I keep bumping into the seemingly redundant 歌を歌う, meaning 'to sing'. Is there a nuance compared to just 歌う? Is 歌う by itself too ambiguous? Does 歌を歌う amount to a set phrase?

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    へぇ、変ですかね・・英語でも sing a song, live a life とか言いません? – Chocolate Feb 7 at 9:42
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    It’s obviously redundant, so there’s not much to say about the question as written, but the way you’ve phrased it makes me wonder if you’re under the misconception that redundancy is somehow bad or unusual in natural language. Did you mean to ask if there’s something wrong with it? – snailboat Feb 7 at 13:29
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    'Sing a song' is extremely common in English, too. – Aeon Akechi Feb 7 at 14:33
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    ^ sing a song の頻度が sing, song に比べてめっちゃ少ないからって、uncommon な表現だと言えるんでしょうか。sing a lullaby とか write a song とか、 sing や song は他の語と使われることもめっちゃ多いですから当たり前ですよね。read a book の頻度も read, book に比べたらめっちゃ少ないけど、read a book は uncommon な表現じゃないですよね。 books.google.com/ngrams/… – Chocolate Feb 7 at 17:24
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    As a Russian, "sing a song" never bothered me while learning English, but I also found "歌を歌う" odd when I started learning Japanese. I think to my non-Asian mind the difference between "sing" and "song" is much bigger than the difference between 歌 and 歌う. I see "sing" and "song" as two completely different words (even though they are similar, there is no visible "common root" and you can't turn one of them into another by adding something), but with 歌 and 歌う I feel like the latter is just a slightly different variation of the former, which is why my brain finds "歌を歌う" redundant I suppose. – kuchitsu Feb 7 at 22:37

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