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Learn French by Podcast

Learn French by Podcast

Learn French by Podcast is an exciting series of French lessons for everybody. Work with high-quality audio podcasts in your own time and at your own pace. Want to clarify some details? Something you couldn't quite understand? Then download comprehensive PDF Guides which elucidate all the finer points. Learn French the fun way.


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204: Prendre - un verbe polyvalent

One of our Beginner listeners asked about the English verb ?to get? which made us think about prendre. ?Get? is just one of the many meanings of this multipurpose French verb, depending on the context.

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203: L'indice de réparabilité - un petit pas dans la bonne direction

This lesson centres on an interesting initiative which should see manufacturers pull up their socks when it comes to environmentally-friendly products. Let's start with a conversation!

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202: Ça pousse, ton jardin?!

One of our listeners asked that we would prepare a lesson with some gardening vocabulary and that?s what we did, over WhatsApp! We have lots of interesting vocabulary to learn ? let?s start with a conversation.

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201: La covid-19 - une crise inédite

Our conversation this time is about something which has been central to our lives around the world since the beginning of the year. We are speaking, of course, about the coronavirus pandemic. Let's get started with a conversation.

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200: La crise des opioïdes

The subject of this - our 200th lesson! - is the opioids crisis in the U.S. which has reached quite shocking proportions. But how did it come to this? Let?s start with a conversation.

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199: ?Les décroissants?, c?est qui?

Our conversation this time focuses on people who are referred to as ?les décroissants?. But who exactly are ?les décroissants?? To find out, let?s start with a conversation.

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198: Je viens chercher mon fils!

One of our listeners was taking up a position as a teacher in a pre-school in France and asked if we would put together some expressions and vocabulary that might be used in a dialogue between the teacher and a parent. Let?s consider one such conversation.

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197: Quand l?Afrique a gagné la Coupe du Monde

Our lesson this time goes back to a joke made by chat-show host Trevor Noah last summer, following the World cup. The only thing is, some people didn?t find his joke funny at all, not least the French ambassador in Washington. So what was it all about, again? Let?s start, as usual, with a conversation to put things in?context.

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196: Le Président Macron réinstaurera le Service national

Our conversation this time focuses on President Macron's plan to reintroduce national service in France. Some people are wondering if he is the right man to decide on such matters, given that he himself is the first French president not to have done military service.

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195: La présidence Trump approche des élections de mi-mandat

The Trump presidency is nearing the mid-term elections in November. Mr Trump ? arguably more than any other American president ? has polarised opinions. Let?s talk about the first half of his mandate and what has being going on in recent weeks.

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194: France: la réforme de l'accès à l'université

Traditionally, French high school graduates have been guaranteed public university places, regardless of the grades achieved in their baccalauréat. This, however, has resulted in very high drop-out rates. It is hoped that, from 2018, proposed reforms will result in a more efficient means of access to university. Let?s talk about all this. C?est parti!

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193: "Que penses-tu du Brexit?"

Britain?s vote to withdraw from the European Union was widely controversial and continues to be so. Brexit ? from a French perspective ? is at the centre of our conversation this time. 

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192: Le transfer de Neymar : comment expliquer une telle outrance ?

The transfer of Brazilian footballer, Neymar, smashed all records in terms of the colossal sums of money involved. Are such sporting investments really justified? Let?s talk about that.

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191: ?Je vais m?offrir un téléphone basique?

Our lesson this time was inspired by a recent article entitled ?Have smartphones destroyed a generation?? A provocative title indeed, but one that got us thinking. C?est parti!

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190: Le phénomène Macron ... en marche!

Our lesson this time - for Advanced learners ? focuses on the stunning rise to the French presidency of the youthful Emmanuel Macron at just 39 years of age. How, exactly, did he manage to pull off such a victory? Let?s discuss.

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189: Comment parler d?un accident de la route?

A listener wondered if we could do a lesson on the basis of a traffic accident. So that?s what we?ve done : we?ve simulated a discussion on the basis of a minor accident that did actually occur recently at our end. Let?s start with a conversation: then we?ll look closely at the vocabulary.

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188: Le retrait des États-Unis de l?Accord de Paris sur le changement climatique

The withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Accord on climate change caused consternation worldwide, not least as almost all countries signed up to its terms in 2016. Let?s talk about the decision of the U.S. administration to withdraw. We?ll discover how to make use of a whole range of interesting vocabulary. C?est parti!

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187: Un diplôme universitaire, cela en vaut-il la peine?

