16 Best French Audiobooks for Language Learners in 2024

French audiobooks are great tools for practicing your listening comprehension and building your language skills.

You can listen to original French books, books translated from other languages, short stories and even audio courses made for language learners. 

The best part? You can listen while you clean the house, commute to work, wait in line…pretty much wherever! 

Read on for 16 of the best French audiobooks for language learners of all levels and learning styles. 


Original French Audiobooks

Listening to books in the original French is the purist approach and the best way to grow your understanding of culture and language. You may want to repeat these books to ensure you get everything out of them possible. 

1. “Chroniques des jours entiers, des nuits entières”  


English title: “Chronicles of Whole Days and Nights”
Author: Xavier Durringer

Chroniques” offers a modern and unique alternative to the typical audiobook format. It’s an artsy, theatrical social commentary that combines sound, dialogue and monologue.

The play offers a raw and intense portrayal of the life of a gang of youths living in the French suburbs, delving into their struggles, dreams and the harsh realities they face.

This audiobook is short and sweet (about an hour) and is narrated by several actors, meaning you’ll be exposed to a variety of accents.

2. “Madame Bovary” 


Author: Gustave Flaubert

This is a French classic—and not the kind you have to slog through. It was once banned for being too risqué, so you know it has to be good!

Published in 1856, the story follows Charles, an officier de santé (“health officer” or doctor) and his wife Emma, who engages in adulterous affairs.

This novel uses some complex language, so it’s a good pick for more advanced French learners. You’ll hear interesting expressions coined as “Bovarysmes,” such as “plate comme un trottoir de rue” (roughly, “boring as a sidewalk”).

3. “Six fables de La Fontaine”


Author: Jean de La Fontaine

La Fontaine’s “fables” are considered French classics, and this modern reading of 6 of them in audio format is only 99 euro cents.

You get 13 minutes of high-quality audio with added piano music that highlights the drama of the stories and some fun, cheesy sound effects.

Between the speaker’s expressive intonation and the text’s rhythm and rhyming, this makes for some great French audio for beginners. However, it’s any level of learner will benefit from listening to it. 

Audiobooks in French Translation

You can find a large selection of books translated into French online. Listening to books from your childhood in French is especially useful for beginners as the language is typically straightforward and accessible and you can focus on comprehension.

4. “Rebecca”


Author: Daphné du Maurier

This is a 1938 English classic that reads as easily as a modern-day thriller. It was adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940.

It features a widower, his new wife (living in the shadow of his dead wife, Rebecca) and a fanatical housekeeper. The narrator speaks at an easy pace.

It’s not a particularly hard read, but you’ll benefit from tuning in with a keen ear to the story’s nuances and how the language gets the point across by showing, not telling.

5. “Les hommes qui n’aimaient pas les femmes” 


English title: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Author: Stieg Larsson

While this title literally translates to “Men who didn’t like women,” this book is better known in the English world as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

This well-known crime series has been made into several movies. It’s a compelling story about a Swedish journalist, his colleagues, a young computer hacker and her misogynistic, murderous father.

Listening to stories translated from languages other than English gives you a glimpse into an unfamiliar language and culture. It doesn’t hurt that the narrator, Emmanuel Dekoninck, is engaging and dramatic.

6. “Harry Potter à l’école des sorciers” 


English title: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Author: J.K. Rowling

You’re likely already familiar with the adventures of Harry and his wizard friends at Hogwarts, which means you can focus on the language.

The first few books were written for a grade-school audience, so this is a good choice for those French learners who want to listen to a story without complex language.

You can practice building your listening comprehension skills without getting lost or overwhelmed. At over 8 hours long, you’ll have plenty of content for practice. 

7. “Les aventures d’Alice au pays des merveilles” 


English title: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
Author: Lewis Carroll 

It’s a delight to read about the weird adventures of Alice in Wonderland in French. You’ll find yourself drawing parallels between the very British language and the French translation.

It’s a great option if you’re looking for a story that will hold your attention. Since you’re likely already familiar with the story, you can focus more easily on the language and pick up new vocabulary as you listen.

This version is read by a strong narrator who speaks slowly, which is always helpful for those new to French.

French Audiobook Short Stories

You can listen to an entire audio short story in one sitting, and there are generally multiple short stories included in one collection. This also makes repetition easy, since you’ll be able to listen to a whole short story a second time much more quickly than you would with a whole book.

8. “La petite fille aux allumettes” 


English title: “The Little Match Girl”
Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen’s stories have been enjoyed worldwide and translated into many languages. This is one of his best-known classics.

This story is less than 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick blast of French. It’s about a young girl selling matches on a cold New Year’s Eve. She starts lighting the matches and sees wonderful visions of warmth and comfort.

This story has clear French audio as well as great sound effects and music. You can download a text version of the story to read along while you listen.

9. “Le petit chaperon rouge” 

french audiobooks

English title: “Little Red Riding Hood”
Author: Charles Perrault 

This story dates back to the 17th century. As you probably know, it follows a young girl who encounters a Big Bad Wolf on her way to visit her sick grandmother.

