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November 23, 2012 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I need movie, video, podcast, etc. recommendations in French.

I've finally begun to learn French. Yay! I've been at it for about two months now and it's going fairly well. I can understand pretty much anything I read now. There are still plenty of words I don't understand, but I understand enough that I can get the gist of most things.

What I really need now is practice *hearing* French. My girlfriend, a francophone, and I speak French at home a fair bit but more would be better.

What I'm looking for are any French movies, videos, podcasts, etc. where there's not a lot of noise. And by noise I mean things like: multiple people talking over each other, very very fast speech, and actual noise that obscures the words. I realize that I won't be able to completely avoid these things and that's fine. But, as much as possible, I'm looking for stuff that's clearly pronounced, and at a steady, measured pace. It doesn't have to be slow, but also not super fast.

Subject matter is more or less irrelevant. I'll watch or listen to pretty much anything. However, to be clear, I'm not looking for "learn French" type material. The learning part I've got under control. I just need stuff in French that a beginner can get a handle on without feeling too overwhelmed.

Bonus points for Quebecois material, though stuff from outside of Quebec is fine too.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The Radio France International 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. (And of course everything else on the RFI web site is in French too.)

Previous AskMe that I copied my answer from.

Also, the Annenberg Foundation's French in Action series.
posted by XMLicious at 10:15 AM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

My boyfriend who's learning french thoroughly enjoys listening to the streaming online radio FIP, they also have podcasts. There's not a lot of talking, there's great music including a lot of great french music, and the "voices" of FIP are famous for being sexy, playfull female voices.
Every hour there's about 5 min of news, i usually quiz my boyfriend afterwards to see what he's understood from the news part. Hilarity often ensues.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 10:23 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm using the science podcast La Tête au Carré (recommended in a previous AskMe) to improve my French listening ability, 'cause I'm a big science nerd. (rss feed here)
posted by benito.strauss at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like the Radio Canada app on my smartphone. You can listen to any of their channels from any of their studios across the country. News presenters are experts in speaking clearly.
posted by beau jackson at 12:17 PM on November 23, 2012

Un Gars Une Fille is short sweet and funy. You probably won't get all the jokes (the French have an odd sense of humour), but the actors are charming enough that that won't matter.

(Kaamelott is in the same vein (series of short episodes) but set in medieval times. This one will be trickier to understand though, fair warning! Putting it here because when it hits the mark, it is hilarious.)
posted by litleozy at 2:47 PM on November 23, 2012

You can gt the TuneIn app for iPhone or android and check out a ton of French radio. My favorite is France Culture Sentiers. It might be a little intermediate, but it's a great resource

France Culture Radio
TuneIn radio, French
posted by rambletamble at 6:35 AM on November 24, 2012

The narrators in documentary movies tend to enunciate very clearly; the NFB has plenty you can watch. One issue is that part of the "style" that was developed at the NFB in the 60s was to let go of the narrator and use live sound, à la Pierre Perreault. In fiction, some of the more intellectual movies have characters that are fairly easy to understand, I think, for instance in Le chat dans le sac.

I really like La drave, but then it takes place on the river of my hometown. Maybe Golden gloves? The boxers and their friends are going to be hard to understand, though.

For movies I think Denys Arcand's characters usually enunciate pretty well, though the people in Le Déclin... and Les Invasions tend to speak quite fast; forget his documentaries: it's all quick montage of politicians speaking in their own peculiar ways.

For TV series, maybe the old Scoop. I wonder if you could get some of the old radio dramas, like Les Plouffes.

Finally, kid's TV is usually fairly easy to understand. Les mystérieuses Cités d'or and Les Mondes engloutis are two series I wouldn't mind re-watching as an adult.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:04 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Don't know if anybody's paying attention any more but thanks everyone for all the suggestions, they should keep me busy for a while!
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 4:42 PM on November 26, 2012

You should try to grab podcasts from France info, there's a wide range of subjects, most of the time only one person speaking, and they're quite short. You can listen to the audio stream too.
posted by nicolin at 1:54 PM on December 24, 2012

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