Let’s face it, learning a language is challenging, and this is no different when it comes to learning French. It really is, because with language comes culture. A whole other way of life that’s different from your own. When speaking your native tongue, there are many things that come second nature that you seldom even consider, especially slang; words that are more common in speech than in writing.
Besides french tuition or private tutoring, it helps to hear the language being spoken in a local environment. Hearing what you’ve learnt in casual conversation proves way more beneficial. You need to be around people speaking the language.
Unfortunately, a lot of you probably don’t spend time with French people daily. So, the next best thing would be podcasts. There are thousands of podcasts for French learners out there, all with different themes, discussing different topics. There are dedicated language podcasts as well as more general ones.
I’ve put together a list of my favourite French Podcasts for you to listen to:
They are a lesson based podcast and offer an amazing introduction to the language. Not suitable for outright beginners because the episodes are fully conducted in French, so it’s best to have prior knowledge. Transcripts of each lesson are available for download in PDF form. What’s great about them is that the lessons are based on everyday situations that you’d usually encounter in France.
They focus on pronunciation and listening comprehension. Their lessons include the discussion of current French events, and popular French culture like celebrities, music, arts, etc. They release additional content every week, with a dedicated team of French writers, teachers and voiceover artists who are all experienced in teaching the language to English speaking students. This is one of the best podcasts available in terms of learning the fundamentals of the French language.
A podcast for the more advanced learner. They consistently provide in-depth, thoughtful, on-the-ground audio documentaries, focusing on political conflict, worldviews and environmental issues. A fantastic way to get in touch with French current affairs and to listen to international news, reported intensely by locals. Hence the reason you need to be at an advanced level to properly understand.
A very fun podcast for French learners at any level. Presented by a Scotsman fluent in French who teaches the language to a beginner French learner. Mark – the presenter – taught himself how to speak the language, so he’s easy to relate to, and has a lot of insight into what it’s like starting out. Each episode is 15 minutes long, hence the name Coffee Break.
A playful podcast for the very advanced French learner. It’s hosted by Caroline Lachowsky and each episode is based on a question of which she brings in industry experts such as scientists, biologists and even astronomers to answer and bring insight to them. Our favourite episode: Existe-t-il une intelligence collective?
Caroline discusses the question of collective intelligence with two specialists in the field. There is a lengthy amount of insight and interesting an debate involved. A must listen!
If you understand written French but struggle to understand the language spoken at a natural pace, then this one’s for you! Johan hosts it and he speaks about intriguing topics in slow French. He has a blog and learning course that accompanies this podcast. With fresh content posted weekly, there’s lots to refer to.
This is a podcast that caters for the outright beginner with twenty episodes at that level. There are then higher levels, beginner to intermediate and then beginner to advanced. Each episode/lesson is presented in a very academic way. Alexa combines professionalism and humour very well. There are videos and bonus content available for purchase. It’s essentially an online course. Highly recommended if you’re a beginner.
A podcast presented by French Today. The content of each episode is based on famous French poems. Camille – the presenter – is good at helping you practice your understanding, as well as assisting in developing your vocabulary and getting you to immerse yourself in French culture. Each poem is recited slowly at first, then faster and then finally explained. An awesome way to discover French exquisite French poems.
No matter your personality or level of French-speaking ability, there should are podcasts for all levels of French learners here for you! And the good thing is, you can appreciate your favourite podcasts as accompaniment to French language lessons, which you can do with Learn&Co. The podcasts will really allow you to discover what you’ve learnt!
Perseverance is key so keep at it! Happy listening!
Maria Toubbe, Founder of Learn&Co