Learn to speak French via podcast?
December 15, 2007 6:19 PM   Subscribe

What are the best (free) podcasts for learning languages?

I'm specifically looking for a podcast to help with learning French, but knowing of a good service for other languages would be great.

Background: I studied French in high school and attended a summer program as well, so I'd place myself in the low intermediate stage. I can make sense of a reasonable amount on paper, but my spoken French skills aren't very good.

Any recommendations? Free is preferred, but I'd be willing to pay for a superior program.
posted by lindsey.nicole to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
I have "The French Podcast" from Itunes - it's free. I've only listened to a little, so I'm not sure how good it is.
posted by la petite marie at 7:21 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm in the same place with Spanish. I subscribe to Coffee Break Spanish. The podcasts are short and although they start out pretty basic, but I was surprised by how much I remembered and re-learned from school. The basic podcast is free but you can subscribe to get PDF materials, etc. The approach is more conversational rather than the hardcore vocabulary and conjugation that I instantly forgot in school. The interesting thing to me is it is lead by a Scot instructor and student so it is somewhat fun to hear their Scottish accents. It is also interesting to me that they concentrate on Spanish Spanish, and not Latin American Spanish that I learned in school and have the most exposure so I'm getting exposure to the slightly different pronunciations you hear in Spain versus Mexico. They'll highlight the key differences between LA and Castilian most of the time.

They've recently started a Coffee Break French podcast. I haven't tried it, but it is free so you can give it a spin.
posted by birdherder at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Since you opened the door for other languages, I'm a big fan of, and would recommend JapanesePod101.com and ChinesePod.com.
posted by willmize at 8:16 PM on December 15, 2007

I really like Mango Languages. The site recently introduced a paid program where you can download mp3s for on the go, but I stick to the neat web interface.
posted by hammerthyme at 8:31 PM on December 15, 2007

Behold. Originally from Lifehacker's learn a language section.
posted by Nelsormensch at 9:48 PM on December 15, 2007

The CBC program C'est La Vie has a segment called Word of the Week which features a French word and talks about its usage in various contexts. It's super interesting and useful. You'd really like this one.

The show C'est La Vie itself is more about Quebecois culture, history and current events, but it's a good companion.
posted by loiseau at 9:56 PM on December 15, 2007

Check your library for some Pimsleur CD's. Very effective lessons for a variety of languages at a variety of levels.
posted by tiburon at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2007

posted by martinrebas at 8:53 PM on December 16, 2007

Slowly spoken French news
posted by !Jim at 9:53 PM on December 16, 2007

The best updated Foreign Language Lesson Podcast Collection
posted by pungib at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2007

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