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Ear Training with the French

December 14, 2011

Amelie sitting in the cinema

Ear training is a must in any language, but especially in French.  It’s one thing to read French; it’s a completely different experience trying to take in all the liaisons – the times when a normally silent consonant at the end of a word is pronounced at the beginning of the word that follows it.

Amelie is perfection for really getting into the French mood and hearing the Parisian accent, however, it’s a time investment.  Instead, when I want to let the French flow I just tune into French radio stations.  I can actively attempt to decipher the code of French or, if I’m at work, just let it sink in and hope I catch some of it through osmosis.

One particular station I’ve grown fond of is Le Mouv broadcast out of Paris.  It’s got a mix of talk and modern music depending on the DJ.  My favorite show to listen to at the moment is the Laura Leishman Project from 1-3pm PST because I can actually understand some of what she says.  She’s originally from Canada, but at age 14 her family packed up and relocated to the French part of Switzerland.  She sounds like a North American speaking French, so it’s not gorgeous, but it is encouraging to hear her speak rapid fire with natives AND flip back and forth effortlessly while interviewing British bands, then translating for her French listeners.

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