2 strategies to learn French on YouTube ▶️ - Just French It (2023)

YouTube, the almighty.

It just… keeps growing. And with it, comes TONS OF VIDEOS that you can use to learn French on YouTube.

30,000 hours of videos are added every single hour. I couldn’t find the stats for the French speaking part of YouTube. But even if that was only 1%… (when on the web, around 4% of the content is in French). We’re still talking about 300 hours of videos in French added every hour.

I think that’s enough videos for you to find something interesting, right?

So how to learn French on YouTube?I have 2 strategies for that, and it all depends on your level.

2 strategies to learn French on YouTube ▶️ - Just French It (1)

Author : Marie Drouvin

Salut! Je suis Marie and I'm on a mission to make learning French simple. You can find me on Youtube, or here, on this blog. And if you want to know more about how to learn French, take a look at my book.

My book : Learn French in 6 months

What's your level of French?

Now, first, you need to know where you stand.

What’s your level of French?

If you’re not quite sure, here is a short guide:

  1. If you can speak French in most situations, that you can put easy and not so easy sentences together, you are an advanced learner.
  2. If you can ‘get around’ in French even if you’re not perfect, that you can make yourself understood, you are an intermediate learner.
  3. And if you don’t fit in any of those categories, that everything is kinda hard or you ‘don’t know much’, you are a beginner.

If you know your European level, here is an even shorter guide.

  • A0, and A1 are beginners
  • A2, and B1 are intermediates
  • B2, C1 and C2 are advanced.

Good. Now that this is out of the way, we can talk about the two strategies.

The 2 strategies to learn French on YouTube

On Youtube, you’ll find two kinds of French videos.

French lessons. For all levels, for all kinds of goals, for all kinds of learners… That will teach you vocabulary, grammar, or even cultural rules about French and France.

Those kinds of videos are perfect for beginners and intermediates.

They teach you what you need to know. And provided you find a teacher you like, you have access to great lessons, for free.

You’ll also find another kind of video.

French videos. Made for natives: history lessons, vlogs, entertainment, reviews,.. Almost everything that exists in English, exists in French.

Those kinds of videos should be your primary material if you are an advanced learner. And they should also start to get really interesting for you if you are an intermediate learner.

Of course, approaching those two different kinds of video has to be done differently.

Here’s how.

Strategy #1 - Using lessons to learn French on YouTube

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So you are a beginner or an intermediate learner, you’re going to want to find French lessons on YouTube.

But before you jump off this article, and go binge-watch lessons expecting to learn a lot in a short time, let’s go over how you SHOULD be using French lessons on Youtube.

No binge-watching

I repeat – no binge-watching.

Watching lessons after lessons won’t do anything other than overwhelming you to death.

I’m being dramatic, but it’s essential, especially if you have just started learning French, that you do not overstuff your brain with information.

Because when you do that, you treat your brain the same way you treat a handbag you fill with just-in-case items. A big water bottle, two packets of tissues, your checkbook, your journal, your planner, two pens, your makeup bag,..

The result is a bag that is too heavy to carry. Unpractical. Tiring. And restricting.

Binge-watching lessons don’t allow your brain to make space for new information. It needs a bit of time to tidy everything you want to learn in neat little boxes. So you can remember it easily later on.

So pace yourself. Because for each piece of information you learn you need to…

Learn, then practice, practice, practice

You already know how memory works.

You know that it’s not instant. That to be able to remember something, you need to hear (or write or say) it several times.

You also know that the best way to remember something is to do it over and over again.

To use the information.

To do the work.

To train.

And learning French is no exception.

So here’s the golden rule that you NEED to live by.

Everything you learn, you must practice.

Deal? Because you and I aren’t going to be friends if you don’t do this. And you don’t want to have an angry Frenchwoman staring at you, do you?

This article on How to remember French words will also help.

What French lessons to watch on YouTube?

Good question. Because there are really all sorts of lessons out there.

Great, good, and bad ones.

So how do you know if you aren’t watching a bad French lesson?

2 rules of a good or great French lesson on YouTube:

    • You understand what’s happening (jargon is explained to you, in plain words)
    • There are plenty of examples

If one of those two rules is broken, the lesson you’re watching is not for you. It might be too advanced for you, or too dry.

Personal preferences play a role here too. If you don’t really like the teacher, there might be a better teacher for you somewhere else.

Dive into the rabbit hole of French lessons with my videos, and see where it leads you.

Grammar lessons

Vocabulary lessons

Strategy #2 - Using native videos to learn French on YouTube

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If you are an intermediate or an advanced French learner, lessons will bore you quite quickly. And you need more to progress.

You need native videos.

But making the switch can be a bit scary and end up being overwhelming. So don’t switch all at once. Keep using lessons.

And slowly transition to using only native videos.

Find something you like to watch in English

Don’t bore yourself for the sake of your French. That would be counterproductive.

If you are reading this article, it must be because you know and use YouTube. There is probably some type of videos you like to watch.

Maybe it’s cooking videos. Personally, I’m a fan of Alex The French Guy Cooking.

Or maybe it’s travel vlogs.

Or tech reviews.

Whatever the genre, you can be sure it also exists in French. So how about watching some of those in French?

You can start with my favourite French YouTubers

I’ve included different genres so you have a wide range of options.

You will receive a list of my favorite French YouTubers when you join the French Club.

2 strategies to learn French on YouTube ▶️ - Just French It (4)

My favourite French Youtubers

Humour, travel, science, business,... There's all sorts.

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Use the subtitles and the transcript

I know how violent listening to another language can be at first.

It seems that your ears don’t pick up the sounds right, and you sometimes don’t recognize the most basic words.

(And that really is your ears’ fault)

If that happens, don’t be shy to use the subtitles! Even if they aren’t exactly perfect all the time, it can be good support for your ears.

Here’s how to activate the subtitles on Youtube;

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You can switch to automatically translated subtitles too by clicking here and choosing the language you want the subtitles to be translating in. Just keep in mind that the result will be automatic transcript (which can have a lot of mistakes), automatically translated. So it can be pretty wild sometimes.

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And no matter how tempting it is, don’t modify the speed.

Try it for fun, but don’t get your ears accustomed to this weird slow deep French. This will create more problems for you later on.

Watch the same kind of video several times to learn specific vocabulary

Just because you are not a beginner anymore doesn’t mean the laws of memorization don’t apply to you.

Actually, they apply more than ever.

You NEED repetition. That’s what makes things stick. And the easiest way to do that is to watch the same videos over and over again.

But that can prove to become a bit… boring after a while.

So here’s a neat little trick: watch the same KIND of videos over and over again. The vocabulary is usually the same. Words come back often. And in the meantime, smoothly, slowly, you are memorizing.

I’m a fan of American crime tv shows. Bones, Criminal Minds. You’d be surprised by the amount of investigative vocabulary I know.

Join the French Club, and learn French on YouTube with my favourite French YouTubers

I’ve included different genres so you have a wide range of options.

You will receive a list of my favorite French YouTubers when you join the French Club.

2 strategies to learn French on YouTube ▶️ - Just French It (8)

My favourite French Youtubers

Humour, travel, science, business,... There's all sorts.

2 strategies to learn French on YouTube ▶️ - Just French It (9)

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