In some countries, particularly the U.S., a university education has become so expensive that some wonder if it is even worth going to college at all, any more. Let?s start with a conversation. Then we?ll come back and look more closely at some key vocabulary.

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186: "Est-ce que tu regardes quelque chose d'intéressant à la télé?"

It?s holiday season, a time of year when we might discuss a film or TV series we?ve seen. That?s the subject of our conversation this time. First, let?s talk about a French production called ?Spiral?.

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185: Les récifs coralliens menacés de disparition

The coral reefs of the world?s oceans are in mortal danger but, as is often the case with environmental concerns, few people seem to appreciate that the dangers are imminent. That is the focus of our lesson this time.

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184: Les tablettes tactiles en classe: un 'canular' coûteux?

Digital tablets in the classroom were recently described as a 60 billion dollar hoax. Despite these strong words, it seems we?re on an inexorable drive to place a screen in front of every child in the classroom. But to whose benefit ? That?s the subject of our conversation in this lesson.

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183: La Norvège : 'un pays de cocagne'

This lesson is inspired by our having heard about Norway in Michael Moore?s latest satirical documentary. Now, no country is perfect but Norway certainly seems to have a lot going for it. Let?s start with a conversation.

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182: Les centres d?appel: ?les ateliers de misère du 21e siècle??

The title of this Advanced lesson may be controversial. After all, it is a fact that tens of thousands of people ? some of whom have been lifted out of abject poverty ? work in call centres around the world. However, questions one might ask are: what kind of work do call centre workers actually do? What kind of career prospects can workers realistically expect from such work? Béatrix talks of her friend?s experience in one such call centre. Let?s listen.

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181: ?Tu? or ?vous??

A listener asked about ?tu? and ?vous?. In English, we simply use the pronoun ?you? but, in French, things are more complicated. In this conversation, we talk about when to use ?tu? and ?vous?? and how to ?make the switch? between the two when our relationships have evolved over time. Let?s listen.

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180: ?Tu as l?air stressé aujourd?hui!??

A listener asked said he had recently been in France and had heard a few slang words used frequently. In this lesson, our dialogue makes use of a variety of slang words, some of which are very common. Let?s listen.

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179: "La Loi travail: une réforme controversée"

This time, our lesson centres on the social tensions in France, arising from the proposed introduction of new work laws. The main protagonists are, on the one hand, the CGT - a very powerful union - and, on the other, the government which insists that there is no alternative to the new measures it is proposing.

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178: "Mohammed Ali: une personnalité exceptionnelle"

He was the world?s most famous boxer. But, to many, he represented much more than a particular sport. In this lesson, let?s talk about Mohammed Ali.

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177: "Que penses-tu d'AirBnB? Est-ce sérieux?"

AirBnB has rocked the hospitality industry. For holiday-makers it has proved a boon but hoteliers are up in arms. On the other hand, hoteliers are up in arms, citing 'wild-west' practices and a lack of regulation, not to mention depleted rental accommodation, as property owners turn to this new rental model instead of committing to longer-term tenants. We discuss the service provided by AirBnB in this lesson.

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176: "Sur le chemin de l'école", un documentaire émouvant

What exactly does the word ?education? mean to you ? Sur le chemin de l?école is a provocative and inspiring documentary from Pascal Plisson. It depicts vividly the insatiable thirst for learning of children in some of the world?s most remote corners. Let?s listen to a dialogue.

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175: "Have you heard about these 'superfoods'?"

This Advanced lesson (all in French) arises from a recent documentary relating to so-called 'superfoods'. Do humble foods like broccoli and quinoa deserve such an impressive label? Let's hear a conversation about them. C'est parti!

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174: "C'est un peu trop, là, quand même!"

Several listeners have asked about the expression 'quand même'. In fact, it is extremely common in French and has a wide variety of meanings. A minor change in intonation can sometimes alter its meaning. Let's hear this expression used in various situations.

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173: "Les migrants en Méditerranée, y a-t-il une solution?"

This Advanced lesson focuses on the plight of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, from North Africa to the European mainland, often with disastrous consequences.

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172: "J'ai vu un excellent film il y a quelques jours"

"Still Alice", the story of a university professor afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, won an Oscar for Julianne Moore in the starring role. This film is the focus of our attention in this Advanced lesson, entirely in French. If you've been making progress with our Intermediate lessons, this lesson is for you.

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171: "Les attentats terroristes de Paris soulèvent une foule de questions"

The attacks on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters raised many questions. How far does freedom of speech go? Can we simply say whatever we like, whenever we wish? Let's hear a conversation, to start...

