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5 Best Series to Learn French: Your Ultimate Guide

Bonjour! Apprenez le français en vous divertissant (Learn French While Having Fun).

Craving a way to learn French that's both fun and engaging? Dive into the captivating world of French television! These shows will take you on a journey through French culture, society, and humor, all while helping you pick up new vocabulary and expressions.


1. Dix pour Cent (Call My Agent!)

Dix pour Cent

What the show is about:  This hilarious mockumentary follows the lives of a group of eccentric talent agents navigating the dramatic and often chaotic world of French cinema. With cameos from real-life French celebrities, "Dix pour Cent" offers a glimpse into the glamorous (and sometimes messy!) world of show business.

Number of seasons: 4 (and ongoing!) 

Where to watch: Netflix


2. Scène de ménage (Household Scene)

Scène de ménage

What the show is about:  Looking for a laugh? "Scène de ménage" is a laugh-out-loud sitcom that portrays the hilarious and relatable struggles of three modern couples living in Paris. With witty dialogue and everyday situations, this show is a perfect way to learn common French expressions used in daily conversation.

Number of seasons: 10

Where to watch: YouTube


3. Lupin


What the show is about:  Get your adrenaline pumping with "Lupin," a modern take on the classic French gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin. This stylish and suspenseful series follows the charismatic Assane Diop as he seeks revenge against a wealthy family for a past injustice.

Number of seasons: 2 (and ongoing!) 

Where to watch: Netflix


4. Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie (The Little Murders of Agatha Christie)

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie

What the show is about: Calling all murder mystery fans! "Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie" is a charming series set in 1930s France. Each episode features a new Agatha Christie-inspired whodunit, solved by the brilliant and quirky Commissioner Laurence.

Number of seasons: 3

Where to watch: Amazon Prime


5. La Table du Chef (Chef's Table France)

La Table du Chef

What the show is about: Embark on a culinary adventure with "La Table du Chef" (Chef's Table)! This visually stunning docuseries takes you inside the kitchens and minds of France's most celebrated chefs. Witness their passion, creativity, and dedication to the art of French cuisine, all while learning new vocabulary related to food and cooking techniques.

Bonus Tip: Pay attention to the way chefs describe their dishes and techniques. This can help you learn new vocabulary related to flavors, textures, and ingredients.

Number of episodes: 4 (limited series)

Where to watch: Netflix


How to learn French while enjoying your series?

Expanding on the tips provided for learning languages through films, here’s a deeper dive into how you can leverage movies and series to learn French. Each tip is designed to help you immerse yourself more effectively in the language and culture you're studying.

1. Read the Synopsis Carefully

Before diving into a new film or series, take some time to read through the synopsis. This gives you a clear idea of the storyline, main themes, and characters. By understanding the context beforehand, you can focus more on the language and less on trying to follow the plot. This pre-knowledge aids in anticipating dialogues and scenes, making it easier to grasp language nuances from the get-go.

2. Slow It Down

Modern streaming platforms often offer the ability to adjust playback speed. Slowing down the speech can help in catching pronunciation, intonation, and the natural rhythm of the language. However, to avoid distortion, it’s advised not to reduce the speed below 0.75f. This balance ensures clarity while giving you extra time to process the language.

3. Use Close-Captioning in the Target Language

Opt for close captioning in the language you’re learning rather than relying on translations. Close captions more accurately reflect the spoken dialogue, including colloquial expressions and slang. This direct exposure reinforces listening comprehension and helps bridge the gap between formal and informal language use.

4. Active Listening

Engage deeply with the dialogue by focusing on how words are pronounced and the melody of sentences. Mimicking the actors not only improves your accent and fluency but also enhances your understanding of emotional nuances and cultural context.

5. Repeat and Shadow

Select scenes or dialogues to watch repeatedly, then practice shadowing by repeating the dialogue as it’s spoken. This technique is akin to a speaking exercise, offering you the chance to practice pronunciation, rhythm, and intonation in a real-world context.

6. Use Pause and Repeat

Whenever you encounter unfamiliar words or phrases, pause the film to look them up. Make a note of these new vocabulary items and try incorporating them into your own sentences. This active engagement transforms passive watching into an interactive language lesson.

7. Watch Multiple Episodes of One Series

Commit to watching several episodes, or even a whole season, of the same series. This consistency allows you to become familiar with the characters’ speech patterns, accents, and the series' thematic vocabulary. Each episode builds on the last, deepening your understanding and connection to the language.

8. Consistency is Key

Incorporate films and series in your target language into your regular study routine. Consistent exposure is crucial for gradual improvement and helps in retaining the language. Like any skill, language learning benefits from regular practice and immersion.

By following these expanded tips, you’re not just watching TV; you’re engaging in a comprehensive and enjoyable language learning experience. Movies and series offer a rich source of authentic language, cultural insights, and real-world context that textbooks alone cannot provide. At ICLS, we believe that culture is an essential component of language learning and add cultural topics to our French classes. 

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