Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be boring. One of the best ways to learn French is by watching TV shows and movies in the language. Not only is it an enjoyable way to learn, but it also exposes you to natural speech and cultural nuances that you wouldn’t find in a textbook.
In this article, we’ll explore the best TV shows and movies to watch to improve your French, as well as some tips and tricks for maximizing your language learning through entertainment.
Watching TV shows and movies in French has numerous benefits for language learners. Here are some of the most significant advantages:
Exposes you to real-life French: Textbooks and language learning apps are helpful, but they often don’t represent the way people really speak in daily life. Watching TV shows and movies gives you a more accurate representation of how native speakers use the language.
Improves your listening comprehension: Listening comprehension is a crucial skill in language learning, and watching TV shows and movies helps you develop it by exposing you to different accents, speeds, and vocabularies.
Increases your vocabulary: By hearing words in context, you’ll be more likely to remember them and understand their meaning. You’ll also pick up colloquial expressions and idioms that you wouldn’t learn in a textbook.
Enhances your cultural understanding: TV shows and movies provide an insight into French culture, from food and customs to social norms and values.
Makes learning fun: Watching TV shows and movies is an enjoyable way to learn and helps to keep you motivated and engaged in the language learning process.
Les Revenants (The Returned): This supernatural drama series is set in a small French mountain town where dead people begin to reappear. It’s a great show for intermediate learners, as it’s easy to follow and uses simple vocabulary. The show’s pacing is slow, allowing you to pick up new words and phrases without feeling overwhelmed.
Un Village Français (A French Village): This historical drama series follows the lives of residents in a small village during World War II. The show provides a glimpse into life in occupied France, making it a great choice for learners interested in French history and culture.
Engrenages (Spiral): This crime drama series is set in Paris and follows the lives of police officers, judges, and lawyers as they solve complex cases. The show uses a lot of slang and colloquial expressions, making it a good choice for learners who want to improve their conversational French.
Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent): This comedy-drama series is set in a talent agency in Paris and follows the lives of agents who represent France’s top actors. The show’s fast-paced dialogue and witty humor make it a fun choice for learners who want to improve their understanding of conversational French.
Plan Coeur (The Hookup Plan): This romantic comedy series follows a group of friends in Paris as they navigate love and relationships. The show’s simple plot and relatable characters make it a good choice for beginners.
Amélie: This charming romantic comedy tells the story of Amélie, a young woman in Paris who decides to help others find happiness, while also searching for love herself. The movie’s whimsical tone and simple vocabulary make it a good choice for beginners.
Les Intouchables (The Intouchables): This feel-good movie tells the true story of a wealthy quadriplegic man who hires a young man from the Parisian suburbs as his caregiver. The movie’s combination of humor and heart makes it a great choice for intermediate learners.
La Haine (La Haine): This gritty drama follows three young men from different ethnic backgrounds as they navigate life in the poverty-stricken suburbs of Paris. The movie’s use of slang and colloquial expressions makes it a good choice for learners who want to improve their understanding of everyday French.
La Vie en Rose: This biopic tells the story of French singer Edith Piaf and her rise to fame. The movie’s use of music and French chansons makes it a great choice for learners who want to improve their listening comprehension and vocabulary.
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amélie): Yes, this movie is also a TV show, but it’s worth including on this list twice! The movie’s colorful visuals and quirky humor make it a fun and engaging way to learn French.
Now that we’ve covered the best TV shows and movies to watch to improve your French, let’s go over some tips for making the most of your language learning through entertainment.
Start with subtitles: If you’re a beginner, start by watching TV shows and movies with English subtitles. This will help you understand the plot and dialogue while also familiarizing you with French pronunciation and vocabulary. As you become more comfortable with the language, switch to French subtitles or no subtitles at all.
Watch with a purpose: Don’t just mindlessly watch TV shows and movies. Set a goal for each viewing session, such as learning ten new vocabulary words or practicing listening comprehension. Take notes and pause the show to look up unfamiliar words or phrases.
Repeat and rewind: Rewatch scenes or episodes that you find particularly challenging. Repeat the dialogue and practice mimicking the actors’ pronunciation and intonation.
Mix it up: Don’t just stick to one TV show or movie. Mix it up with different genres and styles to expose yourself to different accents, speeds, and vocabularies.
Use language learning apps: Many language learning apps, such as Duolingo and Babbel, offer TV and movie content for language learners. Use these apps to supplement your learning and reinforce the vocabulary and grammar you learn from TV shows and movies.
Watching TV shows and movies in French is a fun and effective way to learn the language. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate learner, there’s a show or movie out there that can help improve your listening comprehension, vocabulary, and cultural understanding. Remember to watch with a purpose, take notes, and practice mimicking the actors’ pronunciation and intonation. Happy watching!