Shakira's dictionary hits

LONDON: Columbian singer Shakira had to use a dictionary to write songs in English, because she couldn't get to grips with the language.

Shakira used to rely on a dictionary to write songs.

The Columbian singer's first language is Spanish but with many of her songs performed in English, the 'Hips Don't Lie' star struggled to get her lyrics to make sense.

She said: "Writing songs used to be so difficult for me. A few years ago I could barely speak English and I used to write my songs with a dictionary. It was a real labour of love and I would sit there for hours just looking up words. But now thankfully it comes to me more naturally and spontaneously."

Shakira recently revealed she hopes her forthcoming untitled album helps people "forget their troubles" by dancing to her up-beat tracks.

She said: "It's very electronic and dance-oriented, club-oriented. It's designed for people to have fun and enjoy themselves and forget about their troubles and the crisis."