They say music is the universal language. That sentiment will not get you far in France, unless you plan to sing your way for directions and recommendations. Parlez-vous français? Who has time for such a daunting task? Just when I was about to give up on this American girl in Paris, I discover Coffee Break French—a free (yes, free!) podcast designed to teach you the basics, little by little, in the time it takes you to drink your grande café au lait.
Each week, a new 20-minute lesson appears online ready to download into iTunes. Taught by adorable Scottish teacher Mark and student Anna, the lessons start at the very basic level and take you through to intermediate. With tips and tricks to get that hard to tackle French accent (hold your nose to force the nasal sound), the lessons are just long enough for you to master each topic. More of a visual learner? You can purchase their enhanced podcasts that include synchronized flash cards (viewable on your iPod), printable word lists and exercises all designed to increase your understanding.
Perfect for your morning jog, commute to work or duh, your coffee break (props if you actually get one!), you will have that certain je ne sais quoi in no time. As if walking and chewing gum isn’t impressive enough, this takes multi-tasking to a whole new level.