Do you want to learn French while you are on the move, working out or washing dishes? Then podcasts are the best learning tool for you.
Whether you are just getting started learning French or would like to better understand spoken French, you will find the podcast that will help you reach your goal in this article.
Why learn French with podcasts?
You most likely want to learn French with podcasts, because it allows you to learn French while you’re driving, exercising or even taking a shower.
But, did you know that podcasts also offer a huge and proven benefit?
They give you the opportunity to listen to a ton of French, which is one of the most efficient ways to learn a language according to a study by PhD graduate Paul Sulzberger from Victoria University.
“Neural tissue required to learn and understand a new language will develop automatically from simple exposure to the language – which is how babies learn their first language.” Paul Sulzberger
This is only true for podcasts where you hear lots of French though.
That’s why I recommend you to avoid podcasts where the host spends more time speaking English than French.
These podcasts may be entertaining, but they won’t help you learn French.
French podcasts for beginners
As a beginner, you need a podcast that’ll teach you basic French vocabulary and give you the confidence you need to start expressing yourself in French.
These are the best podcasts for this. However, I highly recommend you to also listen to podcasts for intermediate and advanced French learners so you hear lots of French right from the start.
With lessons going from absolute beginner to advanced, Frenchpod101 is one of the best French learning podcasts. The lessons contain realistic conversations followed by slow speed recordings, translations and explanations about the language and the culture,
The two hosts (a native French speaker and a native English speaker) make sure you understand how the language works and talk about a variety of interesting topics going from introductions to French movies and love.
This is my number one choice of podcast to learn French. In fact, I am considering using Russianpod101 soon.
This is the podcast French learners seem to enjoy the most. In it, Mark, a Scotsman fluent in French teaches the language to Ana, a beginner French learner.
Learning French from a Scottish teacher may not sound ideal, but Mark has an excellent accent and since he learned French himself, he knows exactly what you may struggle with.
Lessons last less than 15 minutes and are perfect if you don’t have much time and would like to turn your daily commute or any other break in your day into a productive moment.
In this podcast, a native French speaker speaks while a native English speaker comments and explains. This format is ideal, but the vocabulary taught may not always be useful.
For example, in the first lesson “introducing yourself”, you end up learning the word “hibou” (owl) and the verb “huer” (to boo). In the second lesson, the vocabulary is quite useful, but I find that the podcast gives too much information which may be confusing at first.
This is a podcast for complete beginners with a heavy focus on French grammar.
You will enjoy this podcast if you like the academic learning style, but if you are like me and prefer to learn from real French, Frenchpod101 would be a better option.
While Rocket French isn’t exactly a podcast, it’s an awesome French course containing high-quality dialogues followed by simple grammar explanations. If you don’t like to listen to podcasts where you hear more English than French, this may be exactly what you need.
You can download it and listen to it on the go, but also use the mobile apps or the website.
French podcasts for intermediate and advanced French learners
Unlike beginner French podcasts, podcasts for intermediate and advanced French learners are usually entirely in French.
Don’t worry though! Most podcasts offer transcripts and translations so you can easily read as you listen and find the translations of the sentences you don’t understand.
This is the ideal podcast for you if you understand written French but have a hard time understanding French spoken at normal speed.
Johan speaks slowly about French expressions, motivation and lots of interesting topics. If you like his method, be sure to check out my review of the Français Authentique course.
DailyFrenchPod is a podcast for beginners, but also advanced French learners who want to brush up on their French. In it, Louis, a native French speaker talks about various topics and gives explanations.
In this podcast from French Today, you hear the most famous French poems and get to know their authors. Camille, the host starts by slowly reading each poem, then reads it faster and finally explains it and talks about cultural aspects.
This podcast won’t teach you daily life French, but it’s an awesome way to learn more about the language, become a better French writer and discover beautiful poems.
In this podcast, Laetitia talks about her daily life in France. The podcasts are entirely in French and you can get transcripts by subscribing to the newsletter.
If you are an advanced French learner, One Thing in a French Day is a good way to expand your vocabulary and learn more about the French way of life.
Laetitia also hosts the Cultivate Your French podcast which follows the same format. I didn’t really understand the differences between the two podcasts though.
In this podcast from FrenchVoila, you will first hear about a recent event before hearing explanations in French. For the explanations, the host uses examples and synonyms and speaks slowly to help you better understand.
This podcast does exactly what it sounds like, it talks about news in slow French. The podcast is entirely in French, but you can download transcript on the website and follow along.
If you want to find more slow French, be sure to check out How to Find Slow French and Turn Any Audio into Slow French.
This daily French podcast is all about the most important news of the day. Each episode comes with a free transcript.
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Looking for other great podcasts, websites and tools? Check out my list of the best resources for French learners!