Over the last few weeks, I have been asked many times by visitors attending our drop-in event Pause Café how they could improve their French. There are many ways, from studying to traveling, but an easy solution to hear the language and work on both your comprehension and vocabulary while learning new things is listening to podcasts. Endless and rainy, March is the perfect month for that. So, sit in a comfy chair, grab your headphones, and look through your window to find a peaceful landscape for your auditory exploration.

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Les pieds sur terre – France Culture (30 minutes)

This podcast has been playing in my car for the last year. Les Pieds sur Terre offers a different reportage every day on a wide range of topics: dating at work, the daily life of a fisherman or a volcanologist, how chess can change your life, being homeless. There is nothing this show doesn’t explore, and it is always done with tremendous humanity. You will only hear the host at the beginning, but no journalist, which results in moving testimonies and a lot of food for thought.



Le Masque et la Plume – France Inter (50 minutes)

A French institution since 1955, Le Masque et la Plume is a program that reviews books, films, and theater plays. Every week, four journalists battle it out around a table over a selection of productions. You’ll hear the classic French mauvaise foi, which is another word for being wrong but sticking to your guns. The conversations are witty, lively, and they will provide a long list of books to read or movies/plays to watch.



L'art est la matière – France Culture (1 hour)

This program explores the history of art through a selection of masterpieces that made history. Art specialists (archeologists, historians, renowned professors…) bring their knowledge, while contemporary artists give their vision of the piece and how it defined them. A fascinating program to sound smarter during your next family reunion.



Les Baladeurs – Media Les Others (between 30 minutes and an hour)

If you love adventure, discovering places and pushing the limits, this podcast is an excellent getaway. In the latest episodes, they told the story of a free solo climber, a biologist who spent 28 days living under water, two intrepid cyclists who crossed America from north to south, and many others. It is a new favorite of mine. In addition, you can find many travel itineraries on Les Others website, the podcast's producer.



Code Source – Le Parisien (20 minutes)

Launched by the newspaper Le Parisien, Code Source is more for those into hard news, but with a bit more of context. For twenty minutes, two journalists talk about a piece published in the print edition. The subject of interest really depends on the day, so you get a wide range of topics (politics, society, sports...). What I really like about this podcast is the feeling of being backstage in a newsroom and seeing how they work and gather information.


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Feel free to share your favorite podcasts with us and with participants to our conversation events, such as Alors or Pause Café. They are always eager to discover new programs.

Benoit Landon

Librarian

After studying journalism in France, Benoit began his career in Paris where he lived and worked for over a decade. In 2018, he crossed the Atlantic for a research project on a typewriter he bought at a flea market. He ended up in Hartford, Connecticut, where he met his wife by accident. Many administrative forms later, he settled in Greater Boston. As an avid reader, Benoit is delighted to be surrounded by books and to stay in touch with the French culture he loves. Come say hello at the circulation desk!

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