I took French language classes from the time i was 11 until i was about 21.  I never got exactly fluent, and that was all almost 20 years ago anyway, so let’s just say i don’t really speak French but i recognize it when i hear it.  I do strongly feel that if i’m immersed in it again i’ll be able to dog-paddle to keep myself afloat1.

But i’d still like to start preparing the language zone of my brain with some French input now.  Hence, i’m seeking suggestions:

  • Language-learning tools.  E.g.: I’m looking over Sandrine de Paris, and am also looking into taking classes at Alliance Française de Seattle.  Low-cost or free is preferred, but if you swear that Rosetta Stone is useful, i’ll consider it.
  • Magazines you’d suggest?  I’m in Seattle and have a pretty decent selection of newstands with non-U.S. papers and magazines.
  • Audio: language-learning, radio stations, podcasts.  I’d love to be able to listen to French while i’m walking to/from work.  I tried listening to my Pimsleur CDs, but they’re designed for interaction and aren’t so useful for passive listening.
  • Your great idea here.
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  1. I do speak fluent French when i’m pickled in port, so that’s an option worth considering. []