nueve cinco).

Here's a small list of what I've got of rap music:

7 notas 7 colores - Hecho, es simple (great old school, really relaxing)
7 notas 7 colores - Miami Internacional (wouldn't recommend this one, the main rapper has an American accent on this on. Why? I think to be tough or something).
995 - II (don't know, I just like the songs on this CD).

All are from Spain. I'll put up a complete list when I have time. This will be on the new blog :).

San said...

Hi, I'm very glad to hear about your progress, but just wanted to make a little remark on what you said. I am Iberian myself and I've been saying jota as hota for my entire life. Neither way is more Iberian than the other. So you'd better say your target accent is Castilian, which is just one of the accents in the Iberian Peninsula, not even the more sponken, albeit certainly the more heard in the media.

Ramses said...

True, messed up the two terms. Thank you for the remark :).