For many people, podcasts have become a part of everyday life. For language learners, they provide a great opportunity to study even when your hands aren’t free. The modern conundrum, though, is knowing which ones to listen to. After all, there are only so many hours in the day. To make it easier for you, we collected some of our favorite French-language podcasts, or balladodiffusiones. There’s something on this list for everyone who wants to learn French with podcasts, from beginners to advanced speakers.
The Best French Podcasts To Learn With
Coffee Break is part of the Radio Lingua Network, which has introductory language podcasts for a few different languages. The point of the podcast is that you should be able to listen to one within the time it takes for a coffee break, which is about half an hour. The podcast has many seasons, and it gets more advanced as you go along, starting with bonjour and ending with the trickiest aspects of the French language.
Babbel’s first French podcast, Parlez Away is great for people just starting out. You can follow along with Ted, a Wisconsin native, who is learning how to speak French from Caroline, who hails from northwestern France. The podcast focuses on conversation French, and the very first episode is all about how to greet someone. The episodes also follow along with the basic structure of Babbel lessons, so it can be a good complement to your other learning.
This podcast is hosted by Caroline, a former French teacher who decided to ditch the textbooks and instead focus on teaching people French the way people really speak it. The podcast covers a range of topics. Some focus on specific concepts like the many ways you can say “goodbye,” while others feature little stories in French that you can use to test your comprehension. The episodes are relatively short, usually between four and 10 minutes, and you can check the episode descriptions to see how advanced the vocabulary and grammar will be.
Another Babbel podcast for French learners, French En Route features stories from native French speakers all around the world. Join fellow English speaker and French learner Sam as he guides you through this global Francophone journey and points out important vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation lessons along the way.
This podcast is the work of one person, and it’s different from a lot of the other selections you’ll encounter. It’s kind of like an audio journal that updates with short, three-minute episodes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The topics of the episodes vary because, as the name says, it covers one part of the podcaster’s day in France. There are insights into French culture, history and minutiae, all delivered in French that is spoken deliberately, so it’s easier to understand than the language you would hear spoken casually on the streets of Paris.
Spotify has started investing a lot of resources in podcasts, and not just English ones. Really, you can look through French Spotify Originals and find ones on any topic you like, from world history to true crime. Animalia is technically targeted toward French children, but it can be a good resource for learners, too. In each episode, host Cyril Dion talks about a different endangered animal, combining fun facts with the realities of extinction. It’s a silly show at heart — the host literally “interviews” the animals — despite taking on a very serious subject.
If you really like the news and you’re pretty good at French, then this is the best podcast for you. Grand Reportage is one of the primary global news sources in France. Investigative reporters look into issues all over the world. Episodes have covered the financial crisis in Venezuela, the fight against tuberculosis in Peru and the Okinawan resistance to a new U.S. military base in Japan. Put out by Radio France Internationale, Grand Reportage is often the measuring stick with which other French international journalism is compared.