I keep recommending YouTube to all my students. It is a priceless - and free! - tool for learning languages. Watching videos on youtube is the best way to relax *and* learn at the same time. Truly a bonus for your language skills and your stress level.
There’s only one downside: finding channels which you will like in a new language can be a challenge sometimes. To make up for this, here is my selection of the best French speaking youtube channels. A new channel is added every Friday, so you know what to watch to practice your French in the weekend. ;)
Note: this list was getting really long, so I have organized the first 25 channels into an ebook. They are categorized, to help you find topics that you will enjoy really fast. I have also added indicators of the speed and level of French language, so you know what to expect: the more emoticons you find next to a channel, the harder it will be. 😎
26. 750 Grammes
To a French ear, the name 750 grammes would automatically sound like part of a cooking recipe, and that’s what this channel is all about. It is connected with the website 750g. Both the channel and the website feature countless cooking recipes in French: it’s great to boost both your cooking skills and your French language. There are playlists for nearly everything edible, ranging from Fish to Chocolate and cheese of course. How about some Delicacies in a glass? Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s super popular in France. Way to impress your guests next weekend. ;-) Are you afraid you’ll never be able to cook like a pro? Fear no more, they also have a bunch of helpful tutorials. Will you dare cooking a French dessert for Christmas? Here is a playlist with 31 options.
As the name lets you guess, this channel is somewhat oriented towards women. This channel is connected with the website madmoizelle.com which defines itself as a webzine for young women. It features 2000 videos, including everything you can expect in a magazine for ladies, neatly organized in playlists around each topic: street-style fashion, beauty tutorials, hairdos but also a lot of other topics such as books, cooking recipes or even video games.
Let’s not forget the funny adventures of Mad Gyver, a real life young woman and the hilarious Berengère Krief (whom you might already have seen in the series Bref).
In short, a very varied channel where you can spend a lot of time and learn a lot about French culture, regardless of your gender.
NaRt is the perfect channel to learn about art. The owner has a preference for contemporary art, but many videos also deal with other styles. The channel features several types of videos, organized in playlists : short videos introducing the style of a painter in three minutes and three key elements, presentation of artists, Work of art analyses, series in several episodes studying topics more in depth such as contemporary art, or female artists, and much more.
The owner of the channel tends to speak quite fast and deals with complex topics. I would only recommend this channel if you are very familiar with the topic of art - or if your French is already very advanced - level C1 unless you are very good at art.
“Primum non nocere” (latin for “first, cause no harm”) is the famous first sentence of the Hippocratic Oath, which medical doctors must take at the beginning of their career. This channel is indeed about medicine. The owner creates in-depth videos (typically about 10 minutes long) about topics related to health, often taking a fun title, such as “the magic healing kiss” and making a serious informative video about it. I love watching this channel because it teaches me so much about how our body functions, such as why ears feel clogged in a plane or why our nose runs when it’s cold. Other videos are about specific drugs or medical techniques - it turns out that without the beatles, we might never have had scanners.
Check it out if you are good at French and interested in medicine - or if you have a very advanced knowledge of medicine and are looking to improve your French.
30. Miss Book
The channel Miss Book is owned by three women who speak about… books.
The three youtubers play the roles of many different characters, with different personalities and different ways of speaking French. It is perfect for you to learn about different styles of French and the kind of person they are associated with. This however, can make some characters harder than others to understand due to the use of slang or very advanced words.
If you are an avid reader with an advanced level of French, Miss Book must become your go-to place for French reading advice.
“The movie gravedigger” - that’s how the name of his channel translates - speaks about science fiction movies. About one third of his videos are dedicated to “unearthing” old, often little known movies - that’s where the name of the channel comes from.
The other two thirds of the video, called “l’après-séance”, are his immediate impressions after he has been to the cinema to watch a recent movie.The videos are rather long, typically about twenty minutes, and the author speaks rather fast. I would recommend this channel to you if you love science fiction movies, and your French is already very advanced.
Side note: it’s better to have watched the movies before you see the corresponding videos. It will make it easier to understand what he refers to. Some videos (particularly those about older movies) also contain spoilers, which you might not want to see before you see the actual movie.
EnjoyPhoenix is one of the most famous French woman on YouTube, with about 2.7 million subscribers - and counting.
Her followers are mostly women, so it will be easier to relate and even understand what she says if you are a woman yourself. To be honest, if you follow her a lot you will end up knowing a lot of French words which I don’t know myself about skin care, hair care, make up etc. Many videos are tutorials which means she describes what she’s doing. This means that even though she speaks quite fast, you’ll certainly understand a lot if you have some existing knowledge of those topics.
The title, which translates as “statistics as explained to my cat”, is self-explanatory: in this French-speaking Belgian channel, the author explains statistics to his cat, Albert.
Albert the cat is, just like us, very confused when it comes to understanding what statistics really means. For example, Albert really believes that chocolate makes you smarter and is also very confused about how the leaders of the world are elected and what each voting system really means.
“Prendre sa vie en main” is a French expression which would translate as “take control of one’s life”. This personal development channel offers you to do just that. Most videos are book summaries, such as the seven habits of highly effective people, the compound effect, or this explanation of the cashflow quadrant. Recently, the author as taken the challenge to leave the “rat race” and become financially independant thanks to Multi-level-marketing, within two years. This playlist lets us follow his progress. Will he succeed? We can only know if we follow his work.
Although the title of this channel would translate as “the science minute”, its videos are typically around 4-5 minutes long. They deal with a variety of scientific topics, such as astronomy, sociology, or biology. I love this channel because every video teaches me something I had not expected, in great details. Have you ever wondered how fear happens in your brain? The tone of this channel is quite technical, so I recommend it to you if your French is already very good, or if you are familiar with scientific subjects. The topics covered differ a lot, so you may understand some videos much better than others. Just try it out!
