Months before my trip to France, I began listening to a CD known as earworms : a musical brain trainer. My goal: to become familiar with basic words and common phrases.
I readily admit I struggle with foreign language; found French torturous in high school and college. My brain just doesn't want to think in another tongue.
But, I gave earworms a try. I played the oral lessons, really more like rhythmic tunes, in my office. I honestly didn't study or concentrate on the CD's. However, I listened to volumes 1 and 2 many times.
When I got to France, I actually comprehended some conversation. Menus could be deciphered with a reasonable amount of certainty. I confidently ordered a coffee or a bottle of wine since those were the first things I mastered. My grasp of basic phrases seemed automatic, almost magical.
One morning a waiter spoke to me, just rattling along and when he finished, I casually replied with my room number– in French. My daughter looked at me stunned. How did you understand all that, she wondered?
And..frankly, I did too. Must have been those earworms!
I sincerely recommend earworms.