I can't believe I actually found this.
Three centuries ago, when I was about to enter 7th grade, I had to spend a summer listening to ALM French lesson records on our hi-fi to prepare for taking beginning French. Below are the sentences we had to memorize in perfect pronunciation. (First, say "la demoiselle" about 15 times. Then "la belle demoiselle," ditto. Then "la belle demoiselle qui passe", etc... )
Tu comprends le truc, non? You get the drill? And I mean drill. Evidently these three sentences have all the sounds heard in French, plus all the syntax constructions you'll need for a lifetime of speaking French.
1. La belle demoiselle qui passe là-bas est la voisine de Jeanne à la classe de mathématiques de la capitale.
2. Le jeune monsieur qui travaille à côté est le nouveau professeur de Charlot au cours de littérature espagnole du collège.
3. Le gentil garçon qui prononce bien a un voisin ennuyeux qui bavarde constamment dans une classe de français à Verdun.
Even today I still could recite almost all of nos. one and three by heart, which is how I was able to Google it. Shows what torture will do to the young brain. I think ALM stands for A Long Memory.
And you can imagine how thrilled I was at age 12 to listen to anything other than the Beatles, Herb Alpert, or the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. But somehow something clicked and it eventually didn't seem so difficult. And now, here I am, 99.9% fluent. In Paris.
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