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Learning in the Loo

I’d like to share a little language-learning secret with you. It’s a great way to sneak a little studying into your day that doesn’t take up any extra time at all. Not a minute. Here it is, if you’ll pardon my French: Keep your lesson book in the loo.

There’s an awful lot you can pick up in the minute it takes to, say, brush your teeth. Although I’ve been studying French for over a year, it wasn’t until a quick little lesson today that I learned that a mute h at the beginning of a French noun elides its definite article, but an aspirate h doesn’t. Who knew?

And, because such lessons will be brief, it’s likely you’ll remember and use them. The other morning, for instance, I acquired a little phrase that I was able to commit to memory by using it repeatedly throughout the day: Donne-moi ce truc qui est sur le machin-chose là (“Give me that thingamajig above that whatchamacallit”).

Give it a try–and let me know what little gems you find.