The Best Travel Apps - The Daily Telegraph
Self-styled "revolutionary" language learning apps, these 70-minute audio lessons use mesmerising music and repetition to get your brain to remember key words and phrases. Weirdly effective.
Jammin’ to a new language @ ishouldlogoff.com
When we were approached about reviewing this smart phone application, I was excited. There are tons of applications out there to help travelers learn European languages, or even a few words of Cyrillic or eastern languages, but I find most of them lacking.
The idea with Earworms Musical Brain Trainer is that listening to the language downloads will put words and phrases into your long-term memory, so you can actually recall it when you need it. The lessons are put to music or rhythms which improves the brain’s recall function. Given that epic stories from thousands of years ago, like the Odyssey, were put to music so a poet could remember the whole thing, I think the creators on to something here…
Language Learning Through Earworms? Ja! @ GeekDad / Wired.com
Even if you’ve never heard the term “earworm,” you’ve had one. You know: one of those songs or tunes or fragments of melody that gets stuck in your head for days on end, so that you find yourself muttering “if you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go where fashion sits” over and over again, in the shower and in line at the grocery store and at your desk and aaaaaarrrrgggghhh make it stop!Yes, earworms. Everyone hates them. So when I heard about a company that was trying to use the power of the earworm for good, I was intrigued. And skeptical. And a little afraid…
This review is from: earworms French Vol. 1 (Berlitz earworms) (Audio CD)
Five stars! A product superior to other language CDs. With music playing in the background, the lessons are far more engaging and memorable. I play it in my car, and on my computer.
Those familiar with brain science and learning know that the more modes used for introducing new concepts, the more likely information will be retained. Add repetition and a pleasant experience, and retention is reinforced.
The speakers in this series are upbeat and friendly, teaching words and phrases anyone can use in a French-speaking environment. A pamphlet is included with spelling and pronunciation.
I have ordered the Rapid French 2 CD as well. I would love to see this company develop other CDs devoted to French idioms, politics, history, humour, science, and other topics.
Everything seems more interesting and easier to remember when set to pleasant rhythms. I can even imagine a family preparing for a trip together, bopping around the kitchen or travelling down a highway listening and responding to the recording. Oui... it seems corny, mais, c'est possible!
Now that the technology is available, I'm not sure why any language book is published without an accompanying CD. If it does provide one, I recommend that the "earworm" technique be studied and blatantly imitated. It's a vast improvement over less appealing recordings. And isn't the point to have language learners develop an ear for the correct accent?
Mais oui! Will be checking out the Spanish line, too.
This review is from: earworms: Musical Brain Trainer, German Edition - (Audio CD)
My husband and I are learning German prior to our trip there through this audio CD. It is easy to listen to, easy to learn, and very non-threatening. As a professional educator, I rate their learning strategies at the top. It's very user friendly.
This review is from: earworms French Vol. 2 (Berlitz earworms) (Audio CD)
The language learning approach from earworms is innovative, interesting and motivating. The music is excellent and the dialogue between the charming instructor and eager student is educationally engaging.
This review is from: earworms Spanish (Berlitz earworms) Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
I actually purchased this through iTunes so I just have the digital copy but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very relaxing and fun to listen to. With so many options for language learning out there it's pretty exhausting to try and find something different but this is a nice way to learn. I emailed the company and asked when Vol. 3 is coming out and the lady emailed me back the next morning and told me that it's in the works and will probably be out sometime later this year.
This review is from: earworms Rapid Japanese (Musical Brain Trainer) (v. 2) (Audio CD)
This is the only product that I have used that will have you ordering food and getting directions in Japanese in under a week. The insistent repetition method really works. I found myself spontaneously remembering phrases that I had tried to learn in the past. earworms is bar none the best option for the unserious student of Japanese, and should be considered by anyone who is trying to learn this language. - more
This review is from: Earworms Rapid Japanese (Musical Brain Trainer) (v. 1) (Audio CD)
I have many books, tapes, computer programs and charts to help me learn Japanese. Nothing has been as fun and as useful as this CD. Great concept, great execution - more
ITunes Store Reviews
I just wanted to congratulate you, the earworms team for putting together a learning tool so simple that even my children could ask for what they wanted in Spanish. I speak quite good German and a bit of French and had never learned any Spanish before. I would have been stuck were it not for earworms when we were off the ‘beaten track’ in parts of Tenerife where they do not speak English. Thanks again.
