Learn French audio programs are important for those who want to understand spoken French, and to a lesser extent, learn how to speak and pronounce French yourself. Learning oral comprehension should be your first priority if you will be traveling to a French-speaking country soon, though it’s important to make sure you learn more than just guidebook phrases, because you need to be able to understand simple responses, and native speaking French people won’t necessarily respond via the very formal, textbook conversational phrases that you’ve learned.
As for as formal audio lessons go, there are some quality learn French in your car CD programs that I like, and some less formal programs that teach you to understand natural, spoken French via MP3s and podcasts that you can listen to from your computer or iPod.
Spending some time learning basic French grammar, so that you will be able to construct your own sentences, will be time well spent, as will learning French vocabulary for all the most common situations you may find yourself in. Audio lessons will also naturally teach you to have better pronunciation and thus a better French accent, though practicing speaking French is recommended on its own merits.
Learn French Audio CDs
- Best CD course for travelers who need to learn basic French quickly: Pimsleur’s Instant Conversation quickly teaches you useful phrases, grammar, and vocabulary for tourists who need to be able to ask and communicate simple concepts to French speakers. It assumes you have no previous knowledge of the language, and goes at a fairly slow pace to ensure that you retain as much as possible.
- Best learn French CD program for progressing from a beginning to intermediate level: Michel Thomas’s natural French speaking course uses native speakers and real conversations to get you speaking and understanding a more natural, casual French, and help you progress over the 10-CD course to an intermediate or near-intermediate speaking and verbal comprehensions level.
- Best comprehensive course for learning French: If you are planning to learn to write and read in French as well as to speak it and understand it, Learn in Your Car French is a great choice for the audio side, and includes some basic manuals to help you understand the vocabulary and grammar that were used in each lesson.
Learn French Audio Podcasts
- Best beginner’s French audio lesson by podcast: Learn French by Podcast teaches natural, conversational French and contains 147 free episodes. Updated lessons and more comprehensive learn French audio courses are available for a monthly fee from their website.
- Best intermediate/advanced French podcast: Le Journal en Français Facile is a daily updated podcast that reports the news in French by native speakers. The format is exactly like a normal news podcast except the reporters speak a bit slower, more clearly, and with less idiomatic expressions so that you can learn spoken French at a more advanced level.