Is Listening to Slow French Bad for You? (And How to Do It Anyway)

This article contains affiliate links. This means French Together may earn a commission for purchases made through these links. Read affiliate disclosure.

As a French learner, you may have a hard time understanding spoken French (here is why), You already discovered 9 ways to improve your French listening skills. Today I would like to show you how you can use “slow French” to progressively get used to spoken French.

 Why you shouldn’t listen to slow French

Slow French is French content spoken slowly so you can understand it more easily. It’s great, because it allows you to get used to the sounds of the language and improve your listening skills. Often, you can also read a transcript as your listen so you can discover how words are pronounced.

So why wouldn’t you listen to slow French?

Listening to slow French helps you better understand spoken French, but you shouldn’t forget that slow French isn’t realistic French. Slow French is the path to better understanding spoken French, it’s not the destination. If you only listen to slow French, you will get frustrated when you hear normal spoken French, because you won’t understand it as well. Here is what I advise you to do:

  1. Start by listening to slow French if you don’t understand normal spoken French at all
  2. Switch to normal spoken French once you understand slow French well
  3. Don’t hesitate to listen to both slow French and normal French so you can notice the differences

Where can you find slow French?

Français Authentique

Français Authentique is a great website to listen to slow French. Johan, the creator, talks about lots of different topics and even provides transcripts in his courses. Click here to read my review.

 News in Slow French

When it comes to slow French, News in Slow French is one of the first websites to come to mind. This podcast talks about world news in slow French.The episodes are free to listen to on Itunes, and you can also buy transcripts on the website.

journal en français facile

Le journal en français facile is another option for news in slow French. The vocabulary is more complex and they speak slightly faster though.

Another option is to visit yabla, select a video and click on the different options you have to slow down the audio you hear. This is great, because you can also read the translation and see a transcript in real time.

How to turn any audio into slow French

slow french

If you don’t find the content you want on the websites above, you can use Come Again to slow down files you already have.

All you have to do is upload your file. You will then be able to slow it down.

That’s it, you now know where to find slow French.

Benjamin Houy

Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. After teaching French and English in South Korea for 7 months as part of a French government program, he created French Together™ to help English speakers learn the 20% of French that truly matters.

3 thoughts on “Is Listening to Slow French Bad for You? (And How to Do It Anyway)”

Comments Policy

I would love to hear your thoughts about this article/lesson. Just make sure that your comment is relevant to the content of the article and adds to the conversation. Rude, racist and off-topic comments will not be approved.

Please also make sure to proofread your comment before posting. If you write in French, your comment doesn't need to be perfect but please use a tool like Bon Patron to spot common mistakes.

  1. Hey I just found your blog and it’s awesome. I heard that French people are reserved when it comes to helping new French speakers, why do you think that is so?

    • Merci Raymond :).

      I think there are two main reasons. First, French people generally don’t speak English so well, so they are afraid to make mistakes and sound ridiculous if they help you in English.

      Second, French learners often ask tricky grammar questions. It’s hard for French people to answer, because we know the grammar intuitively but can rarely explain it.


Leave a Comment