Where can I find spoken French with word for word transcripts?
February 8, 2011 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find spoken French with word for word transcripts?

I have a pretty good reading knowledge of French, but my listening abilities are terrible. I'm looking for things to listen to that also have a word for word transcript that I can refer to when I can't make something out. In the past I've used the United Nations news site and Radio Prague's French service, but neither one is very convenient, and I'm looking for something more conversational and less rapid-fire newsy.

I am not interested in American movies with French dubbing and subtitles, as I've found the two texts don't usually match word for word. I am stupid and simple phrases spelled out for me. I would, however, love to know a source of transcripts for French movies.

Any help would be appreciated.
posted by AlexanderPetros to Education (7 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Le journal en fran├žais facile.
posted by Nerro at 5:42 PM on February 8, 2011

Best answer: You could download French classics from Librivox (there are 576 files there in French – go to the catalogue, and in "advanced search" you can select a language), get the text from Gutenberg, and read along. There are also other sites with legally free French audiobooks if you look around.
posted by zadcat at 6:10 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

In case it's not linked well from Nerro's page, the RFI English podcasts regularly have features for English speakers learning French that come on after the news in English. The "Learn French" programs aren't usually news; one of them for example that I've heard in past years is a story, like classic radio entertainment but where an English-speaking protagonist is visiting France and has to try to figure out what is being said to her in French. It's usually a different program on different weekdays and some of them have an associated web site where I assume that you could get transcripts.
posted by XMLicious at 6:45 PM on February 8, 2011

If you're willing to pay, Learn French by Podcast is excellent. The audio is free on itunes; you could check it out and see if it's something you'd like a transcript of. It's a teaching podcast, so the hosts do speak in English to explain things, but they cover a lot of French expressions and everyday conversation topics.
posted by martianna at 7:02 PM on February 8, 2011

I LOVE LearnFrenchByPodcast.com and it's totally worth it to pay for the accompanying texts, which are only about $1 each. The articles are timely, interesting and touch on grammar and help build vocabulary while training the ear. The bulk of the lessons are at the intermediate level but they do have some beginner and advanced material too. The advanced is entirely in French including explanations. The intermediate is in French but explanations are in English. I've never listened to the beginning material.

RFI.fr (Radio France International) does the news daily and they also provide the text, Le Journal En Francais Facile. There are also other resources on their langue francais page.

LingQ.com is another site that I've used. And I occasionally go to tv5.org for their apprendre le francais page.

My favorite is LFBP. I think the seeing the written text is really helpful. There's a quiz at the end where you can test your writing (if you buy the pdf). The RFi.fr material is good too but it's pure news and text, no 'lessons'. Any vocabulary, expressions or grammar you don't know, you have to look up yourself. Although the site does have other language learning material.
posted by shoesietart at 9:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I found this the other day. A quick Google should get you the words (poetry is particularly easy to find).

I've not used it, but you might like to try Rhinospike (whereby you submit text and a native reads it) - you'd have to record a few English texts yourself for someone else, but at least this is flexible since you choose the text you want.

And yes, RFI is great for this, although I've found that sometimes the transcript misses bits out.
posted by djgh at 9:59 PM on February 8, 2011

I try to watch French movies with closed captioning (instead of American ones). You get all the music descriptions and whatnot but the text usually matches what's being said.
posted by carolr at 10:00 PM on February 8, 2011

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