There are countless ways to learn French today. One popular method that’s quickly rising is listening to French podcasts.
Flexibility, high-quality long-form content, and ability to listen while performing another task. Audio learning is particularly effective for those of us who lead busy lives. For people constantly on-the-go, there never seems to be enough time to just sit down and learn something. With podcasts, that’s never an issue, as you can listen while you drive, walk your dog, or exercise at the gym.
How to learn French by listening to podcasts
In order to maximize your time and effort, we have some tips for you to follow when learning French by podcasts.
1. Avoid shows that use more English than French – The whole point of listening to a French podcast is… to immerse yourself in French. We have seen certain hosts of French podcasts use English in order to make it easier for beginners to understand. In general, we recommend you find podcasts that use most if not all French to fully feel immersed.
2. Make a conscious effort to listen – We know. The benefits of podcasts is that you can listen to them passively, but that’s when you’re not trying to learn a new language. If you want to learn French faster, it’s worth making a conscious effort to listen closely to the host’s pronunciation, accent, conversation tone, and more.
3. Repeat the words outloud to yourself – Lastly, whenever you get the opportunity to, practice speaking outloud by repeating what the host or guest is saying. Hopefully you’re in an isolated place, where you won’t feel judged by the public.
Learning French by listening to podcasts
Now it’s time to dig into the top French podcasts to help you improve your skills. We’ve broken down our list into three different categories:
- French podcasts for beginners
- Intermediate/advanced level
- Podcasts that are targeted to French speakers
The last option is likely for you if you’re at a more advanced level, but who are we to decide. If you feel you’d gain value in listening to native speakers talk, go for it!
Podcasts for French beginners
Let’s start with great podcasts you can listen to as a beginner. Some of these podcasts will have intermediate or advanced level episodes on their show but we’ll recommend the ones that are primarily focused on people just starting. On the following podcasts, you’ll learn basic French vocabulary, critical grammar rules, and simple accent training.
This podcast hosted by two native French speakers is a great entry way into the French world. With slow recordings, translations, deep culture dives, you’ll feel like you’ve got two local French friends teaching you. They offer other podcasts in different languages (ex. Spanishpod101), so you know they’ve got some experience.
The name of this show alone gives you a relaxed learning vibe that makes it low pressure for you. The podcast conversations are between Mark, who’s the professional teacher, and Ana, who’s the French beginner. What we enjoy about this is you’re getting real feedback from someone who’s at your similar level.
Louis, the host of the show, does a great job of immersing you into French with the Daily French Pod. Instead of making it easy for the listener, he only speaks French throughout the podcast. Don’t worry though, when he is talking to the listener, the pace slows down so you can follow along easier.
Compared to the other shows, the Daily French Pod offers bite-sized lessons on a daily basis, which is similar to what we preach here at Rype.
Another useful French podcast that aims to help you feel immersed as you listen on-the-go. The format of the podcast is set up such that you listen to a French conversation, which some parts are repeated twice. From there, there will be a deeper analysis to explain the definition of the words used and grammar structure.
The only complaint we’ve heard is that some topics are not as relevant for the younger audience.
Intermediate or advanced level French podcasts
Think that these podcasts in French for beginners are too easy for you? You’re in luck, we’ve got some advanced level shows that you can plug into. Here are some of our favorites.
What if you could listen to the current events going on in the world, while also learning French? With News in Slow French, you can. This podcast offers the latest news in French but in a slow manner for you to follow along.
This 15 minute or less podcast offers bite-sized lessons in French that are authentic and cultural relevant. The host Johann is a native French speaker who speaks articulately and clearly enough for anyone. The topics however are catered more towards intermediate level speakers, and perhaps more advanced beginners.
Some have described the Grand Reportage as a long-form version of News in Slow French. Similar to how Medium differs to Twitter. The show is ideal for advanced learners as the podcast does not slow down the speed of the host talking as much. It talks about real-world events, environmental issues, and more in a documentary-style format.
A legend in the French podcast world, as it has been running for many years now. This three times a week podcast episodes are less than 5 minutes long, making it perfect for busy learners who don’t have time to learn French.
Podcasts for native French speakers
Last but not least, we recommend you listen to a few podcasts in French that are specifically designed for native speakers. This is highly recommended when you reach a certain proficiency level in your skills. The reason is, even in English, we teach differently than we naturally speak. When you’re only learning by listening to French teaching podcasts, you’re not hearing how native speakers truly talk.
This often means missing out on slang terms, idioms that are local to a specific culture, and even French swear words!
The good news is, Easy French Poetry, is a hybrid of both a teaching podcast and one that any French speaker could enjoy. Camille, the host, picks a new poem each episode to read slowly in French. Then goes on to explain the cultural significance of each poem and what they mean.
Similar to Grand Reportage, where the podcast talks about daily news events, and offers a transcript for you to read and follow along.
11. French Spin
French Spin is a comedy podcast hosted by Patrick Beja. The most popular one is called Le RDV Tech, where the focus of the show is around tech, video games, and product reviews in a comical fashion. If you’re seeking to learn French, understand tech, and laugh, this is a great fit for you.
Which of these French podcasts will you be diving into? Let us know if you have any suggestions!
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