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Resources for Spoken French Comprehension

Contrasted with English, French has few stressed consonants, and vowels can be longer and more nuanced. The same French sounds can also have different spellings and meanings (i.e: par-lay = parler, parlais, parlait, parlez, et parlé). I can read, speak and write French that French-speakers understand, but I can only get the gist of their spoken responses. Does anyone have any resources for speaking with native (and patient) Francophones, videos of native French speakers with English subtitles, or anything else that might help (outside of immersion)?

September 23, 2017



There's a Youtube channel called Francais Authentique. You can start with his "7 Regles" where he talks about the 7 Rules of learning French. The subtitles are in French and he speaks at a slow pace. The first time I watched his video, I had to read the subtitles to understand more than words here and there, but after watching the 7 videos, sometimes I'll even watch his other videos without subtitles. Now I find him to speak too slowly, which in my opinion is great, because it shows he's a great teacher and my listening skills have improved just by watching his videos.

There are also TV shows that I watch, but the subtitles are sometimes off. If you're interested, I can list them here or post the links.


merci! ces videos seront tres utile.

  • 386

Quelles émissions aimez-vous ?


Youtube has a subtitle search filter.

Also, when you learn a language (or anything else), you learn by blocks. Basic sounds, sound combinations, word roots, words, word combinations, expressions, sentence structure, paragraph meaning.

If you don't understand spoken French, it just means that you bypassed the first kinds of pattern blocks. What you need to do is listen to French videos on Youtube, even without subtitles. The purpose isn't to understand, simply to assimilate the melody of the language, to enable your brain to extract the basic sounds and the combinations of basic sounds. There is no need to understand what is being said, you brain will do the job of pattern separation by itself.

That being said, it's very nice to follow subtitles (in French) at the same time to learn at the same time the patterns linking sound patterns and text patterns.

Youtube is all you need, it's a gold mine.

Search for the kind of content you like, find the French keywords for those topics and hear hours and hours of French people speaking. Don't try to find channels about learning French, it's artificial and boring. Listen to real French people speaking about the topics you like. If you know the topic, it's easy to understand the context and the meaning of what is being said even if you don't understand all the words.


Knud Van Eeden has made very good overviews of resources for different languages. His web page for French resources:

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