There are few experiences more culturally authentic than listening to artists perform music in their native tongues. But when you can’t travel the world to hear live foreign-language music in its natural habitat, popping in your headphones and pressing “shuffle” on a playlist is the next-best thing. We’ve rounded up five of the best French Spotify playlists that you can take with you in your pocket to add some melody to your language learning.
Music is a versatile learning method because you can appreciate it wherever you go, whether it’s the soundtrack to your daily commute or the inspiration for a steamy shower concert where you’re both performer and audience. Plus, there’s a lot of evidence that language learning is uber-effective when you treat it like learning, making, or listening to music.
These French Spotify playlists are a musical resource for all types of listeners and learners. So what are you waiting for? Put on your headphones and pressez sur le bouton Play!
French Spotify Playlists For All Levels Of Aural Learners
Easy French Songs To Understand
With this one, what you see is what you get — a friendly, palatable French Spotify playlist designed with beginners in mind (if you had your doubts, just look at the title). It’s full of songs that have a slower rhythm and more basic vocabulary.
Don’t feel bad if you find yourself listening to this playlist to establish some footing in French. In fact, if you can understand them, you should feel proud! They’re all real, honest-to-goodness French songs (none of them were “dumbed down” because they weren’t written specifically for language learners), so they’re full of phrases that real French people actually say.
If you are still early in your learning journey and aren’t catching every word, don’t fret; just keep listening and trying to pick out more words each time. You’ll find yourself making progress sooner than you think.
French Covers Of English Songs
It’s more comforting to learn a new language if you can use your native one as a safety net. That’s why this playlist of French covers is ideal for learners who have a strong sense of connection with music in their native tongue — in this case, English.
Use the English-lyric songs you might already recognize to piggyback you into a better position to pick up new French vocabulary. If you know all the words to Dusty Springfield’s 1963 song “I Only Want To Be With You,” your ears will certainly perk up when you hear Richard Anthony’s 1964 French cover “À présent tu peux t’en aller.” Sure, it’s a wonky and inexact translation, and the meanings behind the lyrics are mismatched in some cases to account for rhyme and meter. But for many of the songs on this playlist, knowing what the English lyrics mean is the perfect way to parse through the French ones.
Classic French Songs From The 40s To The 80s
Being up to date on some of the most classic French chansons is a great way to go beyond language learning and really immerse yourself in the country’s musical culture. These songs, which reach from the ‘80s all the way back to the ‘40s, have had time to cement themselves in and shape the French public consciousness.
From timeless relics like revered chansonnière Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en rose” to Léo Ferré’s “Avec le temps,” the songs on this playlist have left their mark on generations of French speakers. Beyond just learning French through the lyrics, you’ll get a better understanding of how to connect with French people, which is always a worthwhile goal.
French Kids’ Songs
Let’s face it; when you’re starting out learning any new language, your vocabulary’s not going to be quite as… grown up. Just as children start out with limited linguistic know-how and work their way up over several years to full language proficiency, learning a new language like French follows a similar evolution. You might not be able to understand unfiltered or complex French conversations right out of the gate, and that’s okay.
Listening to a playlist comprising specifically kids’ music is an excellent way to boost your language skills at a pace that’s more suitable for a beginner. You can use the more basic vocabulary you’ll hear in the lyrics to build a solid foundation for learning the more challenging words that will follow later.
Learning French Cuss Words
We saved this one for last because we don’t want to be directly responsible for the problems that you might create with your own potty mouth. But if you’re curious (and we can’t blame you), here’s a playlist of songs that will give you a rundown of some of the most well-known and naughtiest French no-no words. Because we recognize that learning a language isn’t quite complete until you learn all of the language, and that includes the uncouth, the crass and the taboo.
(Just be sure you don’t go around singing these lyrics when there are French-speaking children nearby. You’ve got to have some decency, after all.)