Readers’ tips: What is the best French TV show for language learners?

Readers' tips: What is the best French TV show for language learners?
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Each week The Local asks its readers to share their tips about various aspects of living in France. This week we asked their opinion on the best French TV show to watch for people trying to learn the language. And they came up with a lot of good viewing options.

So which TV show is the best for improving your French?

There were a lot of different suggestions but the overall winner was watching the news or news programmes… with French subtitles if possible. 

Why did our readers think the news was such a good way to learn French?

Reader Roy Beard recommended BFM TV for its 24 hours of news and the fact that “most newscasters talk clearly and slowly.”

Another reader said the reason why it was so effective is that you are “usually familiar with whats going on, which makes it easier to understand what is being said”. 

Also, he added, “usually the stories are repeated, so one can piece together the gist of the conversation.”
If you're interested in using French news channels as a way of improving your French, in addition to BFM TV there is also C NEWS, France INFO TV, LCI France 24 in French , Euronews and you'll also find news programmes on M6 and France 2.  
Several people commented that it was important to watch French television with French subtitles rather than English ones which might be your instinct.
Tom Killiam, who is a firm believer in the value of using French subtitles said: “You need to move out of constantly translating to make progress. Also, make free use of the pause button and dictionary” on your TV.
Which other French TV shows were recommended?
Several readers also recommended watching quiz shows, such as the French equivalent of Pointless (Personne n'y avait pensé!) and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Qui veut gagner des millions?) and French game show Slam
“Vocabulary is helped by quiz questions and then chat with contestants is good for exposure to general chit chat /small talk themes,” said Caroline Middleton. 
Reader Clare Jevon, who also recommended game shows (as well as cookery shows) also had advice on how to go about using them as learning aids… and she was one of a few who suggested English subtitles were worth a go.
“Record a programme, give it a go, then rewatch with English subtitles,” she said (see Tweet below). 
Some also advised beginners start by watching kids TV shows like Peppa Pig and Rugrats in French as a way of easing your way in. 

Meanwhile some of the more advanced among you might want to give Tom Killiam's tip a go – the well-known hit police show Spiral (Engrenages in French). 

“You'll know you've progressed to master level when you can follow the super-fast Parisian blather in the top cop show Spiral!” he wrote. 

If you would like to ask The Local's readers a question to hear their tips on life in France, email us at [email protected]


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