I am a student, and I recently started taking French as a class.

My vocabulary is OK, Duolingo teaches you well. But I need a better resource than a textbook, or Duolingo, as neither prepares you to listen to French.

So are there any good resources for listening to spoken French? The fluent people speak so quickly that it's hard to understand even a little bit.

It has to be free, and preferably not something that spams you with daily emails.

  • Go on youtube and look for documentaries.
    – oldergod
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 8:13
  • Use Netflix or similar, and look for French films of all sorts. If you can get French-language TV, watch that too. If you can find someone who speaks French fluently, have a conversation.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 4:44

8 Answers 8


You could try some audio book if you only need to hear French speaking, accessible from youtube such as "Le Petit Prince".

As mentioned by Anupama, tv5monde is a good source too. It also provides exercises to practice and listen to French through news.


Well, if you want to listen to French being spoken by a Frenchman, talking about the French language... I can't think of anything better than Merci Professeur. :)


Depending on your level of French, I'd suggest listening to humorists, especially recorded monologues. My first language is French, and our English teacher made us listen to Vinyl Cafe in class. I found myself going back to it a few times in my own time to make sure I understood all the jokes (Dave Cooks the Turkey made me cry of laughter). Other than that, audiobooks! Being able to read while you hear can be quite helpful!


Try the listening exercises at https://rapideFrench.com You can start at the basic level and work your way up. They're recorded by native speakers, but are a little slower for learners. More to the point the vocab is provided (and transcripts) so you can try listening to easier ones cold, but by learning the new vocab and translating the transcripts first for the harder ones. You get access to about 25 of them for free by registering, but they don't bombard you with emails to sign up to get access to the full 100.


I always found the news to be easy to understand and full of useful words and expressions. For that purpose , I recommend:

  • TV5 Monde
  • France24 (also have an Android/iPhone app)
  • Arte (app as well)

I hope it helps!

  • franceinfo - a news channel that didn't exist when you posted this answer - is good too - I find I'm routinely looking up words and expressions they use in the captions. Also France 2's nightly bulletins, which you can watch from overseas. Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 21:41

These online exercises include a French transcript and English translation so that you can read along in order to help develop your skills to the point where you don't need them any more.


http://talkify.net is a great tool to listen to spoken French (among other languages). It reads a website out loud and highlights the spoken text which makes it easy to follow. You can set the voice manually in the top right corner if it does not recognize the text correctly. Try it out.


The BBC website has some great videos with subtitles where they speak at a manageable rate using fairly basic vocabulary.

This one is probably too advanced for a total beginner, but RFI does daily news podcasts with transcripts where they speak a little slower than normal and use slightly simplified speech (the simplification is negligible, really.) I personally read the transcript first with the help of Readlang for any words/phrases I don't know, then listen to the audio.

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