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170: "Faire du ski?... Allons-y, en piste!" (part II)

This second part of our two-part lesson focuses on other skiing activities including 'snowboarding' and, of course, the very important social aspect of a skiing trip. Let's listen.

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169: "Faire du ski?... Allons-y, en piste!" (part I)

One of our listeners asked for a lesson that would include skiing-related vocabulary. In this two-part lesson, Bertrand plays the role of an experienced skiier while I'm a beginner. I'll soon be joining my friend, Damien for a week in the Alps. Let's listen...

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168: "Bonjour, pouvons-nous nous installer à une table, s'il vous plaît?"

In this lesson, we take a look at some essential tourist vocabulary that just about everybody needs on a holiday to France. Our conversation is a typical one where a family arrives on the terrasse of a café. It?s very warm and everybody is thirsty. Let?s see how the conversation unfolds with the waitress?

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167: "As-tu suivi les événements récents en Ukraine?"

Little did we know when we were preparing this lesson in recent days that the situation in Ukraine would become even more fragile with the shooting down of a civilian airliner. Bertrand gives his views on why the impasse with Russia is so volatile. Let's listen first; then we'll look closely at the key vocabulary...

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166: "C'est confirmé... t'es atteint d'APC!"

The focus of our lesson this time is something which could be described as a modern-day disorder, afflicting a huge number of people. We're not talking about a physical disorder, per se... more of a social one. Béatrix and I are having a coffee but Béatrix is getting frustrated at my inattention. Let's listen...

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165: "Hier, j'ai assisté à un concert éblouissant!"

Our lesson this time focuses on a concert Béatrix attended, a classical concert. Bertrand wonders what makes the difference between a concerto on the one hand and a symphony on the other. Béatrix gives him a very basic music lesson. Let's listen. Then we'll come back and take a closer look at the key vocabulary.

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164: "As-tu vu 'Dallas Buyers' Club'?"

Our lesson this time centres around a film called "Dallas Buyers' Club", the story of a Texan cowboy who contracted AIDS at a time when most people had not yet heard of the disease. Let's listen. Then we'll take a closer look at the key vocabulary.

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163. "Nelson Mandela: comment se fait-il que l'on parle autant de lui?"

If ever the term 'great statesman' were relevant, it could surely be attributed to Nelson Mandela. In our conversation this time, Bertrand puts some questions to Béatrix to discover why, exactly, Mandela became such an icon. Let's listen.

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162: "As-tu entendu parler des ouvriers népalais au Qatar?"

Our conversation this time focuses on working conditions as Qatar develops its infrastructure for the football World Cup in 2022. The tournament is some years away but the controversies surrounding the plight of workers is current, and real. Let?s listen to a conversation between Béatrix and Rémy.

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161: "Are you following the Snowden affair?"

Just recently, Edward Snowden was living a normal life. Now, however, he is a hunted man with a future that is very uncertain. Once he revealed that U.S. authorities were monitoring the daily communications of ordinary citizens, his life effectively changed forever. In this lesson, Zoë and Jules discuss the Snowden affair. Let's listen.

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160: "What do you think of the lottery?"

Florida was home to a recent winner of the Powerball jackpot of around 400 million dollars. As always, there was a media frenzy. In this lesson, Lucien and Zara discuss lotteries in general. Zara thinks they?re scandalous. Lucien, on the other hand, thinks that Zara needs to lighten up. Let?s listen...

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159: "Are you on Twitter?"

Today, several hundred million people around the world are ?tweeting?. In this lesson, let?s hear a conversation between Bertrand and Amandine. Bertrand is a regular Twitter user, but Amandine is not. Let?s listen...

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158: France at war in Mali

This lesson, which we recorded some time ago, focuses on the situation in Mali. In our role-play, Brendan asks Simone to shed some light on the military intervention of France in one of its former colonies. Let's listen. Then we'll come back and discuss some key vocabulary.

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157: "Tell me what's wrong..."

One of our listeners, a doctor working in a French-speaking community in New York, suggested that we devote a lesson to a dialogue between a doctor and a patient. That's the subject of this lesson. The patient, Mr Gauthier, has just come into the doctor's clinic, which is where the conversation takes place...

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156: "Would you please stop texting?!"

More than a few people seem to suffer from the modern-day 'affliction' of almost constant texting. That's the topic of conversation in this lesson. Alain and Thérèse are out for dinner but they have not yet said a word to each other. Let's listen.

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155: Mahler... interrupted!

We've all been there, in an auditorium, a church, a meeting where a phone has gone off. But few interruptions are as dramatic as a recent one in New York. Let's hear what happened, exactly.

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