At the end of my Bordeaux study abroad program in 2016, I resolved not to lose all the progress I’d made in those four months. I had moved on to another program in an anglophone country though, so I had to go out of my way to keep practicing my French.
Looking back, I was a little overzealous in my efforts. I would watch daily French YouTube videos, push myself to think in French, look up English words for which I didn’t know the French equivalent, and even talk to myself in French to improve my pronunciation. I was obsessed. I even did a month-long French immersion challenge where I traveled back to France during spring break and banned myself from speaking English.
During this time though, I stumbled upon some entertaining YouTube channels that I’d recommend to those looking to improve their oral comprehension, or learn more French vocab and expressions. The channels I’ll be sharing aren’t necessarily language-focused (though some are!); I think that having exposure to real colloquial French is just as valuable as academic learning. A few of these listings don’t feature French YouTubers, but the people behind those channels have spent enough time in France that they know the culture and language impressively well.
So if you’re looking for a good laugh while still working on your French, here are the YouTubers I’d recommend.
8 YouTube Channels to Help You Learn French
1. What The Fuck France
Paul Taylor, the man behind What The Fuck France, is actually English, but he’s lived in France for years now and speaks with an impeccable accent. What The Fuck France is exactly what it sounds like—a channel dedicated to poking fun at French stereotypes and the French culture. The channel has almost 50 videos, ranging from topics like les boulangeries (bakeries) to French expressions. Paul Taylor’s videos are mostly in English, but have built-in French subtitles, so you can still pick up some vocabulary.
I’m sharing one of my personal favorites below, on the French administration—it’s notorious for being a huge headache to navigate, to the point that it’s almost funny.
2. Damon and Jo
Damon and Jo are two best friend travel bloggers originally from the US. They’ve both spent a significant amount of time in France and speak French fluently. On their channel, you can find travel/lifestyle/language videos in English, French, Portuguese, and sometimes other languages. They have great energy and their videos are always quite entertaining. While they no longer make many videos together, you can find Damon and Jo on their separate channels, and Damon focuses on French culture specifically.
This channel is run by a French-American couple living in Paris, and they cover French language and culture. Their videos are especially helpful for learning day-to-day conversation skills, as conversational French is very different from what you learn in the classroom.
4. Oui in France
My blogging friend Diane from Oui in France has a super interesting living abroad blog, and an awesome channel on French culture. Her most popular videos include behind-the-scenes tours at French bakeries, and the below video on how to say the French “r” sound. She also does the occasional live videos of walks through France. Diane’s channel and blog are great ways to get immersed in French life and culture.
5. Norman Fait des Vidéos
This channel was actually recommended to me by a French friend. Norman is a French YouTuber who vlogs about all kinds of topics, from cats to video games to toilets. The toilet video is my personal favorite—what I love about Norman’s channel is that it’s so relatable.
6. Shera Kerienski
Shera is another French YouTuber that covers a myriad of topics, though I think I could safely classify her as a lifestyle vlogger. She has a lot of energy and isn’t afraid to be open about her personal life. Some of my favorite videos include “Comment faire fuire un mec relou” (How to Escape Annoying Men”) and the video below, “Les pires façons de se faire larguer” (The Worst Ways to Get Broken Up With). Her channel is a particularly good place to learn French slang, as you might already notice from the titles of these two videos.
7. Le Rire Jaune
This channel is run by two Chinese brothers living in France (I’m actually not sure of their names, as they’re not listed in their “about” sections). They’re hilarious together and alone, whether they’re talking about the French schooling system, travel, or Asian culture. I quite like their video on the Chinese language, which you can watch below.
8. Fabien Olicard
Fabien is what you’d call a “mentaliste” in French. I don’t really think we use the word “mentalist” in English, but it’s basically a performer who demonstrates exceptional mental or intuitive abilities (kind of like a mental magician?). Some of his videos are a little too specific for my interests, but I like the ones where he gives tips applicable to real life, like how to figure out when someone is lying, or how to persuade people to bend the rules for you (he got into Disneyland for free after forgetting his season pass!).
9. (Bonus) Sara’h
Adding this as a bonus since this channel doesn’t involve any conversation, but Sara’h does fantastic French covers of pop hits. Above is one of her most popular songs. It’s interesting to compare the French and English versions and “analyze” the translation.
Hopefully this gives you some new channels to follow and a productive way to spend time on YouTube haha. If there are French YouTubers I missed that you love, definitely let me know!
In the meantime, you might also like these posts on French culture: