15 Great French Blogs Every French Learner Should Read
What’s the best and worst part about learning French online?
The best part: all of the great free resources that are available at your fingertips.
The worst part: too many free resources.
But you don’t have to spend forever searching for the good stuff: I’ve compiled a list of 15 great blogs that can help you learn French.
These include blogs for French learners with lessons and tips, plus blogs in French that native speakers actually read!
- French Blogs for Learners
- Native Blogs in French
- And one more thing...
French Blogs for Learners
These blogs are all about learning French (with some cultural tidbits), so they work for all levels of learners:
French Crazy is a glorious immersion into all things Gallic with a series of blog posts that explore the country’s music, fashion, lifestyle and culture. There are also articles that point to other French resources on the internet.
Some of the posts have been taken from French sites and translated into English, and videos and large photographs are used throughout.
For the adventurous intermediate or competent advanced speaker, there is a section of French texts featuring the work of such literary luminaries as George Sand and Gustave Flaubert. Language learning lessons have not been forgotten and French Crazy has a selection of tutorials covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, how to start thinking in French and more.
The website is run by John Elkhoury, a French-English bilingual who teaches French and has lived in and visited a clutch of French cities.
Love Learning Languages
I tip my chapeau to Love Learning Languages, (previously Learn French with Jennifer), a comprehensive resource for learning the language. Jennifer Crespin taught French in the United States for more than 15 years before leaving her native country with her French husband and relocating to the south of France.
She created the blog “to reach an audience that could use a little help in learning French.” There are posts about living in France, grammar lessons and a “word of the day” series. Some of the posts feature short pre-recorded video lessons, others include podcasts followed by comprehension questions in French, and some are written in English.
The “word of the day” posts are particularly useful if you’re time pressed. A chosen word is highlighted, translated and then used in a sentence. All in all, a very well-written blog.
Talk in French
Talk in French has put together a great series of blogs that dive into the language to source the most essential ingredients for speaking it fluently. Each post has a different lesson and all are well presented with easy-to-follow information and plenty of French with English translations.
One of the really cool aspects of the blog is that in the top left corner of each post, you can see how long it will take to read and whether it’s for beginners, intermediates or advanced speakers. The text is also given a grade such as “easy” or “difficult” so the student knows what they are letting themselves in for.
The posts attract a reasonable number of comments and these are worth reading sometimes as they can throw up some of the burning questions that you probably have and need answers to.
Be prepared to laugh—a lot. French Together says it wants students to learn French the fun way and it more than delivers on its aim. This compelling blog series puts humor and learning centre stage as many of the posts certainly have a fun slant to them.
A scan of the French Together website throws up some interesting blog post titles such as “7 French stand-up comedies that will make you laugh out loud” and “5 funny French expressions.” The posts are a mixture of text, graphics, photographs and videos.
It’s all part of the website’s desire to get away from learning by rote. Humor is an excellent vehicle to help students on their way to fluency.
French Today is a site specializing in audiobooks and lessons for learners, with posts about French life and culture.
Many of the posts follow a simple enough format. They usually have a short intro, followed by a concise bullet-point list or easy to read paragraphs.
The posts are written by a number of authors and are filed under such categories as travel, food, French culture, learn French and humor. The posts also occasionally link to audio files in French if you also want to immerse in listening.
In addition to the audiobooks and lessons, you can sign up for private French lessons on Skype through the site.
I Learn French
I Learn French is bursting at the seams with great content, and is compiled by aspiring fluent French speaker William Alexander who’s also an author and IT director. According to the blurb on his website this is his last best shot at becoming fluent and he wants to bring other French language students along with him.
Knowing the importance of good content, William scours the Internet for useful videos and articles to comment on as well as writing a lot of original material. There are posts on aspects of French life and culture, cooking, comments on the news and much more.
Two of the blog’s unmissable features are regular explorations of different words, plus recipes, restaurants news and lots of other food-related goodies.
