How to listen to this song: “Chinese Translation” by M. Ward

Student Self Study: How to listen to this song

Song: “Chinese Translation” by M. Ward

The goal of listening to this song is to improve word stress. Stress means how strongly you say the word. Word stress is usually really hard for East Asian students. Unfortunately, native speakers have a lot of trouble understanding people who stress words in strange ways.

“Chinese Translation” is a nice song for practicing word stress. Enjoy.

Do these things…

Listen to the song: You can listen to it here, or search the internet. Listen to the song first. Don’t read the lyrics the first time. Listen first, then you can read the lyrics next.

Read the lyrics (and listen again):

I sailed a wild, wild sea,
climbed up a tall, tall mountain.
I met an old, old man
beneath a weeping willow tree.
He said now if you got some questions,
go and lay them at my feet,
but my time here is brief,
so you’ll have to pick just three.

And I said…

What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart?
And how can a man like me remain in the light?
And if life is really as short as they say,

then why is the night so long?
And then the sun went down,

and he sang for me this song.

See I once was a young fool like you,
afraid to do the things,

that I knew I had to do.
So I played an escapade just like you.
I played an escapade just like you.

I sailed a wild, wild sea,
climbed up a tall, tall mountain.
I met an old, old man,
he sat beneath a sapling tree.
He said now if you got some questions,
go and lay them at my feet,
but my time here is brief,
so you’ll have to pick just three.

And I said…
What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart?
And how can a man like me remain in the light?
And if life is really as short as they say,

then why is the night so long?
And then the sun went down,
and he played for me this song.

If you want, you can look up new words here: http://www.ldoceonline.com)

Note word stress: Listen again. Don’t look at the lyrics. Fill in the sheet below. Put an X in places where the word is stressed. Listen as many times as you need to. We did the first sentence for you, but there is no perfect answer. You can disagree. Listening and trying will help your word stress skills a lot.

_ __X____ _ __X__, __X__ ___,

_______ __ _ ____, ____ ________.

_ ___ __ ___, ___ ___

_______ _ _______ ______ ____.

__ ____ ___ __ ___ ___ ____ _________,

__ ___ ___ ____ __ __ ____,

___ __ ____ ____ __ _____,

__ ______ ____ __ ____ ____ _____.

___ _ ____…

____ __ ___ __ ____ ___ ______ __ _ ______ _____?

___ ___ ___ _ ___ ____ __ ______ __ ___ _____?

___ __ ____ __ ______ __ _____ __ ____ ___,

____ ___ __ ___ _____ __ ____?

___ ____ ___ ___ ____ ____,

___ __ ____ ___ __ ____ ____.
___ _ ____ ___ _ _____ ____ ____ ___,

______ __ __ ___ ______,

____ _ ____ _ ___ __ __.

__ _ ______ __ ________ ____ ____ ___.

_ ______ __ ________ ____ ____ ___.

_ ______ _ ____, ____ ___,

_______ __ _ ____, ____ ________.

_ ___ __ ___, ___ ___

__ ___ _______ _ _______ ____.

__ ____ ___ __ ___ ___ ____ _________,

__ ___ ___ ____ __ __ ____,

___ __ ____ ____ __ _____,

__ ______ ____ __ ____ ____ _____.

___ _ ____…
____ __ ___ __ ____ ___ ______ __ _ ______ _____?

___ ___ ___ _ ___ ____ __ ______ __ ___ _____?

___ __ ____ __ ______ __ _____ __ ____ ___,

____ ___ __ ___ _____ __ ____?

___ ____ ___ ___ ____ ____,

___ __ ______ ___ __ ____ ____.

Sing along: Finally, using the two sheets, sing along with the song. Go back to the lyrics and circle the words that are stressed. (Circle the words that got an X.) Then, sing the song.

2 Responses to “ “How to listen to this song: “Chinese Translation” by M. Ward”

  1. Rachel says:

    Hey – stumbled upon your site from a Facebook link. I especially like this exercise.

    I’d love it, if you’re looking for sites to review, if you reviewed my pronunciation website, RachelsEnglish.com.

  2. Hehe, I visited your site for the first time yesterday and wrote a draft review immediately. I’ll let you know when I post it:) (And thanks for the kind words.)

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