12 Interesting Podcasts That Will Help You Improve Your French

French podcasts to improve your French

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced language learner, listening in is one of the best ways to hone your skills. Podcasts offer an excellent avenue for practicing a foreign language while staying updated on cultural and social events at the same time.

In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, simply hearing a foreign language being spoken in the background can help improve language skills as much as actually speaking the words out loud. The benefits of listening to a foreign language even extend to when you’re not paying attention, as passive or distracted listening can also significantly improve language skills.

Podcasts are a great way to integrate this into your everyday routine. From commuting to cooking dinner to going for a jog, pop on one of these informative, fun, and interesting podcasts. Who knows? You might soon be speaking like a native.

Easy French Podcasts for Language Learners

1. News in Slow French

Every day, News in Slow French delivers precisely what its name suggests: the day’s news, presented at a slower pace than traditional broadcasts. Running between seven and ten minutes, these episodes serve as an excellent way to stimulate your mind and start the day with a heightened awareness of global events. It also provides grammar and expressions tailored for beginners, intermediates, and advanced learners, along with a series designed for various types of French speakers. (One note: You’ll need to download the Linguistica360 app to listen.)

Download from the Apple Store here or listen on Spotify.

2. Passages

Passages is a podcast by Louie Media that shares true stories (ranging in length from 20 to 50 minutes) reflecting the complexities of life. Hosted by Louise Hemmerlé and Charlotte Pudlowski, it presents real-life narratives exploring topics like friendship, love, political differences, and personal struggles. Each episode offers multiple perspectives on the same story. Some cult favorite episodes include “Serial Mytho,” “Nothing Can Stop Pone,” “You Would Be Great Together,” “My Heart Skipped a Beat,” and “A Promise.”

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify.

3. One Thing in a French Day

Since 2005, this long-standing podcast, One Thing in a French Day, has been releasing three episodes a week. If you’ve ever wanted to experience life through the eyes of a very kind and easily understandable Parisian woman, this is your chance. Laetitia, the podcast’s host, takes you on journeys to boulangeries, chats with friends, and dinner prep, and embodies the kind of easy, charmed life many aspire to but few attain. These podcasts are essentially audio blogs, offering brief storytelling rather than direct lessons. Laetitia also hosts another podcast called Cultivate Your French, which serves as a great tool for improving French listening comprehension and understanding spoken French.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify.

4. Fragments

fragments french podcast camille bourron

Listening to Fragments is like sitting in while your top-of-the-class college friend engages in interviews with individuals from diverse fields of work. From discussions on social justice and politics to uncovering Paris’s elusive hidden poet’s club, Camille Bourron is an exceptional host, adept at conveying important topics in a manner that’s accessible and understandable, especially for foreign speakers.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify.

5. Programme B

Programme B is an engaging news podcast from Binge Radio, hosted by Thomas Rozec. Each week, the podcast delves into a diverse array of topics, offering in-depth investigations, compelling reports, and captivating narratives. From discussions on remote work and political analysis, to fascinating insights into activities like spelunking, to reflections on cultural moments such as the aftermath of Kurt Cobain’s death, Programme B covers it all. With episodes ranging from 15 to 35 minutes in length, there’s always something interesting to listen to.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify.

6. Journal en français facile

This podcast, produced by RFI, offers a news program in simplified French, where information is delivered at a slower pace and complex vocabulary is avoided or replaced with simpler synonyms. Each episode, lasting just 10 minutes, airs daily from Monday to Friday. It serves as a news source for those looking to stay updated on international affairs in French. You can even find transcripts on the Le français facile avec RFI website. Additionally, the Language Service team at RFI provides two extra exercises weekly to help listeners understand current topics and expand their vocabulary. Essentially, it’s like having a very official French lesson in podcast form.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify

7. Transfert

Transfert is a podcast about the moments and experiences that change our lives irrevocably—a revelatory road trip, a traumatic childhood experience, or a romance gone sour. Every week, a different person and a different story are featured, but almost all unveil powerful truths about the way humans see the world. Think of this as spicy French gossip about people you’ve never met.