Reviewer: Martin Wall United Kingdom.
"Your approach to language learning gets rid of all the anxiety"
I am a freelance magazine, online and newspaper journalist. Last week, I bought your Rapid German Volume 1 CD. I am already very familiar with the "mechanics" of accelerated learning as I write on the subject in many of my articles.
Rapid German Volume 1 is superb. Here I am, one week after first listening to it. And I can instantly recall and say loads of different phrases in German. Not just words on their own. Phrases. Complete sentences. It took me years and a trip to Paris to be able to have such confidence in my French. Yet, here I am, able to speak phrases in German. I have tried other language learning products/software. With those products comes all the anxiety of making sure you remember the phrase, get the pronunciation right and remember the word order. Your approach to language learning gets rid of all the anxiety, nerves and frustration normally found within the learning process. I have detailed experience in accelerated learning and still, I have not seen anything as good as your product.
I look forward to Rapid German Volume 2 and I am seriously considering purchasing more of your titles. You don't just give people confidence in their language skills. You give them confidence in themselves and their ability to learn.
Reviewer: Martin Drury Freelance Journalist.
"I Loved your Greek CD"
My partner and I just returned from 6 weeks in Greece and I wanted to tell you how incredibly pleased I was/am with your Greek learning CD I purchased! I downloaded the CD onto my iPod and listened for about an hour or two a day for two weeks before we left. Then, I'd take my iPod to the beach every day once we were in Greece and listened for another hour or two. On our second day, I even amazed myself that I could ask for directions and enquire about a bus availability. Bravo to everyone connected with this concept. It is absolutely brilliant and was extremely effective, at least for me. Even after leaving Greece and going to Sicily for two weeks, I found myself reverting to the Greek I had learned.
Reviewer: John Wright United Kingdom.
"Simply the best"
This has to be the best learning device ever. Relax and learn more effectively than trying to teach yourself from books. Over the years I have spent a lot of money trying to speak Greek. This was a bargain. I have learned more words and sayings than I have in the past ten years. Simply the best.
Reviewer: Harold, from United Kingdom.
"A great way to learn a new language"
I've listened to this only a few times and am amazed at how many phrases I can remember. The narrators sound like they are having fun (quite unlike other audio language courses I have tried) and the music really helps memory retention. In an attempt multi-task by breaking the monotony of my horrendous daily commute AND being able to have proper conversations with my friends in Greece, it's absolutely perfect. I hope Rapid Greek: Volume 2 will be appearing soon!
Reviewer: Julie, from Kelvedon, United Kingdom.
"Fun and Painless"
Frantically trying to keep up with my 6 year old son and his Spanish learnt after primary school each Tuesday. This is the most soothing audio language tutor I have come across. Oh that it was available when I sat my O-level Latin many years ago. The paced repetition of words and phrases linked to the music background makes the language stick. I shall buy 'Rapid Spanish: Volume 2' soon.
Reviewer: Paul, from United Kingdom.
Rapid Spanish: Volume 1
Very easy to learn. Ideal for holidays. You will be singing the words in no time.
Reviewer: red2932, from Windsor, United Kingdom.
I listened to this in the car on my way to and from work. I learned how to ask for a table for two well over a week ago, and I'm still remembering it! This is quite impressive!
The CD will need a few more listens until it all sticks in my head this well, but based on the amount of information that I've retained just from a single run-through, I am highly impressed with this title. I may try others in the series!
Reviewer: Katie, from Poole, United Kingdom.
I have tried many language audio programs, and I have been disappointed in almost all cases. This one, however, I cannot get enough of. I actually enjoy listening to it over and over, and it really does burn the words and phrases into your memory. The speakers not only have very pleasant voices, they have a chemistry together that is very appealing, and along with the background music the first word that comes to mind is sexy - not something ordinarily associated with language programs! This is well worth your money and more importantly, your time. I'm so impressed I can't wait for volume 2.
