Isn’t YouTube a destination for mindless distractions?
YouTube is a French learner’s paradise.
So when it’s time to learn French, YouTube makes a lot of sense.
But this leads to another challenge.
The quality of French YouTube lessons can vary a lot. You have to spend a ton of time sorting out the best French learning YouTube channels, especially if you’re a beginner.
That’s why we’ve done the sorting for you.
Below you’ll find the 16 best YouTube channels to learn French, from mega-popular language instructors to unique sources of native-level French and more.
Wait a Minute. Why Learn French on YouTube?
But you’re wondering—out of all the resources you could be using, why learn French on YouTube?
- You might already have books or a teacher, but you can diversify your language learning and vocabulary with multiple sources.
- You can watch at your own pace and review anything you don’t understand.
- The best French learning content on YouTube is actually really good. I’d argue that the need to compete with the rest of YouTube has forced these teachers to work even harder.
- Did I mention it’s free?
Learn French on YouTube: 16 Info-packed Channels for Classroom Quality Language Lessons
So without further ado, here are our top 16 recommendations for learning French on YouTube. Most of these channels are designed specifically for French learners, but we’ll also cover some that’ll get you started with understanding and using authentic French—the type native speakers actually use in real conversations.
As sweet as a chocolate éclair and as crisp as a slice of French toast, FrenchPod101’s video lessons offer a slick and comfortable introduction to the language.
FrenchPod101 specifically designs its videos to be informative but entertaining. The videos are presented by engaging native speakers and French experts.
This channel is a smart place to start your YouTube French learning, because it’ll give you the foundations but you can also stick with it as you advance towards fluency.
For absolute beginners, check out the series “French in 3 Minutes” (linked above). If you’re looking for videos about grammar, FrenchPod101 has a great section for intermediate and advanced learners called “Ask a French Teacher.”
If you enjoy these videos, check out FrenchPod101's popular video and audio podcast lessons. There are hundreds of lessons with more being added all the time. Plus, the podcasts come with PDF lesson notes and access to a community of French learners and speakers. It’s a great option to diversify your French studies.
Alexa is someone you warm to immediately. Her French lessons win top marks for fun as they have a rich vein of humor running through them. For example, in some of the lessons you’ll see her interact with a puppet. Don’t panic or run for the hills, this isn’t a silly gimmick. It’s actually quite a good way to make the learning enjoyable and interesting.
All of the lessons involve Alexa speaking straight to the camera and her words are accompanied by subtitles in French. Her teaching style is conversational and engaging and she naturally slips in the English translations as she goes along.
Most of the videos are short, at about two minutes in length, but there are some even shorter ones. Blink and you might just miss them. A few of the video lessons are devoted to the conjugation of just one verb such as boire (to drink), dormir (to sleep) and avoir (to have)—it’s a very snappy way to get to grips with some of the basics.
The French learning video series on YouTube is aimed squarely at beginners.
Sometimes, simple is best. This is a set of short (between one and three minutes) and straightforward lessons covering some of the fundamentals such as commonly used words, numbers, days of the week and the alphabet.
Visually, the videos are just a series of words on a simple monochrome background or animated graphic of the French flag. They’re not the most cutting edge design, but they’ll achieve their prime objective of getting the French words to burn themselves in your memory.
Interactivity is a key part of the lessons and the student is prompted to repeat words and phrases out loud several times during each video.
This excellent series is presented by a guy who’s not actually French. That becomes clear as soon as you hear his accent. It has a unique American lilt to it. There are many laugh-out-loud moments here including random anecdotes and his attempts at being the coolest kid on the block.
And that accent may raise a wry smile. But you’ll learn something. The video lessons for the beginner are fast-paced and fun and cover many of the fundamentals. Although the instructor speaks very fast the presentation is clear and easily understood and underscored by subtitles in French.
This is another video example of a French teacher speaking straight to the camera. There are no real-life situations replicated with actors, puppets or cartoons. He manages to keep your attention because his enthusiasm for the French language is infectious and draws you in, making you want to learn even more.
The duration of each lesson varies from one-minute shorts to 10-minute sessions and quite a few that last for about five or six minutes.
JeFrench provides the eager beginner with a handful of mini French lessons that feature common phrases related to travel, finding your way around and introducing yourself. The playlist isn’t ordered in any way and so appears to be a bit random.
Nonetheless, the videos are good with crisp and clear presentation and they move along at a moderate pace. There are no flashy images or pictures to distract the student, just a series of animated French texts followed by their English translations. Repetition of words and phrases is encouraged throughout the lessons which on average last for a couple of minutes, though there are some longer ones.
Warm up your vocal cords as you’ll be speaking a lot during these videos. This helpful YouTube channel covers several languages, including French. The “Learn French 101” playlist linked above is a collection of slick and uncomplicated lessons that feature the vocabulary you’ll need in certain situations such as dining and shopping. There are also lessons devoted specifically to common words and phrases. Interactivity is a big part of this series.
