After a few hours of investigating and listening to French podcasts, I decided to compile a list of the best French podcasts. I listen to some of them, especially the ones in the first category. I have made a category for French learners and I add them regarding the different feedback I received, plus mine. Podcasts are a great way to work on your French listening comprehension. You can listen to it during your commuting time, free time, or at work. You won’t feel that you are working on your French thanks to this technique.
Pop culture podcasts in French:
1 – FloodCast
Started in 2015, this podcast was created by one of the most talented writers for the French Youtube, Florent Bernard, as known as FloBert (writer for Bloqués, Golden Moustache, Pitch). Accompanied by his sidekick Adrien Ménielle (actor in Groom, Studio Bagel), they invite artists from the web, television, or cinema into their diverting podcast. They talk about their life, culture, or unusual news with a touch of humor. They will also play some silly games to make this podcast even more entertaining. He managed to throw some of his podcasts in public in the concert room of the Bataclan in Paris.
2 – Un Bon Moment
This podcast created by Kyan Khojandi and Navo (Bruno Muschio) is more or less a copy of FloodCast. Note important for the non-French, Kyan Khojandi is also the famous creator of the short series “Bref” (I wrote one of my first articles about it). They invited some internet guests, comedians, and mostly friends to talk about everything but mostly about their life with their struggles and their artistic accomplishments. To make it short they talk about how it is to be an artist in France. The good point is the fact that they speak in a clear and slow way. The difficult point might be for the non-French speakers to understand the French slangs that they are using.
3 – 301 vues
French podcast presented and created by the most famous French YouTubers, Cyprien Lov or simply Cyprien. He is receiving guests, usually from the internet, they tend to play some silly game during this podcast. 301 vues is live on twitch on Monday and then you can listen to it on iTunes and Spotify. The best moments of the different lives are listed on one of his Youtube channels “L’autre chaîne de Cyprien” 10 days later.
4 – 4 Comiques dans le vent mais à contre sens
Podcast created and hosted by the rising French humorist Seb Mellia. The regret of the artist is putting a number in the name of his podcast with “4 humorists”. He now has to make sure to invite, all the time, four comedian guests to match the title of his podcast. Never put a number in the title of a podcast, this is one of the funny lessons Seb Mellia will teach you. “4 Comiques dans le vent mais à contre sens” is a lot of fun to listen to since all the guests are professional French humorists and will joke around all the time about news, or their life. There will always be new anecdotes for you to laugh out loud.
5 – Culture 2000
This podcast is the perfect combination of culture and humor. Started in 2016, it is composed of four good friends Greg, Marlène, Jean-Baptiste, and Yohann. If like me, you’re scared when someone asks you to play a game of Trivial Pursuit, Culture 2000 is made for you! They are talking about founding cultural events of our history, eras of humanity, or a specific geographic zone in the world like Amazonia, for example.
The speakers are goofing and making French cultural references while talking about history, this is for me the definition of French humor. The French cultural references plus the use of some French slang can make it difficult to understand for French beginner learners.
Learning French by podcasts:
6 – Coffee Break French
This is a great podcast for French learner beginners created by the company Radio Lingua Network and hosted by Mark, a Scottish man with great French pronunciation. The podcast is very slow and easy to understand. He has few seasons and the level of French increases season after season. Each episode lasts around 15 minutes because it lasts the time of a coffee break 😉 I will quote their description on Spotify “We’ll focus on the language you need to know and before long you’ll be making yourself understood by native French speakers”.
7 – Duolingo French podcasts
This is perfect for intermediate French students with English parts for context. Duolingo podcast is basically just a fun tool for vocabulary and minimal grammar (e.g. verb conjugations). It needs to be supplemented with books or other activities that involve the French language if you really want to improve your French.
8 – InnerFrench
This is a French podcast for intermediate students created by Hugo Cotton. This is for A2/B1 level students, it is a great podcast to immerse yourself in the language with. You will learn about French in context thanks to the selection of actual subjects by the creator. The other good point is that Hugo is articulating a lot and he is explaining right away all the different French expressions that he is using.
French business podcasts:
9 – Guerres de business
Guerres de business translated into English “Business Wars” will show you the economic world in a different way. You will be immersed in the heart of the greatest business battles of all time. You will discover the secrets of the success of the biggest companies but also the reasons for their failures. In the first episode, you will discover the business war between the American clothing brand Nike and the German brand Adidas.
10 – Le RDV Tech
RDV is an acronym for Rendez-vous translated into English gives “Appointment”. You will learn about the last trends in the tech industry. This French podcast will talk about new products, new startups, and technology in general in France but also in the world. They manage to make this podcast interesting and entertaining with some good vibes thanks to the happy mood of the host.
11 – Dessine moi un produit
“Draw me a product” is a podcast about entrepreneurship created by the French startup Sparkmate. The host will invite some young French entrepreneurs to talk about their products. You will discover how the founders got the idea and how they implement their ideas into real products. This is a great podcast, if you are into the startup world, you will learn about the French ecosystem. They talked quite fast and in a colloquial way, this podcast might be accessible mostly to advanced French learners.
