We all know that reading is a brilliant (and necessary!) way to improve your comprehension of a language but jumping straight into reading a book can seem daunting. That’s why French magazines are a great alternative and better place to start, especially for beginner learners. The short texts are much more manageable and the vocabulary is often simpler and clearer than in novels and literary works written by famous French writers. Here is a list of six of the best French magazines to help you improve your language skills. It’s in order from beginner level publications to advanced level.
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1. Mon quotidien
Our first recommendation for beginners is the newspaper Mon quotidien. This daily (Monday through Saturday) French newspaper is for children aged 10 to 14, however it is perfect for adult beginners because the language is simple and easy to understand. Plus, it’s accessible online on the website or as a PDF, which is great for highlighting and underlining text when studying. There are also videos included in some articles so you can practice your listening skills at the same time…bonus!
Marmiton is a French community cooking website that also has its own magazine. Users can add their own recipes to the website, in addition to commenting on and rating recipes. We think the Marmiton French magazine is an interesting option for beginner learners because the texts are short and simple. As it is a cooking magazine, the same vocabulary pops up regularly. We recommend starting with a recipe for a dish you already know because you will probably be able to guess some of the ingredients without grabbing a dictionary straight away.
For a more pedagogical approach, have a look at bien-dire, a French magazine for learners from beginner to advanced levels. The publishing company specializes in magazines for language learners and it shows: You can read and listen (great for pronunciation) to the articles, there are exercises included in each issue, plus the topics chosen are varied in order to increase your knowledge of French culture. What more could you ask for?
4. 20 minutes
A great option for intermediate learners is the French newspaper 20 minutes. This free daily newspaper sums up the news in short articles and only takes 20 minutes to read, hence the name. Although it’s not specifically a French magazine for learners, it is a great option if you’re looking for short news articles about national and international events with lots of interesting vocabulary to learn. It is a popular choice amongst native French speakers too.
The French magazines that sell the most copies are of course celebrity and gossip magazines. Voici is the most famous celebrity magazine in the country and covers the personal lives of the rich and famous. If you’re an intermediate level and above, this is a great magazine to practice vocabulary, sentence structure, all while increasing your knowledge of French celebrity culture. The language used is simple but also includes lots of colloquial French expressions and idioms.
For our advanced learners, we suggest the French magazine Lire, aimed at book and literature lovers. Not only does it include French and foreign literature but it also has articles written by novelists, publishers and more. The vocabulary and style of writing will vary depending on the literature, offering you a brilliant challenge as a French language learner. If you want to learn French like a pro, this is the magazine that will help finesse your skills!
Become a bookworm
We have only listed six French magazines and newspapers for learners but there are so many out there, just take a look online! And if you’re not a big fan of reading material, remember that there are a variety of ways to learn and improve your language skills and the resources available are endless. You just need to find what works for you and get going.
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Clara Avrillier is a writer, linguist and content manager living in the South of France. She loves getting out in nature, doing sport, reading and playing music. She also works with many expats looking to move to France. Find out more on her website, ON IT Translations, or connect with her on LinkedIn.