I actually don’t listen to a lot of Chinese songs, but when I do, I can tell you right now that they will be on repeat mode for weeks on end until I receive complains. One of my recent addictions is “Bubble” by GEM. If you are tone deaf like me when it comes to music, it is OK, I’ve got you covered. We might not be able to sing the song in a tutoring session, but we can certainly enjoy the music to our heart’s content. Not to mention that the song itself makes for a great discussion. And it is hard to say no to a great discussion topic!


* Clears Throat * Ready to sing?


Before I start, I must say that prior to stumbling into the multi-lingual world of italki, I used to think that I was a weirdo because I liked listening to music in different languages. While being a weirdo is not necessarily a bad thing, it is comforting to know that I am not alone! So, let’s begin!


  • 你喜欢听哪国的音乐?
  • nĭ xĭ huan tīng nă guó de yīn yuè ?
  • Which country's music do you like?


  • 我最喜欢韩国的音乐因为我听不懂歌词!*
  • wŏ zuì xĭ huan hán guó de yīn yuè yīn wèi wŏ tīng bù dŏng gē cí !
  • I like Korean music the most because I don't understand the lyrics! *


* Note: As in not knowing the language.


  • 你喜欢听哪个语言的音乐?
  • nĭ xĭ huan tīng nă ge yŭ yán de yīn yuè ?
  • What language do you enjoy listening to music in?


  • 我平常听英文和韩文歌,偶尔也会听听日文歌。
  • wŏ píng cháng tīng yīng wén hé hán wén gē , ŏu ĕr yĕ huì tīng tīng rì wén gē 。
  • I usually listen to English and Korean songs. Occasionally, I listen to Japanese songs.


Time frequency


Maybe you also enjoy music from different cultures. If so, then you can use time frequency to express your music preference.





píng cháng



yŏu shí hou



ŏu ĕr





  • 我的姐姐平常听英文歌。
  • wŏ de jiĕ jie píng cháng tīng yīng wén gē 。
  • My sister usually listens to English songs.


  • 他的妈妈偶尔听英文歌。
  • tā de mā ma ŏu ĕr tīng yīng wén gē 。
  • His mother occasionally listens to English songs.


If you happen to have a roommate who loves repeat mode, then now is the perfect time to express your annoyance.


  • 一整【time】都在【verb】
  • yī zhĕng 【time】 dōu zài 【verb】
  • whole [time] do [verb]


  • 我的室友一整周都在听同一首歌。
  • wŏ de shì yŏu yī zhĕng zhōu dōu zài tīng tóng yī shŏu gē 。
  • My roommate has been listening to the same song all week long.


  • 我的妈妈一整个月都在听同一首歌。
  • wŏ de mā ma yī zhĕng gè yuè dōu zài tīng tóng yī shŏu gē 。
  • My mother has been listening to the same song for the entire month.


General music vocabulary


The first example that I gave says that I like Korean music because I don’t understand the lyrics (as in, I don’t understand the language). While it is an example, it does reflect some truth! There are some songs that I absolutely love in English, but wish I didn’t understand the words.


However, before we can discuss a song’s lyrics, we need to know some basic information about it. For some reason, I tend to remember the song name better than the artist’s name.


  • 不知道为什么我老是记不住歌手的名字, 我只记得歌曲的名字。
  • bù zhī dào wèi shén me wŏ lăo shi jì bu zhù gē shŏu de míng zi , wŏ zhī jì de gē qŭ de míng zi 。
  • I don't know why I can never remember the artist's name. I can only remember the song's name.





gē shŏu



gē qŭ



yuè duì



nán gē shŏu

male singer


nǚ gē shŏu

female singer


If we add or before 歌手, then we get male artist and female artist respectively. It is the same concept from my previous article Let’s Talk About Your Favorite Movie.


  • 我最喜欢的男歌手是周杰伦。
  • wŏ zuì xĭ huan de nán gē shŏu shì zhōu jié lún 。
  • My favorite male artist is Jay Zhou.


  • 我最喜欢的女歌手是蔡依林。
  • wŏ zuì xĭ huan de nǚ gē shŏu shì cài yī lín 。
  • My favorite female artist is Jolin Tsai.


  • “SHE” 是一个乐队还是一个歌手的名字?
  • “SHE” shì yī gè yuè duì hái shi yī gè gē shŏu de míng zi ?
  • Is "SHE" a band or an artist's name?


Music preferences


Once you know the name of an artist or band, then we can start talking about the types of the music that you like. Of course you can do this in any order that you prefer.


  • 你喜欢什么类型的歌?
  • nĭ xĭ huan shén me lèi xíng de gē ?
  • What kind of music do you like?


  • 我喜欢不同类型的歌。
  • wŏ xĭ huan bù tóng lèi xíng de gē 。
  • I like different kinds of music.


Vocabulary and expressions:



bù tóng lèi xíng de gē

different types of music


liú xíng yīn yuè

pop music


gŭ diăn yīn yuè

classical music


mín gē

folk music


jīn shŭ yuè

metal music


yáo gŭn yuè

rock music


ōu mĕi yīn yuè

European and American music


ér gē

children's music




While there are songs that I wish I didn’t understand the words to, most of the time I love the songs because of the catchy lyrics (歌词 gē cí).


  • 这首歌想表达的是什么?
  • zhè shŏu gē xiăng biăo dá de shì shén me ?
  • What does this song want to express?


  • 你对这首歌有什么想法?
  • nĭ duì zhè shŏu gē yŏu shén me xiăng fă ?
  • What do you think of this song?


  • 你明白这首歌的歌词吗?
  • nĭ míng bai zhè shŏu gē de gē cí ma
  • Do you understand the lyrics of this song?




If you are fortunate enough to not be tone deaf like me, then perhaps you love to sing. We can expand our conversation using the same basic structure to talk about songs that you love and how well you sing.


  • 你喜欢唱歌吗?
  • nĭ xĭ huan chàng gē ma ?
  • Do you like to sing?


  • 你喜欢唱什么歌?
  • nĭ xĭ huan chàng shén me gē ?
  • What kind of songs do you like to sing?


  • 你唱歌唱得怎么样?
  • nĭ chàng gē chàng de zĕn me yàng ?
  • How well do you sing?


Tone Deafness


  • 五音不全
  • wŭ yīn bù quán
  • Tone deaf


  • 我想唱歌但是我不可以唱歌因为我五音不全。
  • wŏ xiăng chàng gē dàn shì wŏ bù kĕ yĭ chàng gē yīn wèi wŏ wŭ yīn bù quán 。
  • I want to sing but I can't because I am tone deaf.


  • 虽然我不可以唱歌,但是我很喜欢听歌。
  • suī rán wŏ bù kĕ yĭ chàng gē , dàn shì wŏ hĕn xĭ huan tīng gē 。
  • Although I can't sing, I still love listening to music.


五音不全 is one of my favorite phrases. It means “tone deaf.” I like the sound of its literal translation in Chinese, which means “five sounds not altogether.”


Being 五音不全 means that I can’t teach children songs during my classes with younger learners. Even so, we are still sometimes able enjoy Chinese children’s songs together.


As for you, it might be slightly weird to play your favorite song to your teacher, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to share your music preferences with him or her. Who knows, you might both like 周杰伦! Or maybe you don’t have a particular 歌手 that you like, but you do have a specific 类型的歌 that you enjoy. Whichever is the case, you are now equipped with expressions that you can use to talk about your music preference in Chinese.


Image Sources


Hero Image (CC0)