There have been many retellings of the story over the centuries. This one featured on FluentU is aimed at children, so it’s perfect for beginner and pre-intermediate learners who are just starting to listen to French stories and audiobooks.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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10. “Culture et Confiture”


English title: “Culture and Jam”
Émilie Salamin-Amar

This is one work in a series of short dramatic pieces by Émilie Salamin-Amar. The title of each piece corresponds to a letter of the alphabet (in this case, C).

“Culture et Confiture” is a playful discussion between a man and a woman that touches on literature, philosophy, culture and how they all relate to one another.

The crackling sounds of a fire in the background lend a cozy feel to the audio. At only 9 minutes long, you can easily listen to the whole thing more than once if needed. 

Free French Audiobooks

Who doesn’t love free things? If you’re a bookworm like me, a constant supply of French books that’s easier on the wallet may be the perfect choice. While you won’t find every title for free, many classic French novels can be found and read for free in audiobook form.

11. “Le tour du monde en 80 jours”


English title: “Around the World in 80 Days”
Author: Jules Verne

Jules Verne is one of the most prolific French adventure writers, and you can listen to this classic on Littérature audio for free.

The story follows Phileas Fogg, a wealthy British man who wages half of his fortune on a bet that he can circumnavigate the Earth in 80 days. His journey takes him to Japan, India and the U.S. by train and steamer.

This audiobook is narrated in a mainstream Standard French accent. It’s a great way to learn words and expressions used in 19th-century French literature.

12. “Le petit prince” 

English title: “The Little Prince”
Author: Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Le petit prince is a French classic loved by children and adults alike. It’s been translated into dozens of languages. 

The book is about a little prince who travels through outer space, visiting various planets and encountering many colorful characters along the way. It explores the themes of friendship, solitude and grief, and can get quite philosophical at times.

This audiobook is complete with sound effects, music and a grandfatherly male voice. Best of all, you can read along to the story and mine for new vocabulary.

13. “Frritt Flacc” 

Author: Jules Verne

For Jules Verne fans, Bibliboom features a couple of full novels. If you’re not up to the challenge of reading a novel yet, you can try out this short piece first.

The story of a doctor who only treats people with sums of money to suit his taste, “Frritt Flacc” unrolls into a delicious moral horror tale.

It all takes place during a violent storm, and frritt refers to the sound of the wind, flacc that of the rain. Both words are repeated several times, which adds to the story’s creepy atmosphere.

French Audiobooks for Language Learners 

If you’re looking for some guided listening and pronunciation practice, there are plenty of great audiobooks specifically made for French learners. These include listen-and-repeat courses, short stories with learning support and realistic dialogues between native speakers. 

14. “Short Stories in French for Beginners”


Author: Olly Richards 

This audiobook offers almost 4.5 hours of authentic French in the form of 8 entertaining short stories covering a range of genres, including sci-fi, history and crime.

The 100 most frequent French words and commonly used conversational expressions are sprinkled throughout these stories, exposing you to their usage in context. 

They’re appropriate for beginner to intermediate-level learners (A2-B1), featuring plenty of dialogue and accessible grammar structures. You’ll also get a word list in French and English, comprehension questions and a plot summary to support your learning.

15. “Learn French with Paul Noble for Beginners”


Author: Paul Noble 

Paul Noble presents the French language in a very accessible and logical way. He starts with some basic vocabulary and sentence structure and then gradually builds on it.

The course is split into three parts, each covering different aspects of the language, such as asking questions, pronunciation, the past, present and future tenses and more. 

You’ll also receive an accompanying booklet. If you don’t want to commit to the full course, you can check out Part 1 first to see how you like it. 

16. “101 Conversations in Intermediate French”


Author: Olly Richards 

Here’s another resource from Olly Richards, an internationally renowned language teacher and author.

This audiobook offers 2 hours and 20 minutes of French listening practice for intermediate learners (B1-B2). You can also buy the paperback or Kindle version of the text to follow along. 

You’ll follow the realistic dialogues between 6 characters as mysterious crimes unfold in different locations around Paris. Detective Claire Gentil and the cast of other characters will immerse you in natural French using common French expressions, key vocabulary words and more. 

Where to Find French Audiobooks 

There are quite a few places online where you can find French audiobooks, both for free and for purchase. If you’re willing to pay for your audiobooks, check out the French selection on Audible or Amazon

If you’re looking for free audiobooks, Littérature audio (Audio Literature) offers over 9,000 free French audiobooks for download. Many of the books are in the public domain, meaning that they were written so long ago that the copyright has expired. You can also find some modern audiobooks and translations of popular audiobooks from other languages.

While not as expansive, there are other websites where you can find free French audiobooks. These include Loyal Books, Bibliboom and Librivox, a website that uses volunteer native speakers of French for its collection of over 900 free audiobooks. There’s also Audiocite which offers novels and an array of non-fiction books for voracious French readers.

You can also find free French audiobooks on YouTube. If you search for a French book by title, you may be lucky to find it in audiobook form, and there are even a few French audiobook playlists.


Pick a French audiobook to tune into and enjoy the convenience of this learning tool. 

You may even forget you’re learning as you get lost in a good story! 

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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