French is a beautiful language, no doubt about it. But wrapping your head around the liaisons or getting stuck in grammar can make learning French seem like an impossible challenge.
Truth is, French is actually not that hard to learn, with the right approach. There are a lot of language hacks to help you pick up French quickly. One of the most important is to develop a passion for French culture and art.
I love listening to music to help me learn French. That’s partly because music is fun. But more important, studying French songs helps me pick up the language faster.
Why Study French With Songs?
Here are a few of the biggest reasons why studying French through songs is a big advantage. Songs can:
Boost Your Memory
Probably the biggest benefit to studying with music is that it helps you remember vocabulary. Mnemonics are one of my favourite tools for committing new vocabulary to memory. But mnemonics aren’t everything. It turns out that our brains are hardwired to remember things through song. No wonder jingles remain stuck in your head years after watching a commercial. Music is the ultimate mnemonic device!
Give You an Inside Look at French Culture
French songs give you an inside look into the way French speakers express themselves. You learn cultural nuances and expressions for all kinds of situations.
Improve Your Comprehension
Many French learners find listening to French a challenge. After all, native French speakers talk really fast. Practising with songs will help bridge that gap and improve your listening comprehension.
Help You Sound Like a Native French Speaker
If you have a hard time getting French speakers to understand what you’re saying, then studying songs can help you master French pronunciation. In fact, Spanish learner Jonross Swabby found that learning songs in Spanish and Portuguese made it easier for him to talk with native speakers. Singing forces us to focus on the intonation and pronunciation of words in a way that repeating dialogues just can’t match.
8 French Songs To Help You Learn French Faster
Here are eight songs that are ideal for French learners who want to get ahead in their language learning.
Dernière Danse by Indila
With her haunting, clear vocals, Indila’s music is perfect for French learners. This song is sung slowly so you can pick up all the words, and learn about how Indila’s dancing helps her drown her sorrows.
Aficionado by BB Brunes
A French rock song by the band BB Brunes, the lyrics are sung so clearly and slowly that you can’t help by pick up new words. Plus the chorus is really catchy. You’ll find yourself singing along without even trying.
Sympathique by Pink Martini
This song seems like it was pulled straight out of a lesson from a French language textbook. The words are easy to understand and you get a virtual classroom by watching the music video with its vocabulary-boosting graphics.
Je veux by ZAZ
This is an upbeat song with a great message, sung in a clear and easy-to-follow manner. Many of these are phrases and vocabulary that you would hear spoken in daily conversation which makes it even more useful for learning French.
La vie en rose by Edith Piaf
One of the most celebrated songs in history, this Chanson (a specific style of lyrical song) is about as French as you can get. While the lyrics are not too easy, singing this classic song in a room full of French people will get you some definite nods of approval.
Il est temps by Kyo
On the complete opposite side of the modern French music spectrum is this catchy pop tune by French boy band Kyo. Make sure you understand the lyrics for the full effect of this song about the end of a relationship.
A coup de rêves by Ben L'Oncle Soul
Ben L’Oncle Soul (born Benjamin Duterde), has a soulful song reminiscent of a Motown sound. If you like A coup de rêves then be sure to also check out Ailleurs which has a slower feel and even easier-to-follow lyrics.
Sous le ciel de Paris by Yves Montand
Yves Montand, a well-known Italian-born French actor and singer, was actually discovered by Edith Piaf while working as a music hall singer. This song in the classic French crooner tradition is really easy to understand.
La Tribu de Dana by Manau
Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete list of songs without a bit of hip hop. One of the best selling French songs of all time, La Tribu de Dana (“The Tribe of Dana”) is an elegantly written song that tells the story of a battle between celtic warriors and the Dana Tribe.
100+ More French Language Songs for Learning French
Of course, these are just a few of my team’s favourites, but you can find a wide range of amazing French songs online.
There are also many fantastic resources to help you make the most of your French studies and find more songs in French.
Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
- 21 French Songs for French Learners: FrenchLearner.com have put together a helpful list of songs specifically for students of the French language. These include songs to learn the French Alphabet, days of the week, colours, and much more.
- 40+ Fun and Easy French Songs: This YouTube playlist includes over 40 songs perfect for beginner French learners.
- Billboard’s Top 10 French Songs: If you’re not sure what is currently popular, then be sure to check out the current Billboard chart for the best of what French songs have to offer.
- Learn French Fast Through Story and Song: Another YouTube Playlist with 24 songs to help you learn French quickly.
- Top 20+ French Songs: OnlyLyrics.com has a selection of some of the most popular French songs of the week. And, as their name implies, they have the lyrics too! Perfect for studying the language.
- Lyric Translations: Find your favourite song lyrics translated into other languages at LyricsTranslate. These are done by community members so keep in mind that the translations might not be perfect.
Let’s Listen to French Music
There you have it. Some great songs to help boost your French and additional resources to keep your studies moving forward.