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Did you know you can supplement your French study with French learning songs? Using French songs to learn the language is a great way to diversify your learning. In this article, you can find out all about:

  • The best French learning songs for learners of every level;
  • The top 10 French songs to learn French for children;
  • Why French learning songs work;
  • Tips on practising French by singing;
  • Study French on your pace with General Français, GlobalExam’s new interactive language learning course.

Learning a new language doesn’t have to be all lessons and homework from a grammar book. Let’s take a look at how French learning songs can make language learning fun.

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The top 10 best French learning songs

There are those who choose to study French using traditional methods such as books and those who prefer online programs such as applications or e-learning websites. There are those who want to learn French while sleeping, those who want to learn it in the car by listening to podcasts, those who want to do it having fun with games and those who want to do it simply watching French movies and YouTube videos.

Everyone chooses the best way to learn French for themselves, but now let our advice on the best songs to learn this language guide you! Here are our top 10 suggestions.

Je ne regrette rien (Edith Piaf)

Let’s kick off our list of the best French learning songs with one of the greatest French musical artists of all time. Edith Piaf is a legend of French culture and her singing style is perfect for non-native listeners. Plus, this is a great song for learning negative forms.

Elle me dit (Mika)

Though perhaps not as legendary as the great Piaf, Mika is a favourite singer in French music. His songs are a treat for the eyes and ears, but this song deserves a special mention for repetitive present tense verb forms.

Je veux (Zaz)

If you like a catchy updated jazz song, Zaz might be your new favourite singer. This typical French artist offers a lesson in using the verb vouloir with charmingly simple lyrics that even beginners will be able to sing along to.

Champs Élysées (Joe Dassin)

This is one of the most famous French learning songs around, and even people who don’t speak any French can sing along to the title of the song. This song is popular for its triumphant and cheerful melody, and the lyrics are easy to pick up.

Pour que tu m’aimes encore (Celine Dion)

You may be more used to hearing her sing in English, but Celine Dion is a singer with a considerable back catalogue of songs in both languages. Listen to this French learning song for a lesson in the French subjunctive.

Quelqu’un m’a dit (Carla Bruni)

Carla Bruni has made it onto our list of French songs to learn French with for this slow and catchy number that all learners can sing along to. Beginners may find some of the longer sentences a challenge, but that’s not a bad thing.

Papaoutai (Stromae)

The best French songs to learn French are the ones that make you danse and put it on repeat. Stromae’s electro pop classics are crowd pleasers, and this one offers a valuable lesson in everyday phrases and the verb être.

Dernière danse (Indila)

This is a great French learning song for its first-person narrative of the singer’s reflections on a relationship gone wrong. Besides offering a lesson in French grammar, the song’s video shows off France’s beautiful side with stunning shots of Paris at its moodiest.

Bella (Maître Gims)

You’ll notice that we haven’t included much hip hop until now, and that’s because the lyrics are typically harder for learners to follow. This song does include some slang to contend with, but once you’ve studied the word, it’s easy to sing along to.

La vie en rose (Edith Piaf)

We started this top ten with Piaf, so let’s finish with her too. This is her second most well known song and for good reason. The song has achieved classic status in France and all over the world, but the lyrics are deceptively simple to learn, even for beginners.


The top 10 French songs to learn French for kids

Next up, let’s look at the best French learning songs for kids.

Têtes, épaules, genoux et pieds

If you’re a little familiar with the French words for parts of the body, you should already have an idea what this song is about. Most kids will already know the English version, so it’ll be easy to get them to sing along in French.

Il était un petit navire

This is a long French learning song, so you might want to shorten it a bit before introducing it to your kids. The song is all about a sailor of the sea, so there’s plenty of opportunity for learning new words.

Savez-vous planter les choux ?

French learning songs are great for targeting key areas of vocabulary and this song is a great way to teach your kids parts of the body in French. After a few repetitions of the song, they’ll know the French words for feet, hands and nose.