Download from the Apple store, or listen on Spotify.

8. Mamie dans les orties

Mamie dans les orties interviews older women, affectionately referred to as “mamie,” who share their life stories through a feminist lens. These narratives cover a wide range of topics, including sexuality, love, career, parenthood, and more. Episodes vary in length, ranging from half an hour to an hour. The podcast serves as a platform for an older generation of women to share their experiences, shedding light on how these stories contribute to our collective understanding of history. By exploring the lives of women in the latter half of the 20th century, Mamie dans les orties underscores the significance of exploring our past, in order to shape our future. It delves into the evolution of women’s rights and how they have profoundly impacted the lives of our grandmothers, from being among the first to vote and open their own credit cards, to navigating divorce, accessing abortion rights, and ultimately, embracing increasing freedom.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify.

9. Spla$h

splash french podcast

Spla$h is a lively podcast that delves into French economic and political news from entertaining perspectives, making complex topics accessible to everyone. Each episode averages about 20 minutes and features clear explanations, excerpts from works of fiction, and interviews with experts. Hosted by Emmanuel Martin, an economics teacher, and his team of journalists (Stéphanie Bascou, Julie Desrousseaux, Adrien Schwyter, and Robin Lemoine), Spla$h fearlessly addresses pressing questions in public discourse, enriched by insights from economists and researchers.

Download from the Apple store here or listen on Spotify

10. Superhéros

Much like Transfert, Superhéros takes as its subject the humans we encounter every day. But this podcast shows why those people — our neighbors, teachers, family members, and friends — are actually quite extraordinary. These powerful, multi-episode interviews dive deep into the stories of the heroes around us hiding in plain sight.

Download from the Apple Store here or listen on Spotify.

11. French Baratin

French Baratin provides discussions and debates on diverse topics concerning French society, tailored to enhance listeners’ French language proficiency. With each monthly episode covering a unique subject, topics include intriguing questions like “Do the French still want children?”, “Boomers or Millennials: do generations exist?” and, “Is artificial intelligence an artist like any other?” It is hosted by Cécile, Rafael, and Sibylle, with occasional guest interviews. Additionally, listeners can access vocabulary cards for added learning support.

Download from the Apple store here, or listen on Spotify.

12. Folie Douce

Lauren Bastide Folie Douce

It’s been a while since we’ve heard Lauren Bastide’s iconic phrase, “C’est la poudre, quoi?” Because her renowned podcast, La Poudre, has concluded its final episodes. However, the esteemed host has embarked on a new venture with her latest podcast, Folie Douce. While La Poudre was a weighty feminist podcast, Folie Douce retains its feminist essence while delving into more personal narratives. Twice a month, Lauren Bastide guides listeners through intimate discussions on mental health journeys with guests, infusing their conversations with humor and empathy. These dialogues provide a platform for individuals to share their personal experiences, challenge societal norms, and examine the impact of social and gender inequalities. Folie Douce is where intimate conversations on taboo topics are spoken about freely.

Download from the Apple Store here or listen on Spotify here.

12. Arte Radio Podcasts

Arte Radio has a bit of something for everyone with their long list of podcasts, covering everything from news to personal stories. From its “Le Tchip” podcast, which takes on questions of race, hip-hop, and pop culture; to “Sex and Sounds,” about the acoustics of sex noises (NSFW); Arte Radio gets quite creative with the art of podcasting. The result is a podcast channel that is sometimes funny, sometimes reflective, and almost always a surprise. One of its cult favorites is the Dépêche! podcast, where Olivier Minot hosts a 9-minute segment that challenges media monotony with sharp press reviews, engaging reports, and clever jokes.

Download all Arte Radio podcasts from the Apple Store here.

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