Oui, c’est ça
This is a fantastic resource created by a French teacher with a Master’s degree in French literature and a bachelor’s in French language. The posts are an eclectic mix of culture, grammar, songs, news and vocabulary and are written in English, but with lots of phrases and their translations thrown in.
Some posts make use of videos and audio and others have simple cartoon graphics that help to reinforce meanings. Oui, c’est ça has dozens of posts stretching back to July 2012. Beginners, intermediates and advanced French speakers will find this blog series a useful addition to their bag of learning tools.
Speak French Fluently
This French learning blog is created by Stanley Aléong, whose academic background encompasses anthropology, linguistics and computer science. There are three categories of blog posts: how-to articles, methods for learning French and learning from common mistakes in spoken French.
The posts are mostly text-based, so there aren’t a lot of photos or videos. But the articles flow so well that bells and whistles are not required to sugar-coat the content. Paragraphs are succinct, and key words and phrases are highlighted in bold.
Stanley’s website also has a section called “real-life examples” that links to authentic French conversations in numerous scenarios. Transcripts, translations and commentaries on the conversations are available for download.
Speak French Fluently is for beginners, intermediates and advanced French language speakers.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Native Blogs in French
If you’re already more advanced in French, then immerse yourself in the language with these French blogs that are meant for native speakers:
Le Bondy Blog
Le Bondy Blog was founded in 2005 as a means for a group of 50 young adults from Seine-Saint-Denis to express their opinions in France’s national debates. Since its inception, Le Bondy Blog has racked up partnerships with various organizations, journalism schools, televisions shows and charities.
The posts at Le Bondy Blog are extremely rich, perceptive and nuanced, providing insight into the often overshadowed France populaire (working-class France).
Greenpeace is an international NGO with offices in over forty countries—including France—that is devoted to raising awareness about environmental issues through peaceful means.
The French chapter’s blog is frequently updated, making it a great way to stay on top of European environmental debates, with topics like the energy crisis and the anti-nuclear movement.
Green et Vert
Green et Vert, the self-proclaimed source inépuisable sur le développement durable (endless source on sustainable development), truly lives up to its name.
More global in scope than the Greenpeace blog, you can browse Green et Vert by region of the world and read its succinct and informative posts about agriculture, biodiversity, the economy and global warming.
Why not get in touch with your inner écolo (short for écologiste, someone who’s into environmental responsibility) and read up on issues like responsible electricity, food waste and climate change?
Fashion and Beauty
Black Beauty Bag
Black Beauty Bag provides a peek into the glamorous world of Fatou N’Diaye. She decided to carve out a space for herself in the blogosphere in 2007 after a trip to New York where she discovered the plethora of make-up options for women of color, which were few and far between in Europe.
Her posts have talked about the origins of nail art in Africa, normalizing curly hair, developing self-love and more. In this post about N’Diaye’s trip to Dakar, she even spoke at a beauty conference co-sponsored by the prestigious Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Talk about beauty and brains!
If you’re a fan of cinema, Cinema Teaser is the blog for you, with its in-depth reviews of movies ranging from the latest Dreamworks animation to that new art-house movie that you heard about.
To whet your appetite, check out the “Chroniques” section for movie reviews and the “Interviews” section, which features celebrities from movies like “Joker,” “Dark” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
In the Mood for Cinema
In the Mood for Cinema is a one-woman show run exclusively by French critic Sandra Mézière, a strong writer who sees a staggering number of films each year.
Her anticipation for yearly film events like the Cannes Film Festivals and the César Awards is palpable in her posts, and you’ll get a ton of movie recommendations just from looking at her blog. For some listening practice, she even has a podcast where she reads her own stories out loud!
I like to think of blogs as virtual windows into the other worlds, but they’re not ends in and of themselves. So read up, get inspired and explore the (non-virtual) world in French!
After all, when you’re armed with more than one language, the windows are even wider.
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 FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.