If you’re looking for a fun and accessible way to learn French, audio podcasts and radio shows are a great option. Podcasts are available on demand and free of charge, making them an ideal choice if you want to pick up the basics or take your French skills to the next level. Check out this list of the best French podcasts available today!
These resources are more designed for intermediate and advanced learners, but even if you are a beginner, it is worth familiarsing yourself with how french is really spoken outside of the classroom or app as soon as possible.
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Summary: Ideal for intermediate and advanced learners who want to familarise themselves with real everyday conversational french, including slang.
The problem with many french language podcasts is they tend to slow everything down and have rather artificial conversations which are not that fun to listen to. Easy French is the opposite, it provides authentic discussions with native level speakers on all aspects of life and beyond.
Summary: ideal for intermediate and advanced learners who want to stay up to date with current affairs in France.
The french spoken here tends to be very clear. They also have phone interviews with french politicians which will challenge your listening skills.
A good idea is to listen to this daily. If you normally listen to the news in your native language, try listening to it first in French.
If you are planning to move to France, one thing you will notice is that there is a culture of debate and in-depth discussion on a wide variety of issues. Honestly, this is a goldmine for the all important cultural understanding
Summary: Mostly for advanced learners For greater in-depth coverage of current affairs, culture and more. For those in the UK - this is a BBC Radio 4 equivalent.
Another radio station with a very high production level featuring news and many cultural programmes. I am a fan of content like this because it is real and authentic. Again you can listen live or pick from a huge list of programmes.
Summary: For intermediate and advanced learners, short 20 minute reports about a current topic in the news. Produced by Radio Canada.
As a language learner growing up in Europe, I used to love listening to French content produced in Canada. It has a different sound and some different vocabularly which is certainly worth becoming aware of.
If news is not your thing, the link below also has a whole range of other shows.
Summary: A wide range of radio programmes with an international focus by Radio France Internationale. Ideal for intermediate and advanced learners.
The nice thing here is that there is often a short text which accompanies each recording which can add context incase there is anything which you did not understand in the podcast.
5 Top Tips to Learn French with Podcasts
- Aim to make it a regular routine. 5-15 minutes per day is better than 30 minutes per week.
- All of the podcasts listed above are challenging, they will not be easy at the beginning, so do not worry if you understand nothing at the beginning - it is normal.
- Do not try to understand every word, see if you can work out the main points of the discussion.
- Listen all the way through first, before stopping and pausing. You will likely discover that a word that you do not know is used repeatedly throughout the podcast.
- Listen to the way people speak. In French, you will here a lot of natural pauses and errrr sounds. As a learner, you can also utilise these as thinking time.
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