Reviewer: Marilyn, from Maple Ridge, Canada.
"Also Good Fun..."
I think the other reviewers are right on with their reviews. However, I am so excited about this listen that I couldn't help but add my 2 cents. While I speak 2 other languages besides English, I never find learning a new language painless -- or more importantly fun. But as I visit Paris quite frequently, and have yet never managed to pick up a word of French, I decided to download this (based mostly on the recommendations of the other reviewers) and give it a try before my next visit. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a painless and fun way to learn basic conversational French. The phrases are spoken over a music track (which really helps keep your attention and the phrases in your mind) in a dialogue format (between an English speaker learning basic French and a French speaker) and the chemistry between the speakers is engaging. What I also found useful was that the English speaker sometimes makes mistakes in pronunciation which are corrected by the French speaker and this made me feel both less worried about making mistakes and better able to hear that I was making similar mistakes in pronunciation. This is truly a fun and useful listen and I give it 5 stars up.
Reviewer: ophelia882, from Amsterdam, Netherlands.
"Great intro to phrases"
This book was easy to follow, easy to remember, and gave me a good deal of phrases that I can build upon as I learn more words. For me, that is important. Learning a word leaves my mind, but learning how to ask "Where is ..?", "I'd like ....", etc., gave me the basis to move forward with confidence. I will definitely be reviewing it again. However, I'm surprised of how much I remember after my first excursion through the course. The music makes me remember it better, and the pronunciation was clear. I ordered several intro books, and this is my favourite. It is also the first I listened to (and the one I got the most out of).
Reviewer: Cordelia, from Greeley, CO, USA.
'Wow, I am impressed!'
I have just gotten back from Germany and I have to testify - this program was a Godsend! I could talk to everyone and they not only understood me, they remarked that my German was very good! I was blown away not only by how easily and effortlessly the recorded phrases came back to me, but how I was able to integrate the phrases with the limited vocabulary and grammar that I already possessed. I have tried MANY language programs in the past and never have I found one this effective - AND it's enjoyable to use, too. I believe this program mimics certain aspects of how we naturally learn our mother tongues - by hearing others repeat the same words and phrases over and over, then by repeating them ourselves. I can't wait for volume 2 and strongly recommend this program to anyone wondering which one to purchase.
Reviewer: Marilyn, from Maple Ridge, Canada.
I never did German at school, but I intend to live out there eventually, so needed to learn the language from scratch. I feel so fortunate to have found this, as it does everything it promises to do. It has really tuned my ear in to the language, and by playing it in the background as I do household chores or whilst driving, with virtually no effort, I have begun to understand and say some very useful sentences and phrases. My German speaking friends have commented that my pronunciation is very authentic, too. A real find! I can't wait for Volume 2.
Reviewer: Relax and forget that you're learning!
Rapid French, Spanish & Italian:
I have downloaded three of your courses on iTunes (French, Spanish, and Italian). My 15 yr old son has astonished his 9th grade French teacher and we couldn't be happier. I keep checking to see if the 2nd volumes have been added. Do you have an idea when to expect these?
Reviewer: Dave, USA.
Although the narrator tells you to sit back and relax, the background music is perfect for a steady work-out on an elliptical machine. With my brain focussed on the Spanish, my feet moving to the background beat, listening to Rapid Spanish gives me a real total body work-out.
This is one of the best ways to learn a language. I have several other Greek teaching tools, but this is by far the best. The phrasing is short enough to allow you to repeat the phrases. There is plenty of repetition without boredom. The phrases are useful ones, in the order you might use them. The book contains the Greek characters, as well as the phonetic spelling, so you can learn to identify some words as they appear in Greek. The use of music to anchor the language learning is superb.
Reviewer: Marsha, from Laingsburg, USA.
"A fun way to learn Spanish"
I purchased this book to listen to on my drive to and from work each day. The music is relaxing and the way the material is presented makes learning fun. I think it would be a great way for children to learn with a similar book on their level. I have always had trouble with languages but this has been both entertaining and fun. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Spanish especially if they are planning a trip to a Spanish speaking destination. Can't wait for Volume 2.