The format for the videos follows a regular structure. First, you’ll hear a sentence in French accompanied by large subtitles. Then you’ll see and hear a French speaker repeat those words after which you’re prompted to speak. This is followed by another French speaker saying those same words. The repetition of the phrases and the variety of ways they’re presented help to solidify them in the mind.
Never in your wildest dreams did you think you’d be learning French from a bunch of cartoon characters with robotic voices, but strange things sometimes do happen. These fun animated French lessons are well-structured and easy to follow. Your guides are cartoon characters and though their voices sound as if they’ve been voiced by a machine the presentation is clear.
The videos cover many aspects of the French language including key vocabulary, the meaning of words and some aspects of grammar. Their durations vary, anything from a couple of minutes to up to 10 minutes. You’ll hear one, two or all of the characters say a phrase, then you’re asked to repeat it. Every phrase appears on the cartoon classroom’s chalkboard along with its English translation.
Overall, CornerFrenchBistro provides a good introduction to some of the basics.
Learn French with Pascal has lots of free videos that are aimed at the beginner and intermediate French language student. There’s no teacher in sight, just graphics and subtitles. The presentation is sharp and succinct with a conversational style. Most of the lessons last for about five minutes.
Coffee Break French is a popular learner’s resource that posts a variety of free learning resources on YouTube.
The focus is learning French for real-life situations, and the host will often shoot videos in places such as the Paris Metro. Among the highlights are the good, lively presentation.
There are just eight short videos on this free YouTube channel for learning French. They’re presented by native French speaker Jacqueline Doiron and cover some of the fundamentals.
Vincent is an experienced French educator and a popular YouTube language instructor. His channel is aimed at all levels. There are a lot of videos here on grammar, vocabulary and everyday situations.
If you’re looking for an interactive YouTube learning experience, YouLearnFrench offers lessons for beginners with quizzes and tests, songs and sample dialogs. It’s a great series of videos for beginners because it guides you to French improvement step-by-step.
The videos are organized by topic, from the most-used French adjectives to super-specific stuff like Olympics vocabulary. They’re straightforward and often only a few minutes long, so it’s easy to squeeze in some practice anywhere in your day.
For families learning French together, Monde des Titounis (World of Titounis) is a popular French kids’ channel. The content includes age-appropriate songs and short stories designed to expose children to French when they’re young enough to absorb it without too much effort.
But they’re also great for adult French learners. Since the videos are made for French kids, they’re not so hard to follow and they don’t feel like language study. They incorporate fun topics like drawing lessons or arts and crafts.
Monde des Titounis is a great first-step into authentic French content. You’ll hear basic vocabulary and sentence structure, while the relatively simple themes and supporting illustrations help with comprehension.
Watching movies in French is a strategic way to start preparing for real, live French conversations.
One one hand, the dialogue is usually at a natural pace and sometimes there are tricky accents or background noise. On the other hand, you know the context of the conversation and you can always slow down, rewind or put subtitles on the video for added support.
Classiques du cinema français (Classics of French Cinema) is a YouTube playlist offering tons of classic movies, from comedy to horror and lots more, for free.
It may be hard at first, but if you dedicate yourself to watching every film in the playlist, you’ll be listening to French without straining in no time!
Thinking about going abroad? Or just need to satisfy some wanderlust from home? Travel vlogs like Bruno Maltor’s are a popular genre on YouTube.
Maltor is well-known in France, and in my personal opinion, not only is the content he offers amazing, but he also has a very neutral accent perfect for all levels of learners. Many of his videos also come with quality subtitles (not just the iffy auto-generated YouTube ones), which are the perfect training wheels for understanding natural and informal French.
16. Livres Audio
This YouTube channel is a treasure trove of free, public domain audiobooks in French. It’s a great way for upper-intermediate and advanced learners to give their listening skills a dedicated workout—while enjoying some of the best that French literature has to offer.
These recordings are hours-long, so try to set reasonable listening goals for yourself. As you practice (and get more wrapped up in the story) you’ll find yourself able to hold longer and longer listening sessions.
Note: Some of the videos are recorded in English, so be sure to do a quick preview listen before choosing one.
Now you’ve got the 16 best YouTube channels to learn French. So get streaming to learn French YouTube-style!
And One More Thing…
If you like learning French on YouTube, then you won’t want to miss FluentU. With FluentU, you can learn French from music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks. FluentU lets you learn real French—the same way that people speak it in real life.
FluentU has a diverse range of great content, including videos like movie trailers, funny commercials and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings French videos within reach. Interactive captions let you tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, if you tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears:
And FluentU’s “learn mode” lets you learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
Throughout the entire time, FluentU keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses that vocab to recommend you examples and videos and give you a 100% personalized experience. 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.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.