We always tell our students that the best way to learn French is to immerse yourself in the language whenever and wherever you can – not just in the classroom! Podcasts are a great way to boost your listening comprehension skills, learn new vocabulary and engage with French culture. We’ve put together some of our favorites that will add some French flair to your daily commute, next trip to the gym, or shower!
By ALAINA SCHWARTZ
LITTLE TALK IN SLOW FRENCH
Little Talk in Slow French is the perfect podcast if you’re looking to improve your listening skills, since it was created with French learners in mind. The host goes over current events while taking extra care to speak slowly and clearly, and also includes some vocab tips and translations. Each episode comes with a transcript so you can read along, or review afterwards!
PARLER COMME JAMAIS
“Dis-moi quelle langue tu parles, je te dirai qui tu es.”
Language touches nearly every aspect of our lives, meaning that there’s a lot to discuss. Should the French language be more inclusive? Can an emoji be used as evidence in a court of law? Parler comme jamais, a podcast created by linguist Laélia Vérongoes, tackles today’s biggest questions about the French language, language use in general and some topics you’ve likely never thought about before.
SOCIETY & CULTURE
Profils gathers the stories you never knew you wanted to hear. The audio documentaries range from four minutes to an hour, so there’s always an episode you can fit into your schedule. Get to know Josiane, a 78-year-old gamer who plays the Sims daily, Laurent, a mayor in the French countryside presiding over just 200 residents (how do they keep getting his cell phone number?!), among many other characters.
LE CŒUR SUR LA TABLE
For those who are tired of hearing “first comes love, then comes marriage…”, this one’s for you. Le coeur sur la table, created by Victoire Tuaillon, takes a look at love today – what it means, how we love, and who we love – and what it could look like in the future. More than just romantic relationships, Tuaillon talks about everything from hook-up culture to the looming threat of becoming a “crazy cat lady”.
LES PIEDS SUR TERRE
Inspired by This American Life, each episode of Les pieds sur terre covers a new theme and takes a more personal approach to covering the issues currently affecting French society. Thanks to the first-person format, every account feels intimate, and like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with the speakers.
KIFFE TA RACE
In Kiffe ta race, hosts Rokhaya Diallo and Grace Ly seek to remove the taboo that shrouds the topic of race. Each episode features a new guest and explores race in a different context: colonialism, laïcité, art and cuisine, among many others, are all on the table. They’ve even done an episode in English! Listen to it here.
ECONOMY & POLITICS
The Splash podcast is run by a team of economists and researchers looking into today’s most pressing issues and hottest debates. Get the latest on how “BookTok” has inspired a reading renaissance and driven book sales, the “uberization” of sex work, and the rise of online marketplaces for secondhand fashion items.
In her podcast Affaires étrangères, Christine Ockent keeps up with a fast-changing world and examines current events with the help of experts at the top of their field: doctors, economists, historians, politicians and journalists, just to name a few.
New Deal was conceived during the beginnings of Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection in 2020, and has since closely followed American politics and provided coverage for some of the country’s most important moments in recent history. We recommend this one for anyone looking to practice their French and gain a new perspective.