“Ever wondered why you just can’t get a song out of your head? The term earworms or catchy tunes refers to those songs which you hear a few times and then just can’t get out of your head. Now, Earworms Rapid Languages uses this phenomenon to put the essential words and phrases you need not just on the tip of your tongue but it transports them deeply into your long-term memory, ready for instant recall.”

According to the makers of Rapid Languages, there is science behind the combination of second language acquisition and catchy music. After purchasing the Rapid Languages edition though I was surprised to find out that the phrases and expressions are read out just as any other audio phrasebook but with a simple catchy tune played in the background. I’m personally not convinced that the music makes any noticeable difference but the logical and slow pace of the phrasebook audio which also repeats key words, does make it very easy to learn Japanese, Mandarin or even Cantonese.

Several years ago I listened to the Japanese edition of this product and through listening to the audio every now and then to revise, I have successfully been able to retain memory of most basic phrases. Other online reviews are equally skeptical about the science of the music but are also strongly positive about the effectiveness of this particular learning tool.

This resource is suited for beginners. You can order the audio CD and booklet online ($37) from the official website but there are cheaper copies available on amazon. I also recommend downloading the app for your selected language from itunes ($10.49). The audio is exactly the same, and the phrase book is accessible through the app. You can also download an Earworms app that provides a free sample of all 12 audio languages.


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Olly Theobald

Director at Asia Options.
Olly works in Hangzhou China and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, e-commerce, Asia education, tech and foreign languages. Olly is a graduate from RMIT University and the Hopkins Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Olly speaks Mandarin and Korean.

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