You could learn French alone on a desert island if you had to.
We hope you don’t have to, but you could.
You don’t need Wi-Fi.
You don’t need a strict schedule of language classes.
All you need are quality downloadable French learning videos.
You’ll always have access to language materials and the option to study anytime, anywhere.
We’ll show you the best ones to download now and get learning right away.
Why Bother Downloading French Learning Videos?
- You don’t have to wait for buffering. This is a huge plus for anyone with a slow internet connection in their home. (Ahem… me.)
Sitting down to watch a French video, only to wait endlessly for the material to load on YouTube, is a massive learning momentum killer. Well, I guess instead of studying, I’ll just go take a nap!
If you download your videos, no buffering is necessary. Just click “play.”
- You can always access your videos. Even when you don’t have internet access, you can view your stored videos! Watch them on your morning commute to work. Or at a restaurant that doesn’t give its Wi-Fi password to customers. Or in your home in the middle of a power outage.
- It’s safe. Whenever a friend suggests I download something onto my computer, two words pop into my mind: “pirating” and “virus.” However, the websites on this list make it possible for you to download videos completely legally and safely.
The 5 Best French Learning Sites with Downloadable Videos
Everyday French: Learn with Video Tutorials
The Learn with Video Tutorials website offers videos on nearly every topic you’d expect to discuss in an average day.
Shopping? There’s a video for that. Family? There’s a video for that. Yes, you can even learn how to handle an appointment at a French doctor’s office!
The videos are very simple. You see words and expressions and you hear a voice pronouncing them for you. If you like straightforward learning videos with the information laid out for you, Learn with Video Tutorials is a great option.
You can download 20 lessons for only $27. Do so by clicking “Buy Now” at the bottom of the page.
If you only want one lesson, individual videos cost $3.00. The videos run for five minutes to a half hour, but each individual lesson costs the same regardless of length.
Personalized French Lessons: FluentU
FluentU is a little different than the other resources in this list. Instead of just letting you download French videos, it creates personalized lessons out of real French streamed videos with the option to download tons of extra learning materials.
The videos are authentically French—the type of thing that native speakers watch all the time, like French movie trailers, music videos, news reports, inspiring talks and more. Each video comes with flashcards, exercises, full transcripts, vocabulary lists and even interactive captions.
You can click on any unfamiliar word for a definition, pronunciation, visual learning aid and more. The flashcards and exercises cater to your own strengths and weaknesses—you can skip what you know and focus on what you don’t. Everyone has a different experience, even watching the same videos! FluentU also remembers what you’ve learned and suggests new videos based on that information.
The videos are organized by genre and learning level, so it’s easy to find ones that work for your level and interests. While you can’t download the videos themselves (doing so violates YouTube’s terms of service) you can download the audio as well as PDF transcripts and the interactive learning tools. You can take your downloads anywhere on your phone with the FluentU mobile app.
It’s a fantastic tool to actively learn French the way native speakers actually use it.
Conversational French: FrenchPod101
FrenchPod101’s primary goal is to make learning French fun. They have expert teachers present video and audio lessons on culturally relevant French topics that’ll hold your attention and prepare you for real conversations with French native speakers.
You’ll learn how to navigate French-speaking regions for travel, how to chat with French speakers online and more, while ultimately building towards fluency in French communication.
There are more than 1,000 lessons available with more added all the time. To download a video, play the clip, go down to the far bottom righthand corner of the screen and click the little arrow. The video will be downloaded onto your computer.
You can also download extra learning materials such as PDF lesson notes and vocabulary building tools. FrenchPod101 is available on the computer or your phone with the mobile app.
Short Videos: JeFrench
I don’t know about you, but one of the main things that keeps me from studying French is lack of time. I have two jobs, I take care of my dog, I spend time with my husband… how am I supposed to fit recreational language learning into my schedule?
Most of this website’s videos are under 20 minutes in length. You have 20 minutes, right? If you’re truly crunched for time, you can multitask and watch these videos while exercising on the treadmill or rocking your baby to sleep.
JeFrench’s videos are for beginners. They cover everything from greetings, to how to use the verb aimer (to like; to love), to noun genders.
JeFrench provides many free videos on its website. You can’t download them for free, though. If you want videos sent straight to your email inbox every week, sign up for JeFrench’s premium package. For 16 weeks, you’ll receive three weekly videos. The premium plan costs $99, but JeFrench is known to run discounts.
This premium plan not only sends you 48 videos, but it also gives you over 100 downloadable audio files, plus bonus material!
French Subtitles: TED Talks
TED Talks have become wildly popular, not just in the U.S., but also all over the world. TED is a media company that holds conferences and posts videos online. Its slogan is “Ideas worth spreading.” People watch TED Talks to be inspired and informed.
You can download TED Talks presented in English with French subtitles. It’s a nice option for early beginner French learners—you’ll start building associations between English words and their French translations, and get your toes wet reading in French without getting lost.
Plus, watching TED Talks is a great way to infuse some inspiration and education into your day while simultaneously learning French.
First, select French from the “Languages” dropdown in the page linked above. This will show you all the videos with subtitles that’ve been translated into French. Once you’ve opened a video, click “Share.” Then you’ll see the option to download the video. Make sure you select French in the “Subtitles” dropdown here, so that they’re attached to your downloaded video.
While TED does provide talks in the French language, you can only access those clips on YouTube. That means you can’t download them. You can only legally and safely download videos from the TED Talks website.
Once you’ve downloaded French learning videos onto your computer or phone, your life just got way easier! Congratulations, you can now learn French just as conveniently and quickly as you’ve always heard.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.