Podcasts are among the best tools available to French learners. They can be a great way to squeeze in some study time, such as during a commute or while doing some chores around the house.
But, they can be much more useful than just some extra listening practice. Some of these podcasts have hundreds, even thousands of lessons. Far beyond only helping you add in some extra listening practice, there’s not much you can’t learn from some of the podcasts on this list. However, they tend to lack the structure of some other online French courses.
Whether you are a beginner using podcasts as your primary source for learning French or a more advanced learner who wishes to strengthen their listening and speaking skills, these are the very best podcasts for the job!
Starting this list with Coffee Break French makes the most sense as it’s probably the most popular choice. Brought to you by Radio Lingua Network, they offer 40 lessons for absolute beginners and equally more in each one of the next three levels – or seasons, as they like to call them. In this podcast series, you’ll learn everything you need for basic communication from introducing yourself to ordering in a restaurant and checking into a hotel.
The concept behind it is rather unique since you’ll be listening to Mark teaching his student, Anna, and learn alongside. Mark is not a native speaker, but don’t let that put you off. His accent is excellent, and his teaching style is absolutely captivating!
As its name suggests, each lesson takes no more than a coffee break to complete, that is 15-20 minutes. The audio lessons are available for free but extra materials, including video lessons and bonus audio lessons, can be purchased.
FrenchPod101 by Innovative Languages is a well-established podcast series for all levels. It offers more lessons than you can count, covering virtually any topic and situation.
The hosts are all native or fluent speakers, and they are very energetic and engaging. Let them entice you with intriguing lesson titles (Do you wear Spandex to work?), and they’ll guide through the French language and culture in a few short minutes.
And if there’s something you didn’t quite get, you can always download the lesson transcript. You’ll also find lesson notes with grammar, vocabulary, and cultural tips.
There are several subscription options available so that you choose the one that best suits your needs. Review.
Another podcast with an interesting structure that focuses on everyday conversation. First, you listen to a dialogue between native French speakers (usually twice). After that, the English-speaking host expands on the grammar and vocabulary used during the conversation, replaying the related parts.
All podcasts are about 10 minutes long. If you are more of the visual type, you’ll find it all in PDF format too: transcript, vocabulary, grammar analysis, and exercises to deepen your practice.
You can listen to the podcasts for free, but you only gain access to the PDF material with a subscription in the form of credits. There are podcasts available for every level.
Are you looking for tips on specific issues like how to use certain phrases, or how to pronounce certain words? Then check out Jessica’s podcasts, and you’ll find the answers to your questions, as each podcast focuses on something different.
You can access the series for free, and you’ll find a list under each lesson with vocabulary and resources.
Another beloved podcast for those who prefer learning in the traditional way with carefully structured lessons focusing on grammar and vocabulary.
Alexa is a native French teacher and has been around sharing her knowledge for more than 20 years, so she knows what she’s doing! She speaks slowly and clearly, giving you extra tips about France on the side.
This podcast is available only if you buy one of Alexa’s courses. You can start your learning journey with the beginner’s course, which includes 20 lessons at $89 per year or go for the full course from beginner to advanced level with 45 lessons at $149.
For those of you who like to challenge yourselves, this podcast series is held entirely in French. It does include a PDF transcript with a translation to English to help you out though, along with extra material on the website to familiarize yourself with basic grammar rules and vocabulary before you get started.
Each lesson focuses on an everyday situation and is presented in the form of medium-paced narration and dialogue. DailyFrenchPod releases episodes for all levels, so you can continue your practice for a long time.
Do you simply want to survive a day in France…so to speak? This 60-lesson podcast goes a little deeper than what its title implies and aspires to teach you both the French language and culture.
The host, Justin Taylor, makes sure you learn to pronounce each word and phrase correctly by repeating it several times. He also makes sure it sticks with you by explaining the context and the cultural background behind its use.
Available for $14.95 per month, following a 30-day free trial.
This podcast does a lot more than what its name suggests.
Apart from telling the news in slow French, each weekly episode also includes an interactive transcript, as well as teaches grammar, expressions, and has a quiz (on the grammar – not the news!).
The grammar and expressions catalogs are excellent as they go back hundreds of lessons, and are based around interesting discussions. These parts aren’t focused on current events, making the older materials just as relevant as ever.
