Language by Osmosis
I go through phases with music. I will play a song or artist again and again until I kill it for myself. Months, sometimes even years go by before I will resurrect a song and get nostalgic. Occasionally but rarely a song will get tossed into my imaginary dumpster never to be heard again, mostly they will all make a comeback eventually. I am this way with the French language as well. My love affair began in my t'ween years. I flirted at 12, pursued with earnest in my High School years and then broke up and reunited all throughout my adult life. I'm not gonna lie- it's been rocky.
I'm sure my parents were delighted when I first expressed my interest in learning a foreign language- what 12 year old says, "Aw, forget Super Mario Bros. I want to watch french cinema and listen to The Cure" (which my friends is another post altogether.) I was able to walk into my French class first day of Freshman year and understand the teacher right away (she insisted on speaking French the moment you walked in the door, from day one). Yes, I proved myself to be a bit of a nerd that day, but one with cherry red combat boots and black lipstick- I did not get messed with. But I digress... I stuck with it in High School and tried to keep up with it in the ensuing years. I've never managed to get passed a beginning/intermediate level, as real life has always gotten in the way of serious study of the language, but I soldier on, making sure not to lose what I already know.
So what, you might ask does this have to do with music and songs being resurrected from my imaginary dumpster? Well I'm glad you asked that, I was just about to get there... One of the ways I keep up with the French language in a non-grueling, my head will explode kind of way is to listen to French music. It settles on your skin and seeps in through your pores, exposing you to the language in a harmless, we're-not-here-to-hurt-you kind of way. I like that, it's gentle even if it IS after some of your brain cells!
I'm a bit picky about music in general (I have eclectic tastes within certain parameters! haha!) but really picky about French music. I won't just listen to it just because it's in French or because it's some famous chanteuse that I'm supposed to like (don't try to guess, it's no one in particular that I'm dissing!). I do have two favorites, neither of which is classic or old but both very French and both delightful in their own way!
Pauline Croze, a pop/folk/jazz singer has been resurrected from the dumpster recently after being relegated there after much overplay- but hey, I was absorbing the language! She's always been my go-to French gal. I've also been listening to Brigitte- a duo of two pretty amazing female singers, who harmonize perfectly. Not such a bad way to retain a language, huh?
Treat your ears and your pores to some osmosis. Your brain cells will say thank you, or rather, Merci!! :)