5 Types of French Magazines for Entertaining Language Learning
Maybe you want to read some short stories or catch up on the latest sports news.
Or maybe you’d like to test your French vocabulary skills with some games and puzzles.
You may want to check out some French magazines!
Learn with your favorite topic, from fashion to sports to current events. With the variety and accessibility on the internet, there’s something for everyone.
- French Puzzle Magazines
- French Sports Magazines
- French Literary Magazines
- French Fashion Magazines
- French News Magazines
French Puzzle Magazines
Puzzle-focused magazines represent a great challenge for language learners. Crosswords are often difficult even for native French speakers, so don’t be discouraged if you find mots croisés (crosswords) difficult.
Tired of crosswords? Try mots mêlés (word search) or mots fléchés (arrow puzzles)—a variant of a crossword that has arrows inside the grid, with clues preceding the arrows.
- Mots Croisés Magazine: This French crosswords magazine has an associated app which gives you access to two new crosswords per day.
- Tele 7 Jeux: The puzzles section of this TV and radio news publication has many crossword puzzles that you can do right on the website.
- Notre Temps Jeux: You can do these puzzles directly on the website, as well. Along with traditional crossword puzzles and arrow puzzles, you’ll also find quizzes, mini-puzzles and word-find puzzles.
- Femme Actuelle Jeux: This women’s magazine has different types of puzzles available online, including crosswords and word finds. There are also “cut words,” which has you rearrange letter groups into words—which is an excellent tool for learners.
French Sports Magazines
Just like magazines published in English, these often-monthly publications will typically feature recaps and previews of tournaments and games while also giving tips for novice players.
If you’re local, sports magazines are a great source for discovering new places to hone your skills. For example, skiing magazines suggest the best locations to spend a weekend hitting the slopes. This encourages mingling with others and improving your language skills in a completely unfamiliar setting—on the practice field.
A great way to combine two ways of keeping up with French—reading and listening—is to watch the sports news after you’ve read the most recent edition of a sports magazine. This will complement what you’ve read by providing more updated information and further specifics on tournaments and players.
FluentU is a good place to do this, with the support of dual-language, interactive subtitles.
Along with sports clips, FluentU has other authentic content like movie clips and commercials. These videos have built-in learning tools like clickable subtitles, professional English translations, flashcards and fun quizzes.
Pair FluentU with magazines on any topic that you’re interested in, including sports ones like we mention below.
- Le Cycle: This magazine shares articles from the cycling world, including covering the Tour de France in writing and video.
- Wider: If you’re the outdoorsy type, this one’s for you! Wider publishes articles about outdoor sports as well as hiking and running trails. They post information about trails in France (and abroad), as well as tips and guides for getting involved.
- Tennis: This tennis-centric magazine has been around since 1976 but received a major modern overhaul in 2019. It’s the place to go for all the latest news in the sport.
- Skier: Hit the slopes with this skiing publication, the resource that “makes the powder talk.” Besides articles about the sport, you’ll also find a huge database of over 2500 reviews of skis to help you find the perfect pair.
- Jogging International: If jogging’s your jam, this magazine has info on what’s happening in the sport, tips for runners and even offers courses and training logs.
- Sport & Vie: This is a more general sports resource, if you’re looking for a broader view of the world of sports in France and beyond. This magazine publishes articles about training, nutrition, psychology, medicine and other aspects of fitness that aspiring athletes will find useful.
To brush up on your sports vocabulary, check out this post:
French Literary Magazines
When you pick up a literary magazine in French, you get to read some of the best short stories and poetry in the French literary scene, and to discover new writers and poets.
Literary magazines also tend to list great bookstores or reading events in the area. This is a great opportunity to discuss with other literary lovers what you’ve read recently, and will help you practice your vocabulary.
They also discuss the latest news—who’s won recent awards, what book was highly reviewed and other interesting industry information.
- L’express: This weekly French magazine is a general news resource, but its livre (book) section is an excellent place to find information and news about both French and foreign literature.
- Europe: Founded in 1923, Europe is a prestigious and well-established voice in the literary industry. Besides reviews of books and related cultural features, this magazine has published fiction and poetry within its pages from a diverse range of authors from the French-speaking world and beyond.
- Livres Hebdo: Part of the well-known Charlie Hebdo family, Livres Hebdo is an industry magazine, intended for book professionals like booksellers, publishers and librarians. As a result, the information shared in this magazine is focused more on the business end of the book publishing industry.
French Fashion Magazines
French fashion magazines are a great tool for learning new vocabulary relating to clothes and fashion, since many pages are filled with visual aids.
If you enjoy fashion, these magazines give you great conversation topics with friends who also keep up with the latest: What’s going on at fashion week? Which celebrities changed their fashion style recently? What colors are in for the winter season?
- Elle: Elle is an international fashion and beauty magazine. While you may have seen issues on magazine racks locally wherever you live, the magazine actually gets its name from the French word for “she” and is headquartered in Paris.
- Marie Claire: This magazine has a long history, dating back to its first publication in France in 1937. While the focus, like Elle, is on women’s fashion and beauty, Marie Claire takes a less fluffy approach and talks about women’s issues, culture, finance and other serious topic.
- Cosmopolitan: Cosmo is notorious for its dubious advice on all aspects of sexuality, but it’s still a fun read. The lighter nature of most of its content makes it an approachable option for lower level learners.
- Vogue: A high fashion magazine, Vogue is a publication that covers haute couture fashion, the fashion industry as a whole, beauty and other similar topics. Many high-quality images are featured in the magazine, offering plenty of context for readers.
GQ: Aimed at a male audience, GQ (originally titled “Gentlemen’s Quarterly”) has been around since 1931. This magazine covers many similar topics to the magazines mentioned above, but it does so from a male perspective of the fashion and beauty industry.
The publication also writes about men’s interests, touching on topics like fitness, music, tech, books and more.
French News Magazines
Picking up a news magazine is a great change from a newspaper because it typically contains more photo essays, giving you an opportunity to read articles with more visual aids. Features are longer and more in-depth, giving extra detail that may not be found in newspapers.
Though magazines don’t provide breaking news stories, they have the unique chance to explore aspects of the news that newspapers just don’t have time for. They can catch you up on international news, keep you knowledgeable about French culture and teach you new vocabulary.
- Paris Match: Head to this magazine for a broad overview of all the current French and international news, intermixed with cultural articles and celebrity news.
- Le Point: For a more political look at the world, Le Point is a magazine in the style of Newsweek and Time Magazine. It covers news and politics from a largely conservative perspective.
- Le Figaro Magazine: Le Figaro is a daily right-wing newspaper in France that dates back to the impressively long-ago year of 1826. The magazine is the newspaper’s weekly supplement, and it includes news features about current events and politics, as well as coverage of the art and entertainment industries.
- L’Obs: Formerly known as Le Nouvel Observateur, this magazine is one of the most popular news magazines in all of Europe. The magazine has a focus on social justice and, following a makeover in 2014, now explores culture, current social issues, investigations and more.
- La Revue: This bi-monthly magazine collaborates with key personalities and names in French academics, culture, politics, science and more. Along with general articles on a wide range of topics, you’ll also find interviews and retrospectives.
French Magazines are a great way to learn the language! From puzzles to poetry to news features, magazines provide access to the latest news and culture while introducing new vocabulary and testing your French skills.
Pick one up today and read your way to fluency!