When I moved to Taiwan in 2005, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with KTV. Unlike American-style karaoke, when you go to KTV, you control the fun. You can sing all of the songs you love without the wait or the embarrassment of singing in front of strangers. If you’re not happy with how you sound, you can end the song and add it to the playlist once more to try again later.
After a few months in Taiwan, I began to study Chinese, and I became attracted to the idea of learning Chinese songs to a) improve my Chinese skills, b) expand my selection at KTV, c) impress others with my ability to sing in Chinese, even if only a few songs, and d) increase my awareness of Taiwanese pop culture so I’d know what people were talking about when they were discussing Jay Chou’s latest album or the most recent rumor about Wang Lee Hom. What’s more, I feel that I’m musically inclined, and find it easy to remember songs. I’m one of those people who can sing an entire song, word for word, but couldn’t tell you the artist or title.
Remembering Chinese songs, however, is much more difficult. For me, it’s nearly impossible to sing a Chinese song from memory simply from having heard it over and over. And although these days I can read a lot of Chinese characters, enough to get me by at KTV, I need to visualize the lyrics in pinyin if I want to sing a song to myself while driving my scooter through Taipei.
That’s where the Internet has made the biggest contribution to my learning. It’s easy to find song lyrics via KKBOX, and easy to translate them to pinyin using the annotation tool at MDBG. After getting down the melody and most of the lyrics, a search over on YouTube will usually yield a KTV version of the song’s music video. Then, practice makes perfect.
A few words about this site:
I hope others will find this site useful. Certainly, I’m open to any comments or suggestions, and of course please notify me if you notice any errors in my pinyin. While I do use a dictionary to check for accuracy, the pinyin is not machine translated, and therefore might contain a typo here and there.
Regarding my method of using pinyin without tones, I have made this choice for a few reasons. For one thing, the text looks slightly messy with the tones included, and the inclusion of tones would increase the likelihood of errors on my part. More importantly, Chinese songs do not make use of tones, so they are unnecessary for the purpose of learning the songs. I have included the characters and KKBOX lyrics link for each song, so if you really want to know the tone of a certain character, you’ll be able to paste the character into any of the numerous Chinese dictionaries out there and find a result right away.
I have no plan to take requests at this time. This site is updated at my leisure because I enjoy Chinese music, but it should not be treated as a lyrics request service.
If you have an urgent need for song lyrics, please visit the “About Requests” page for a brief tutorial on romanizing your own lyrics.