5 podcasts to help you improve your French
Tuesday, 15 February 2022
Looking for easy ways to improve your French and expand your vocab? Niamh, a French third year, shares with us her favourite podcasts that help her improve her French language skills.
Podcasts are an easy, accessible way to learn, even when you're hands aren't free. They cover a wide range of topics from fashion and food to comedy and news, and lucky for us language learners, there are also plenty of podcasts created with the aim of helping listeners improve their French. Below are some of my top picks to pick up vocab, listen to new voices and learn to speak like a local.
News in slow French
This podcast is exactly what it says on the tin – news stories read slowly for language learners. As the headlines are read slower than you would hear on TV or radio, listeners can hear every word distinctly and therefore easily pick up new vocabulary and understand the context of the podcast.
With each episode being split into several sections, featuring different news stories, conversations between the hosts and some grammar points, it is perfect for French learners, both beginner and intermediate.
One thing in a French day
I love this podcast as it is similar to a vlog and lets you into the daily life of a French person. Laetitia, the host, posts short entries three times a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and as they are never more than five minutes, you don’t need to dedicate a lot of time to listen to them. It is perfect for a quick but helpful dose of French!
The podcast gives insight into French culture, history, and society so you also learn about the context of the language you are learning. As well as this it is deliberately spoken softly and clearly with the intention of being for language learners. I definitely recommend listening in to this ‘small slice of a Frenchwoman’s day’.
This podcast is great for advanced learners and is a realistic, authentic representation of how real native French people speak. The host, Johan, is honest in his teaching, telling listeners that although they’ll be able to speak like a local, this doesn’t really matter!
Even though the topics and vocabulary may be too much for beginners, it is excellent for learning pronunciation and cadence from real French speakers. They even provide transcripts of episodes on their website!
Horoscope - Tendance Ouest
Of course, as well as podcasts targeted towards learners of the language, there are also podcasts made for the native French speaker! This option is for a more advanced speaker of French rather than a beginner as the conversations will be faster and vocabulary more complicated - but take this as a challenge and opportunity to pick up new words and phrases!
A popular genre of podcast across all languages are horoscopes and this is no exception for French. My horoscope of choice is Horoscope by Tendance Ouest, hosted by Camille and posted every day. Typically around a minute and a half, I find it the perfect way to start my day with a quick dose of French!
L'heure du crime
Another widely listened-to type of podcast is true crime and mystery. L’heure du Crime (Crime Hour) is a top-rated French podcast that discusses a different criminal case each episode. Although it is not as tailored as other podcasts as it is made up of excerpts from a radio show, it is still interesting to hear the tales of crimes and unsolved cases.
Again, L’heure du Crime is more for the advanced French speaker, as it is more intensive and not aimed at language learners. However, it is great if you have a good level of French and an interest in true crime. As there are often interviews on the podcast, you can get exposure to a range of different accents from across the French-speaking world.