He might be the most famous French gamer on Youtube, with over 2 Million subscribers. By the way, the title of his channel translates as “the gamer in the attic” - probably a reference to his numerous videos about retrogaming on his channel. If you watch his videos, you will hear about consoles you had forgotten about, and, more importantly, games you had never heard about. I’m stuned to find out how many games have existed, as varied as comic books, Star wars or even the Adams family. Don’t worry, he also speaks about less confidential topics such as the numerous PacMan games. His videos are typically around 15-20 minutes long. I’ll recommend them to you, if you are a big gaming fan and you have a good command of French already. You’ll be able to broaden your slang knowledge. Indeed, the gamer in the attic tends to speak like a regular French gamer would, meaning his language is not the most academic. Do you have what it takes to be his gaming buddy?
37. Dave Sheik
(previous title: Histoire brève)
This is another one of my favourite channels about history. Dave might the only youtuber who wears a plastic bow-tie on all of his videos, this gives you an idea of the tone of the channel: both serious and funny. He picks an episode of history, often unknown (such as 3 genocides nobody cares about - his words, not mine, I just translate) and explains it to us in a fun, relaxed manner. He has a predilection for quirky topic such as the shortest war ever or tea, as the master of the world. Many of his videos also deal with the topic of colonization, French or otherwize. The channel also includes three (so far) videos about the evolution of the French language. A fun tone also means a relaxed language and a lot of slang. This makes the channel potentially difficult for you. You should try listening to it nonetheless, you’ll learn a lot.
Side note: numerous youtubers I have quoted here before are featured in some of Dave Sheik’s videos. Can you spot them?
Charlotte (aka Cha’) is the owner of this channel about… languages - and specifically about linguistics. This channel is quite new but the twelve existing video are very professional and packed with super interesting infos. Is speaking over someone always rude, regardless of the culture you’re in? Is is possible to forget one’s native language? What are the criteria to make a fictional language a real language? All those questions, and many more, are answered by Charlotte in a very scientific manner.
Also, as a student of French, this channel will provide you with numerous comparison between French cultures and other cultures, and might help you understand why the French are sometimes a bit weird.
Ready to find out why we say “Hello”?
Wooshes is just the name of the channel who publishes the little serie En fait… (meaning “Actually….”) This series follow Vince and Léa as they get into a love relationship, with an interesting twist: whenever they speak about a topic, we see three things: what they say, what Vince really thinks, and What Léa really thinks. This series gives us super funny insights on what men and women think about any given situation they typically encounter at the beginning of a relationship, such as the first date (and what you should not say then), Valentines day, and meeting her best friend.
A new episode is released every week.
Every episode could be watched alone, but I strongly recommend watching them in the intended order, since the relation between Vince and Léa progresses. You can start with the trailer embedded above, or with The first date.
Paul Taylor is English but he lives in France. Every week, he delivers his hilarious insights on a particular aspect of French culture. Although this channel is mostly in English with French subtitles, it’s a must watch for every student of French. It is the shortest and funniest ways to be informed about all the quirks of French culture, including wine, cheese, bakeries, the French language, and many many more. And as a French man, I have to confess that almost everything he says is entirely true and barely exaggerated.
This channel is this year’s revelation on French Youtube. Although it was created in January 2017 and features only ten videos to date, it already has almost 300 000 subscribers - an impressive growth unheard of in French speaking Youtube. Micode is a young Frenchman who studies computer science. His channel is dedicated to letting us know things that we really ought to know about computers and the internet. Is clicking a link dangerous? Should we entrust our browser with our passwords? What should we know about illegal downloading? A new format is dedicated to news regarding online safety, such as the recent leak of CIA documents or the open letter to Trump by The Shadow Browkers. If you know little about IT but speak good French, or if you’re an IT expert and you want to get better at speak in French about those topics,
Pierre has created this channel and the corresponding blog because there wasn’t any French blog dedicated to language learning at the time. The channel now features 67 videos, and about two more are added each week. They deal with major language learning related questions, such as making mistakes, language degrees, vocabulary and grammar. He also has a must-watch serie about the seven deadly sins of language learners. He speaks rather clearly and without slang, which make his videos quite approachable for non-natives. All of his videos develop the topic they deal with in a very nuanced manner. This makes this channel a great starting place if you speak some French already and you want to deepen your knowledge of language learning related topics.
Aurella is a young English woman who is learning French. In many videos, she tells us in English about her French learning journey. She also reviews French learning resources that she uses to learn French, and share insights about her self-teaching method. In addition to those videos in English, she also makes videos in French. Those videos are lesson-like and let you review your French together with her. I love that she has included subtitles both in French and in English, which makes the videos super easy to follow, even if your level is still very low. So, if you have been having a hard time following all the Youtubers which I featured before, this is definitely the channel for you. It’s a no-fail, even if your French is non-existent, and you’re sure to get something out of it if your French is anywhere between beginner and intermediate. Go watch it!
Confessions d’Histoire (History Confessions) is an history channel with an interesting twist. Major historical figures, played by actors, come forward and tell us their version of what happened. All videos deal with the period between the Roman empire and the middle ages, and centers around Europe and more specifically the current territory of France.For example, we directly witness the disagreements between King Louis VII of France and his wife Aliénor, who later married the English King Henry II.
The videos are very funny and help you understand in depth historical events which most of us really don’t know much about such as the first crusade or the conquest of Gaul (currently France) by the romans. A must watch for anyone who is interested in the history of France and Europe.
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