7 Podcasts Parisians and Francophiles Listen To (Learn French)


If you’re not listening to French podcasts, you’re missing out on learning or reconnecting with the language.

Podcasts are entertaining, educational, and perfect for on-the-go learning. Listen during daily walks, while doing chores, or on summer travels.

I’ll introduce you to popular French podcasts for practicing comprehension and learning about French culture.

C’est parti.

1) The French podcast (description and list of podcasts)

Affaires Sensibles, “Sensitive Issues”
In this popular French podcast, each episode delves into intriguing forgotten stories from the 50s to the 2000s, spanning true crimes, cultural events, political thrillers, and industrial disasters, featuring in-depth case presentations, expert insights, audio archives, and relevant music.

Transfert (with a silent “t”), “Transfer.”
A French podcast by Slate.fr that features true, intimate stories from various anonymous storytellers. The listener steps into their shoes for the length of an episode, between 20 minutes and an hour, in an intimate audio experience – compelling stories that can be ordinary or extraordinary.

L’heure du Monde, “The Hour of the World”
Le Monde‘s daily podcast offers a valuable opportunity to practice French while gaining the prestigious newspaper’s perspective on global issues, covering a wide range of topics and enjoying one of the largest French podcast audiences.

La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, “The Tribune of Record Critics”
This oldest standing radio program (1946) emitted by France Musique offers a distinctive platform for music critics to dissect, analyze, and debate classical music recordings every Sunday, with each episode dedicated to a specific work, allowing the audience to explore various interpretations and delve into the richness of European classical music while experiencing the natural grammar, vocabulary, and conversational fillers such as “euh” or “voilà”, commonly used by French speakers.

Choses à Savoir, “Things to Know”,
A French podcast network comprises fifteen different podcasts, each about a big theme, like Science, History, World or general knowledge. Their two-minute-long episodes have the largest audience for French podcasts.

Click here for more:

“Méta de Choc”
It’s a pun on “état de choc”, a state of shock, and meta: thinking about thinking. It is an intriguing podcast that delves into the psychology of belief, examining modern New Age spirituality, cults, and popular theories while sharing personal journeys and exploring the fascinating realm of human belief systems hosted by Élisabeth Feytit, a former New Age believer.

Click here for more:

Club Citrouillade, ”Pumpkin Club”
It’s a lovely podcast featuring original stories for children, filled with small adventures of a group of adorable monster friends with their teacher. It offers cute voice acting, fun plots, funky music, and an upbeat vibe that makes it perfect for listening with children around. In one episode, they play hide-and-seek. The seeker is Vean-Pierre le Vampire, the young, friendly vampire of an unusual name; it sounds like the typical Jean-Pierre, but his vampire’s teeth give him a speech impediment. He’s looking for “Momo”, who is une momie, a mummy.

2) Excerpts from podcasts in French (with English translation)

1) Affaires sensibles : L’étrange affaire Marie-Elisabeth Cons-Boutboul.

Click here to listen (audio clip at 23:46 – 24:01).

Dans la poche de sa veste, les enquêteurs découvrent un petit carnet dans lequel se trouve un nom : Marguerite. Et un numéro de téléphone. Ils remontent la piste, jusqu’à une charcuterie de la rue Mignard dans le XVIème arrondissement de Paris.
In the pocket of his jacket, the investigators discover a small notebook in which is a name: Marguerite. And a phone number. They follow the trail to a charcuterie on rue Mignard in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

2) Transfert : Le goût amer du chocolat.

Click here to listen (audio clip at 31:2′ – 31:4′).

Pendant ce week-end, j’en profite pour aller au commissariat pour déposer une main courante. Comme ça, les flics sont au courant de cette histoire, et si jamais il se passe quelque chose, si jamais elle vient rôder, ou qu’elle fait quelque chose, qu’elle passe à l’action, bah, je les appelle et ils débarqueront plus vite.”
During this weekend, I’m taking the opportunity to go to the police station to file an incident report. This way, the police are aware of this situation, and if anything happens, if she ever comes lurking around or does something or takes any action, I’ll call them, and they’ll arrive more quickly.

3) L’Heure du Monde : Le moustique-tigre envahit la France.

Click here to listen (audio clip at -18:20 to -18:11 from the end).

OK, donc un moustique particulièrement désagréable pour nous l’été, et quand on parcourt les témoignages des habitantes et habitants des communes infectées, euh, que tu as recueillis, on prend la mesure de cette nuisance.
OK, so a particularly unpleasant mosquito for us in the summer, and when we go through the testimonies of the inhabitants of the infected communities, uh, that you have collected, we realize the extent of this nuisance.

4) La tribune des critiques de disques : Sonate n°3 de Frédéric Chopin (radiofrance.fr).

Click here to listen (audio clip at 13:21 – 13:32).

Totalement. J’ai trouvé qu’il y avait un naturel absolu dans cette version, et puis une puissance toujours très contenue, euh, avec l’exposition de ce thème, voilà, très majestueux.
Absolutely. I found an absolute naturalness in this version, and then a power that was always very restrained, uh, with the presentation of this theme, you know, very majestic.