Movie podcasts in French:
12 – We love TFTC
This is one of my favorite French podcasts. This podcast is the version of the YouTube channel Tales From The Click created by Jean-Baptiste Toussaint. This podcast is made for cinema lovers, the host will select one movie and talk with his guests about it during the podcast. He will ask questions like what are their memories of this particular movie, their best scene or their best line, and so on. The audience will discover a lot of fun facts about those iconic movies.
Jean-Baptiste will tend to select movies from his childhood that had a big impact on him and his guests’ lives. The big plus of this podcast is the voice of the creator, he has the perfect voice to be a radio anchorman with a deep and particular voice timbre.
13 – 2 Heures de perdues
I will quote their description on Spotify “Why save time when you can lose time in front of bad movies?”. 2 Heures de perdues translated into English gives “2 Hours of lost time” is another podcast about movies, mostly American and French ones created in 2016 by Fréquence Moderne (same as Culture 2000).
This podcast is composed of movie lovers with Sarah, Michael, Julie, Greg, and Antoine. They have fun analyzing bad or iconic films using their humor and bad faith. You will be listening to them commenting on movies like “Harry Potter”, “Kill Bill” or “Jurassic Park”. Even though the speakers get along, they are not afraid to oppose their ideas by making fun of each other, doing imitations, and laughing hard. In the end, they will read in a silly way some reviews from the listeners.
14 – Un épisode et j’arrête
This French podcast is made for series fans created in 2016 by ACS and Binge Audio. It is hosted by Pierre Langlais who manages to open the debate in a spoiler-free way around a specific series. The goal of this podcast is to link a current event to question a series. They will wonder about should we keep watching “The Walking dead”? How to explain the success of “La casa de papel”? This podcast might help you to discover some interesting series, thanks to the different journalists invited.
French news podcasts :
15 – Washington d’ici
Washington d’Ici is the podcast of French public radio stations in Washington. Every two weeks, correspondents from France Info, RTBF, Radio Canada, RTS, and RFI tell you the latest news. I recommend this podcast if you want a French / Swiss-French / French Canadian take on US politics. You will discover and experiment with different French accents by getting updated on the American actuality.
16 – Une Semaine dans le monde
A podcast created by the French television channel, France24. It is a well-made news show where they have a panel of guests to discuss current international and French events. A lot of the guests are foreign correspondents so you will get a wide range of French accents. This is another great podcast to work on your French listening comprehension.
French food podcasts:
17 – Bouffons
What is the metaphor of our plates? What does cooking say about us and our times? This is a podcast about the cuisine in general and not only the French one. Emilie Laystary is inviting for each episode two guests either chefs, food enthusiasts but also sociologists, or geographers to talk about food from different perspectives.
You will discover the social impact and all the history around a specific dish while getting really hungry. I would recommend you eat before listening to this podcast. The cool thing is, they are adding the restaurant address on their website “Nouvelles Écoutes”. For example, you will know the best food addresses to go for ramen in Paris or in Japan. For your information, Bouffon can mean in English “Jester” or “We eat” in a colloquial way (I wrote an article about French slang and I mentioned Bouffer).
18 – Manger
A podcast that used to be called “Plan Culinaire” was created by Louie Media. It is animated by different podcasters talking about our eating habits from very varied points of view with humor and intelligence! You will be learning why the French fell in love with eating Kellogg’s cereals? Or why are we ashamed to eat alone? Behind those questions, there is a deep journalistic work to analyze and answer those interesting questions.
Storytelling podcasts in French:
19 – Transfert
You will be listening to one long interesting story for each podcast produced by Slate. The fact that the narrator is the person that experimented with the story will immerse you in the podcast even more. On the website of Slate, you can read the mysterious description of Transfert “Their names are Serge, Mathieu, Hugo. Their names are Nathalie, Lara, Lucile… All of them open the doors of their intimacy, tell us their secrets. Here are their stories”.
20 – Émotions
A podcast created by Louie Media in 2019. Émotions is here to help you to understand better why as humans we have feelings and emotions and where it is coming from. You will listen to different people talking about one specific emotion. You will dive into analyzing the different feelings with some experts and some storytellings. Most of the time, they will tell you some stories that had a huge impact on their life in order to illustrate this specific emotion.
The first episode is about why we are stressed before an important event, why we are sometimes panicking about it and why the French are not comfortable with public speaking. Besides learning about emotion, you will see it from the French cultural point of view. Thanks to this podcast you might have a better understanding of French people’s behaviors.
I hope that you liked this selection of French podcasts and that you discover at least one podcast that you like now. By the way, what are your favorite French podcasts? Let me know in the comment section! I might add it to this list if I like it too. Do you want to work on your French listening comprehension in another way? I invite you to read my next article about the best French YouTubers.