It seems like just about everyone we speak to has a favourite podcast. And since we aren't people who like to miss an opportunity, we are combining our love of podcasts with our passion for languages. Why not combine two incredible things into something fun!
Podcasts are a super convenient way to learn, since you can listen to them anywhere you are, no matter if you only have a five-minute break or a whole-hour workout.
This time we are taking a look at the best podcasts to listen to if you want to learn, practice, or improve your French. Enjoy!
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Photo via Flickr
This podcast is the perfect one to choose if your first excuse for not including podcasts in your language learning experience is that you are short on time.
Géopolitique condenses a topical international point into a four-minute monologue. Your host is Bernard Guetta, a veteran of French journalism who specialises in international relations and geopolitics.
The pace is understandably fast, but Guetta's tone makes his points easy to understand. Brexit : les Conservateurs britanniques en plein désarroi à Birmingham is a great example of hearing a highly-debated current political situation from an alternative point of view to that we normally get to read in our own media. Definitely worth a listen.
Studio 404 is a podcast that seems to have an opinion on just about everything!
Although it is predominantly about tech and digital culture, there are interviews, comments on social media and pop culture, and just about everything else you can think of in between.
Studio 404's Twitter account is an additional resource you could add to your language learning arsenal since it regularly updates and gives you bite-sized French to try as you click on your next podcast link!
Not sure where to start? Try Google et la ville, free-floating, scanner et manger, tous espions, which covers an eclectic mix of pondering on what Google considers a city, free-floating as an alternative for urban travel, and the downsides of knowing all the ingredients in our food.
Easy French Poetry
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Photo via Pxhere
Okay, so maybe not an obvious choice. But Easy French Poetry is actually a really nice way to get to know even more nuances of the French language.
Seeing how stanzas and couplets are put together with assonance, for example, can really help you appreciate how the French language works. You will also get to know a little about the poets themselves, hear a short opinion piece on the poem, and get to know a little about the culture behind the poem as well. What more could you ask for?
Try "Le Chêne et le Roseau" de Jean de la Fontaine, a beautiful fable that tells the tale of the relationship between a reed and an oak, which is more a warning to a would-be king that his people will take him down!
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Journal en français facile
The Journal en français facile podcast is exactly that, daily French news in easy French. With a round-up of everything that is happening in the world and throughout France, this podcast keeps you up to date while not confusing you with complicated words.
The speed and pitch the podcast is read at is no trouble to get used to, and with each being only ten minutes long, there really is no reason you can't wedge this podcast into your day if you want some language practice.
The latest episode covers the appointment of the new secretary-general of the International Organization of La Francophonie, the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, and the fallout of the Pope's latest speech.
Grand reportage prides itself on its 'on the ground' reports, investigations, and documentaries. They have an international reporting base covering everything from tension at the border between Colombia and Venezuela to the impact of climate change on the global economy.
The language used in the Grand reportage podcast is aimed at native French speakers, so it might take you a couple of listens to really get your ear in to understand. But it's worth it, a refreshing take on the world from a French point of view, covering just about every subject you can think of.
Algérie: comment parle-t-on d'Octobre 88 aujourd'hui et qu'en reste-t-il? looks at the thirtieth anniversary of violent riots in Algeria that ended the single party government and liberalised the press.
Our final choice of French podcast is Nouvelle Ecole, a series of interviews trying to work out exactly what it is that gets people inspired.
There are artists, photographers, authors, directors, and so many other voices that will give you a unique perspective on how to get started doing the things you are passionate about in life.
So language skills and inspiration in one; what better way to spend an hour or two! Laura Gilli: J’ai tout lâché pour être heureuse is a great podcast to start with, following this photographer's decision to live her dream, and how she motivates herself to keep going.
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Photo via Flickr
Still don't think that podcasts are more than something good to listen to when killing time? Well, here are some reasons why a podcast might help you improve your French like nothing else.
First and foremost, having to tune your ear into a language the way you do with a podcast means your listening ability is going to hugely improve. You will benefit from hearing real French, with different accents, tonality, and cadence.
And finally, if you are listening to a podcast on a subject you are particularly interested in then you will gain subject-specific vocabulary that you might struggle to hear elsewhere.
So what are you waiting for? Check out some French podcasts and find one that works for you!
Then, once you’re ready to take your French skills to the next level, maybe consider taking 1-on-1 French classes. Here at Listen & Learn, our teachers are all fully qualified native-speaking professionals hired for their experience and their passion for teaching. So don’t be shy, place a quick enquiry now, and our friendly customer service people are going to get back to you as soon as possible.