5) Choses à Savoir : Pourquoi y a-t-il des trous dans l’emmental ?

Click here to listen (audio clip at 0:33 – 0:41).

Alors ce qui a mis la puce à l’oreille des chercheurs, c’est que depuis l’introduction de techniques de traite plus modernes, les trous dans l’emmental étaient beaucoup moins nombreux.
So, what caught the researchers’ attention is that since the introduction of more modern milking techniques, there were much fewer holes in the Emmental cheese.

6) Méta de Choc : CNV : une communication sans violence ? avec Olivier L’anonyme — SHOCKING ! 27 Part.5/5

Click here to listen (audio clip at 11:04 to 11:19).

Mais, qu’est-ce qu’on t’a répondu concrètement quand toi tu as envoyé ton message à l’association de CNV en France ?
“But what was the concrete response you received when you sent your message to the Nonviolent Communication Association in France?
Bah, j’crois que ça a semé un peu la confusion et l’inquiétude, là en face. Et pour moi, ça pourrait être vraiment dans les mésusages de la CNV.
Well, it caused a bit of confusion and concern on their end. And for me, it could fall into the misuse of Nonviolent Communication.

7) Club Citrouillade : Cache-cache.

Click here to listen (audio clip at 3:41 – 3:54).

Alors qui est-là ? Personne sous mon lit, personne derrière les rideaux, personne dans le placard… Trouvée ! Momo !
“So, who’s there? Nobody under my bed, nobody behind the curtains, nobody in the closet… Found you! Momo!
– Ah je suis la dernière, j’ai gagné ?
Ah, I’m the last one. Did I win?

3) Vocabulary

  • Des affaires sensibles = “Sensitive issues”
  • Une émission de radio = a radio show
  • Un transfert = a transfer
  • Mille neuf cent quarante six = 1946
  • Au commissariat = at the police station
  • Déposer une main courante = “filing an incident report.” (literally: dropping a “running hand”, the French name for a “handrail.” It’s a lower-stake version of Porter plainte.
  • Porter plainte = filing a complaint and pressing charges.
  • Un flic = a cop (informal).
  • Un policier / une policière or un(e) agent de police – a policeman (formal).
  • Les keufs (verlan slang of “flic”)
  • Les poulets (“the chicken”) = a cop, a pig (slang)

Click here for more:  Fast Spoken French: Understanding French Slang

  • Le moustique = the mosquito
  • Le moustique tigre = the tiger mosquito
  • Une commune = a town or a city (official, administrative word).
  • Les habitantes et habitants = “the inhabitants, the residents” (feminine then masculine). In French, the masculine plural covers both genders. People try to include genders explicitly, especially in media or official speeches (the feminine plural first, as a sign of politeness towards women).
  • Euh = the most overused filler word in French we use to find our words.
  • “Bah.” = a filler word that we use:
    • To emphasize the meaning of something (=“duh” when something is obvious)
    • To express indecision, just like “euh” or a reluctant “well.”

Click here for more:


  • Désagréable = “unpleasant”, not “disagreeable”. French people don’t have a word for disagreeability itself. Maybe “râleur”, someone who complains loudly. Or maybe it’s “français”.
  • “mettre la puce à l’oreille” = “catching the attention” (literally “putting a flea on your ear”)
  • la culture générale = general knowledge.
  • “état de choc”= a state of shock.
  • Méta = thinking about thinking.
  • CNV = la communication non-violente.
  • Une bande de copines et de copains = a group of friends.
  • Cache-cache = hide-and-seek.
  • Se cacher = to hide.
  • Une momie = a mummy.

4) Extra Resources (blog only): more French podcasts

  • Bookmakers (par Richard Gaitet) – a podcast by ARTE Radio about literature where authors discuss the road that led them to become a writer, how they write, how a novel was born, why they write, etc.
  • Émotions (par Brune Bottero) – a podcast exploring the depths of human emotions and their expressions, delving into validation-seeking, self-confidence, male vulnerability, and the complexities of love.
  • Coffee Break French – a structured podcast course with four levels and 40 lessons each, featuring a non-native teacher and student, allowing learners to improve their French skills through engaging 20-minute lessons.
  • News in Slow French – Enhance your language skills with this podcast discussing current affairs in authentic, slightly slower French, tailored for intermediate learners.
  • My Polyglot Life – a podcast for intermediate to advanced-level French learners seeking to enhance their listening skills, explore life in France or Canada, and expand their vocabulary for discussing current issues in French.

À tout de suite.
I’ll see you in the next video!

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Join the conversation!

  • Merci Géraldine pour tous ces détails très utiles. J’ai hâte d’écouter un podcast. Mais lequel ? Beaucoup de choix. Peut-être celui que tu écoutes avec ton fils ?
    Vicki Anderson

  • Géraldine,
    La préparation and détail que tu mets dans tes videos et transcriptions est formidable! Merci beaucoup. Le podcast que j’aime est ‘ Learn French by Podcast’

  • I like several podcasts on rtl.fr, in particular the first several hundred Ah Ouais!
    A lot of their podcasts such as this one come with articles which are in effect transcripts.

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