News in Slow French comes with different subscription packages. Plus, the website offers a course for beginners and an advanced subscription for those that are nearly ready for native materials. Review.
Created by Olly Richards of the popular website I Will Teach You a Language, Conversations is aimed to help those with an intermediate level get more comprehensible listening practice.
Although it’s not a podcast, those looking for intermediate podcasts may enjoy this. It’s a 20 chapter dialogue between characters that tells a story. The story uses natural conversational language spoken at a normal pace and includes transcripts in English and French. Conversations costs $97.
French Today is another option that’s not exactly a podcast but that you may find interesting. What they offer is more like audio novels, along with other options such as mastering French adjectives, easy French poetry, and classic French tales.
The audio novels are quite interesting as they follow a girl and the encounters she has in her day to day life. As they’re recorded entirely in French, it’s a great way to get natural immersion.
They also make recordings at different speeds, have pdf transcripts, and an app. The prices vary depending on the audiobook but start around $15.99 and the various bundles make things cheaper. Review.
This is a 10-minute news broadcast by Radio France Internationale (RFI), read slowly and clearly, accompanied by a transcript.
If you want to stay up to date with what’s going on in France and around the world while practicing your listening skills, stay tuned as new episodes are released daily!
Free of charge.
Meet Laetitia: she is French, and she lives…well, in France! Feel free to follow her and get a taste of her everyday life as she describes it in this long-standing podcast of more than 1500 episodes. She tells her stories three times a week, in three short minutes or so.
It’s completely free, and the only thing you need to do to get a transcript is to sign up for her newsletter.
This podcast’s host, Hugo, makes it very clear from the start that he intends to make you think in French! That’s why he has been diligently releasing a new 30-minute episode twice a month for the past two years, exploring mostly current issues and giving you insights on French culture and mentality.
He is very easy to follow, but there’s a transcript available on the website just in case. All free of charge.
This is a very interesting podcast for those who want to dig a little deeper into the French language.
The lovely host, Johan, will keep you hooked by dwelling on topics varying from philosophy to…fasting! And since this is an educational podcast, he often focuses on explaining French expressions and colloquialisms.
New episodes are released twice a week; they are about 15 minutes long and free.
He also offers some intermediate level courses on his website which you can read about in our review.
Remember Jessica from “French your way”? This is her podcast for more advanced learners with each episode featuring an interview with a different, accomplished guest sharing a personal story, giving tips or discussing interesting issues, always within their field of knowledge. The subjects vary from beer crafting to speech therapy, so you are definitely staying on her website for a while!
All interviews are turned into half-hour episodes, accompanied by basic vocabulary, Q&As, and resources for further reading. You can also download the full transcript and a summary in English for $4.95 per episode.
Ordinary people talk about an experience that has had an impact on their lives. What would you have done in their place? This free podcast by Slate will get you thinking about how you can never really tell what another person has experienced.
New episodes twice a month, free of charge.
If you like what you hear, take a look around because there’s more where this came from!
Now, this is a podcast for every taste. From politics and religion to poetry and…the secrets of feminine desire, the endless variety of Arte Radio’s podcasts will have you coming back daily to check what’s new.
It’s addictive, and it’s free!
This one is for gadget addicts and everyone interested in the latest technology news. Very popular podcast series that has been around since 2009 with weekly episodes reaching two hours in length.
Tune in and listen for free.
Listen to Frédéric Martel interviewing a new guest every week discussing the creative industry and the impact of digital technology in our lives. This too is rather lengthy and in-depth, as each episode is about 90 minutes long.
Hosted on franceculture, it’s just one of the dozens of free podcasts you’ll discover if you explore their website.
Kind of self-explanatory, this podcast explores matters of actuality – the second one in our list by RFI! This one is not officially addressed to non-natives, so it doesn’t include a transcript, and the news is told at a normal but understandable pace. A new 20-minute episode is released daily.
RFI, just like franceculture, offers a great variety of free podcasts, so it could be worth spending some time digging around.
Regardless of your level of French, listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to not only improve your listening comprehension but also your understanding of grammar, vocabulary, French culture, and more. However, these French podcasts are typically better used alongside a well-structured French course.
Additionally, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to incorporate YouTube channels into your French study routine.
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