Promenons-nous dans les bois

How do your kids feel about scary wolves and a walk in the forest? This French learning song will make kids jump, and the lyrics are perfect for learning how to describe getting dressed in the morning.

Si tu as d’la joie au coeur

If you’re familiar with English songs, you’ll already be familiar with the melody for this song (think “if you’re happy and you know it…”). The lyrics are a little different in French, but the spirit is the same. Kids will like the part that goes frappe des mains.

Un éléphant qui se balançait

The best French songs to learn French come with imaginative lyrics and imagery that will make your kids giggle. This is a great French learning song for practicing how to count to ten.

Le Bon Roi Dagobert

French learning songs come in handy for teaching your kids a little bit about French history, too. This song is about an ancient king of France who turned out to be a bit silly. The lyrics to the song are humorous but none of the words are too complicated.

Pirouette, Cacahuète

This French learning song tells the unlikely story of a man called Pirouette Peanut. The words make for a great French learning song on parts of the body.

Sur le Pont d’Avignon

Lots of French learning songs for kids have English counterparts, and this is the French cousin of “ring-a-ring-a-rosies”. The melody is easy to pick up for this reason, and the actions are the same too.

Une souris verte

Kids will love the French learning songs with the wackiest lyrics, and this one doesn’t disappoint. This song also has a historical meaning for adults to enjoy too.

Do French learning songs really work?

Listening is one of the four key skills required to really know a language, in addition to reading, writing, and speaking. It’s also one of the harder skills to practice, because it requires constant and patient interaction with others, or at least good quality audio resources.

Listening to French learning songs is one of the best ways to learn French on your own. By filling your ears with as much French as possible, you can successfully create a sense of immersion in the language and the words and expressions you hear will become part of your passive language base.

Of course, if you’re expecting French learning songs to take you from beginner to expert overnight, you’ll be a little disappointed. Using French songs to learn French requires perseverance and patience for your brain to grow accustomed to hearing French words and sounds. But don’t worry, after a while you will see that it is one of the easiest ways to learn French.


Choosing musical genres for learning French with songs

When we listen to music for pleasure, we usually go straight for the musical genres or artists that we like. However, when it comes to using French songs to learn French, personal preference has to go somewhat out the window. The important thing about French learning songs is that they’re at the right level so that two things happen:

  • You understand enough of the vocabulary to follow the meaning
  • The song represents enough of a challenge to raise your level

There are great French learning songs from across all musical genres. It’s great if you find one that has a style you like, but try to keep an open mind when selecting French songs to learn French.

Tips for learning French by singing

Whenever you try a new language learning technique, it’s best to go into it with a strategy in mind to ensure a productive practice. Here are our top tips for getting the most from French learning songs:

  • Don’t expect to understand every word on the first listen: your comprehension will grow each time you play the song.
  • Identify some of the words you don’t know, look them up, and memorize them.
  • The more the lyrics become familiar, try to sing along with the artist.
  • Mimic the pronunciation of the singer to become accustomed to producing French sounds.
  • Look up the lyrics to the song in French and translate them to English if necessary.
  • Once you understand and are familiar with the song, repeat it until you can sing it by heart.
  • Try integrating some of the words and expressions from the song into your everyday French.

Improve you French with Global General

So, have you decided which French listening songs you’ll be adding to your playlist this week?

We hope we’ve got you interested in listening to French songs to learn French – but remember, this is a learning method best used to support your existing knowledge rather than for learning French from scratch. If you’re interested in different ways to learn French, we recommend using our Global General e-learning platform as your alternative study method.

From vocabulary flashcards and grammar exercises, to engaging audio exercises and fun “did you know” trivia activities, Global General offers a fun way to learn that will keep you motivated until you reach your learning goal.

Studying with a varied language learning routine like ours is the best way to make sure that you don’t give up on your language learning journey, and that the words and language concepts you study stick with you. Our methods have been designed to build and strengthen your understanding of French, as well as to give you confidence speaking it yourself.