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30-Day Challenge

30-Day Challenge: Day #19 – Sing karaoke (노래방) to improve your memory and enjoyment of Korean


If you’re studying Korean, noraebang is an awesome way to practice reading and pronunciation. I would go to noraebang every day if I could.

The video above shows Benny the Irish polyglot singing a karaoke song in German as “proof” that learning the popular songs of another language can help you learn that language. For more detailed reasons, head over to his blog here, but for now, here’s a brief summary of his main points:

  1. Music connects across cultures, breaks down barriers, and is way more impressive to the natives than perfect grammar.
  2. You learn culture through music, and learning a language is like learning a musical instrument.
  3. Learning lyrics teaches you more vocab, phrases, and slang.
  4. Singing helps you get rid of your accent (check the difference between Jackie Chan’s speaking and singing voice). Maybe you should consider singing lessons rather than language lessons!^^
  5. Singing can help you learn simple, basic phrases faster and better.
  6. It’s mobile. Take it anywhere, practice anytime. Just be sure to LISTEN to the words and focus on them.
  7. It’s fun and allows you to be braver than you might be with just speaking.

And besides that, here’s something else I just discovered yesterday. Even the most famous and well-known brand slogans (like Nike: Just Do It) are easily forgettable unless coupled with music. For example, how many of the following brand slogans can you remember just right off hand?

  1. Adidas
  2. Coca Cola
  3. Sprite
  4. LG
  5. McDonald’s

If you recall the “da da da da daahhh” that always comes just before the McDonald’s slogan, then it’s quite easy to recall the slogan itself. The others, however, are a bit more tricky.

Music does that for your brain – it stores cues in multiple locations so that when you see or hear something similar, or need to recall something from a song, you have more reference points in your brain than simple vocabulary memorization would provide you.


So, today’s Challenge is about getting OUT to a Noraebang and singing your heart out. However, it would be helpful to 1) choose a song you’d like to sing FIRST, 2) find the lyrics, and at least 3) read over them a few times so that you get the flow. (Learn the vocab in the lyrics as well for more enjoyment of the song.) I’ll provide links and tips for finding Korean song lyrics in the Resources section.

#19: Go to the 노래방 and sing a Korean song (or 3).

Record a video of your singing (or you can make a music video like Benny did above) and post the link here.

Hashtags are:

#k2k3019 #kpopstar


가사 = lyrics

If you want to search for the lyrics to any song, simply type “____song_name____ 가사.” Then, when browsing over the list that pops up in Google, here are a few web addresses to keep in mind:


Have you ever tried to sing a Korean song in the 노래방? How difficult was it?

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