Listening to music can be a fun and interesting way not only to experience some culture, but also to improve your French. Researchers at Edinburgh University found that participants who learned foreign language phrases and sang them back performed better than those who just spoke them. The singers also remembered the phrases more accurately in the long term.
So whether you like rock, rap, or country music, there are bound to be French-speaking artists creating songs you’ll enjoy singing along to in order to improve your French!
How to learn French with music
There are various ways you can use music to work on your French.
Pronunciation: sing along, making a special effort to mimic the singer’s pronunciation as closely as possible.
Listening comprehension: listen as many times as you need to in order to make sense of the lyrics.
Grammar and vocabulary: write down the lyrics and highlight any tricky vocabulary and grammar so that you can look it up.
LyricsTraining is an ingenious way to gamify your French by listening to music. Start by choosing a game mode (beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert) and then listen to the song while typing the missing lyrics. You can just challenge yourself or create a free account to play against others.
With a bit of googling, you can find thousands upon thousands of French music videos for just about any genre you can think of. Here are a few links to help you get started.
- OnlyLyrics: Top French songs of the week – Videos + lyrics
- Reddit: Écoute ça – Traditional French songs and lyric discussions
- Reddit: Musique française – Contemporary French and French-Canadian music
- YouTube: 100 meilleures chansons en français – Édith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel …
- YouTube: Les 100 classiques du rap français – Lunatic, IAM, Suprême NTM …
- YouTube: La belle musique country en français – 170 videos
- YouTube: Rock festif français – 78 videos
1 Ludke KM, Ferreira F, Overy K. (2014). “Singing can facilitate foreign language learning,” Memory & Cognition, Jan 2014, p. 41-52