Reviewer: Joyce, from Clanton, AL, USA.
The easy background music, clarity of what is being said, along with explanations you can understand, makes you want to pay attention and learn the language. I'd give this 10 stars if I was able to. This is the most pleasant Spanish language CD I've heard in ages. I hope Audible.com gets every volume, because I'm ready to buy them.
Reviewer: Kimberly, from Roy, UT, USA.
"An innovative approach to learning a new language"
With my holiday to Paris fast approaching and absolutely no knowledge of the French language, I went searching for a technique that would enable me, in a very short time, to understand and speak basic French.
Thankfully, I found earworms Learning and at the rate I am learning Rapid French (Vol 1), am already confident I will be ready to move onto Rapid French (Vol 2) before I travel to Paris.
This innovative technique takes the listener through a number of ‘songs’ – background music to a series of phrases spoken in a repetitive, rhythmic fashion. The combination of music and words seems to embed the phrases into the listener’s memory thereby accelerating the learning process. Supporting the spoken word is a booklet which outlines each of the phrases in English and French as well as phonetically to help with pronunciation. For me, this booklet has also greatly assisted my learning by providing a visual connection to each of the phrases.
Not only am I excited about travelling to Paris for the very first time, but am now also very keen to try out my new language skills with the locals.
Reviewer: Michelle, from Essendon, Australia.
I downloaded this program because I’m planning a trip to Italy and was intrigued by the teaching concept. The method used is based on “earworms,” you know, when you get a song in your head that keeps repeating itself over and over again. The language lessons are presented as songs in a melodic, rhythmic and repetitious way. All I can say is, “this works!” I even find myself wanting to listen to these lessons.
After listening to Rapid Italian I’ve gone back to my traditional tapes and found I couldn’t bear the mind crushing boredom. Earworms Learning is on to something here and I’m looking forward to their future offerings. They offer a free, downloadable booklet to accompany the lessons that is also very useful. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Kate, from St. Louis, MO, USA.
"An interesting approach"
I have to admit that at first I was sceptical about this book once I started to listen to it. The background music and lyrical approach of the presentation of the language is completely new to me. I see this as one more tool in my quest to learn some Spanish. It's not going to appeal to everyone, to be sure, but I'm not disappointed that I bought it.
I think that the more ways a person can expose themselves to language the better able they are to retain and understand the vocabulary and grammar.
Not sure about getting it? When you realise that taking a couple friends out for a chai latte can cost more than this CD, I'd say you get full value for the money!
Reviewer: Craig, from Dawson Creek, Canada.
"A pleasant kickstart and review"
I recently tried Rapid German: Volume 1 and was so pleased I immediately picked up Rapid French: Volume 1 and Rapid Spanish: Volume 1. I'm starting to deal with many new countries in my job, and this series promises to make coping with the language transitions much more pleasant.
This program covers your basic "Tourist French" - no serious grammar or massive vocabulary lists. What's unique about the program is that the lessons are set to background music and feature speakers with very pleasant voices. Even though you are still basically listening to and repeating simple phrases, the music and the pace really relieve the tedium.
I've been working on my French for a few years, and often need (and dread) a quick refresher. This program helped my brain switch back into French mode in a little over an hour. Some people may not like the music or the format, so I recommend that you listen to the demo before you buy to see if this is the program you're looking for.
Reviewer: dopparr, from Allegan, MI, USA.
"Learn German to music? Definitely less tedious!"
Someone has finally realised that listening to language CDs can give you a real migraine. In this program you are still learning, listening to and repeating most of the basic "Where's the Bathroom" type phrases. But they've set the program up with accompanying music and speakers with much more appealing voices. Most language programs feature voices as appealing as an emergency broadcast system siren.
I know some folks out there may find the music annoying and the material basic. But I listen to a LOT of language programs and really like what they've done with this program. When I have to do a quick brush up on my German, this will definitely be the program I'll grab. I eagerly await Volume 2 and beyond.
Reviewer: Ben, USA.