Bam, Pow, Learn! 7 French Webcomics for Fun Language Learning
Did you know there’s a whole wonderful world of French webcomics out there?
Being able to study French while reading comics sounds almost too good to be true, but I assure you it’s quite possible!
I’m going to get you started by revealing 7 amazing French webcomics!
- Why Learn French with Webcomics?
- Lighten Up Your Study Routine with 7 Amusing French Webcomics
- And one more thing...
Why Learn French with Webcomics?
Aside from the obvious reason to learn French by reading webcomics—because it’s a blast!—there are tons of educational advantages to incorporating webcomics into your curriculum.
- Plenty of choices: French webcomics are very popular and therefore litter the internet. You’ll never run out of great comics to read and almost all of them are completely free and available with just a click of your mouse.
- Bite-sized learning sessions: Webcomics are usually quite short—they typically take about the same time to read as it would take to read your favorite funnies in the paper. As such, you can sneak some French practice in whenever you get a spare minute. Never waste time again when you could be having a laugh and polishing up your French at the same time!
- A wide variety of vocabulary: The vocabulary in webcomics encompasses an infinite number of subjects, so you’ll always be able to find new learning topics. Make sure to write down and keep track of new vocabulary words. You can practice these further with flashcard apps like Anki.
- Puns galore: Webcomics often incorporate wordplay, so you’ll get to learn the double meanings of words.
- Informal language practice: As comics often make use of comical or sarcastic dialogue, you’ll learn colloquial spelling and vocabulary so that you can speak like the French actually do.
- Culture lessons: Finally, webcomics almost always contain cultural, social or political references which means that you’ll be learning far more about the French than just their language.
Now that you’re ready to begin, it’s time to let you in on my top 7 favorite French webcomics!
Lighten Up Your Study Routine with 7 Amusing French Webcomics
1. “Birds Dessinés” (“Birds Comics”)
“Birds Dessinés” is one of the most popular French webcomic series out there.
The comic revolves around several recurring characters—all birds—and new stories are added to the site every few hours.
The comics often allude to French literature in their puns or jokes, which is a big bonus for learners looking to brush up on their French cultural knowledge as well.
The site has several features including the ability to vote up or down on each comic. Readers can access a list of the highest rated comics at any time.
Another big perk is the ability to create an account and make your very own bird comics! You’ll have access to all their templates and graphics and will be able to share your creations when finished.
Last but not least, the site has a forum for discussing what you think about the comics—in French, of course.
2. “À Poudlard” (“At Hogwarts”)
One of my all-time favorite webcomic series, “À Poudlard” is entirely dedicated to comics about “Harry Potter”!
For Potter fans, these comics are absolutely hilarious. Even if you’re not a fan, they have the added benefit of using tons of colloquial speech. For example, they use contractions like j’sais for the phrase je sais (I know), which is a very informal way to speak and write.
Furthermore, you can simply hover your mouse over each speech bubble and it will translate into English—although be aware that this feature doesn’t always seem to work for the newest comics. This is an invaluable tool for learners that’s hard to find on other webcomic sites.
3. “Boulet Corp”
The “Boulet Corp” comics cover a wide range of subjects and characters so you’ll always find something new.
They publish one or two new comics each month but there are plenty more in the archive if you simply flip through the strips using the provided arrows and dates.
This site’s comics are a bit longer than the typical two or four small frame comics and normally take up a whole page while telling really funny and interesting stories.
“Boulet Corp” is perfect for learners as their site has an English or French option so you can flip back and forth between the two languages as you look through the comics.
“Boumeries” is a site featuring comics from graphic artist Samantha Leriche-Gionet who works in Montreal.
Her stories are told within four frames and she’s got loads of cute and funny comics to sift through.
Although her comics make use of many new characters, they usually center around everyday life and as such, are very relatable and fun to read.
Her site’s been up and running since 2011 so there are plenty of comics to keep you busy if you like her style.
5. “Webtrip Comics”
“Webtrip Comics” features the work of eight different artists from around Canada and France.
While their subject matter really varies, their illustrations are particularly vibrant and eye-catching with well-developed graphics that resemble something you’d see out of a comic book.
As a bonus, they’re very interested in what’s going on in the world of comics and therefore have links to and information about comic festivals such as the Lyon Bande Dessinée Festival (Lyon Comic Strip Festival).
6. “Lapin” (“Rabbit”)
“Lapin” is a webcomic that uses some dark humor (political and social jokes) and simple illustrations.
Stories hinge on the absurd and all the characters—mostly rabbits and other animals—are quite strange and human-like, exhibiting the darker side of human nature.
The series is the main webcomic on lapin.org, a comic hosting site.
7. “Ab Absurdo”
“Ab Absurdo” is another excellent webcomic available on lapin.org.
With simple illustrations and poignant dialogue, these comics typically focus on political and social humor.
The comics provide commentary on the environmental issues of today, questions of humanity and morality and the political system.
You can expect to find both formal, proper French along with less formal abbreviations that you might use when chatting with friends over text. For example, you might see SVP, which stands for s’il vous plaît (please).
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Now that you’ve got a great list of French webcomics, it’s time to start exploring them. Sit back, learn some French and enjoy the funnies!
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.