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Best French YouTube channels for learners in 2022

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Oh, YouTube. We all know it and use it to get our daily dose of entertainment, but most of us don’t fully appreciate how much it can help with learning stuff. If you’re learning French, YouTube is your best friend. A best friend at minimum.

Learning through videos can be thoroughly enjoyable thanks to all the visuals included, but that’s not all they bring to the table. If your chosen video has subtitles, you’ll be able to listen to French speech while reading its transcript. This is a lucky combination, because it enables you to learn pronunciation and spelling simultaneously. Anywhere you are. While having fun. You see my point.

As videos (and films) make you process two different forms of the same piece of information at the same time, watching them is one of the most time-efficient ways to learn a language.

It’s also among the most entertaining ones. YouTube is a platform used by hundreds (if not thousands) of French creators, and exploring their videos won’t cost you a penny.

Finding the best channels, however, can be a challenge.

That’s where Frenchanted enters the picture: we have set out to collect our favorite French YouTube channels in a single list, with topics ranging from current events through culture to science. We’re sure everyone will be able to find something to their liking, but feel free to explore related channels on YouTube, too.

We have included some channels that are household-names in French-speaking countries (like Nota Bene and DirtyBiology – in our humble opinion, no such list can be complete without them). Other titles might be a touch less familiar to French learners, but all are worth a watch. Have fun browsing!

Jump to

  1. Cinema & Movies
  2. Life Sciences
  3. Nature
  4. History
  5. Miscellaneous

1. Cinema & movies

MrMeeea: Feeling nostalgic yet?

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 166K

Complexity score: 3 to 5 out of 5, depending on the exact video

Typical length: this channel doesn’t like to rush things with most videos being between 20 and 25 minutes long (although length can range from a couple of minutes to over 35 mins).

Topics covered: Most videos are about well-known and well-loved actors, directors, films and series. Many of them offer a fun (and often funny) analysis that goes beyond the surface. There’s also a retro games playlist, so check those out if you’re into that!

Why do we like it?

I don’t know about you, but I can watch classics like Columbo, Back to the Future and Home Alone a hundred times over without getting tired of them. This gives you an idea about the types of films and series MrMeeea likes to concentrate on.

If you’re a fan of classics and like a good blast from the past, this one is for you. Videos are full of humorous cutaways taken from films and series as comic relief, and these work really well.

Blow Up, l’actualité du cinéma (ou presque) – ARTE: The perfect channel for (French) cinema buffs

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 194K

Complexity score: 4 or 5/5

Typical length: about 14 to 20 minutes/ episode

Topics covered: The career of famous directors and actors, French cinema & Hollywood, film festivals and award shows in France and abroad.

Why do we like it?

This is an Arte channel, and it lives up to its name more than I can say. (If you haven’t heard about it before: Arte is a renowned French-German public service channel, and basically everything they do is worth following.) It’s a great source to level up your film knowledge, right alongside your French skills.

Most videos are quite serious in tone, though, so if you’re looking for some super light entertainment while working on your French, it might not be your number one choice. But if you aren’t, don’t hesitate to check it out! Videos often contain lengthy scenes from movies, so it offers a rather immersive experience.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is a pretty prolific channel withtons of videos appearing each month. You won’t have to count the weeks or days until the next upload, even if you become a fan.

2. Life sciences

ScienceEtonnante: A true gem for curious people

Complexity score: 2 or 3/5 (we mean the French, not the science content!)

Typical length: Length varies widely, from about 6 minutes to 30 mins/ episode.

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 1,19M

Topics covered: Anything about any kind of science. Math, physics, biology, chemistry, space, archeology… we especially liked the videos on common cognitive biases. In short, ScienceEtonnante offers a wide range of topics to choose from.

Why do we like it?

ScienceEtonnante is an award-winning project of video maker and author David Louapre, who holds a PhD in physics. As you can see above, this channel covers a wide range of fascinating topics, and the videos have a reliable tendency to pull you right in.

David’s speech is rather easy to understand (he speaks clearly and articulates like a dream), which can be a blessing while learning a new language. In addition to that, most videos have official (as opposed to automatic) subtitles in English and French. That’s also a win, because his topics necessitate a certain vocabulary level – subtitles just make it way easier to tackle that part.

I’d recommend first watching these videos with French subtitles, and then you can rewatch them with English subtitles to check how much you got on the first try.

Primum non nocere: Full-dress videos about medicine & health

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 162K

Complexity score: 4/5

Typical length: varies between 8 to 35 mins, so you can always find something that fits your spare time. Uploads are getting sparser in 2022, but you can still expect new videos on a regular basis. And if you’re new to the channel, you won’t run out of stuff to watch anytime soon.

Topics covered: As you can see, the channel’s name is in Latin, which translates to “first, do no harm” by Hippocrates. That gives you a good idea about what to expect: anything connected to biology, health, medicine, and chemistry. Some recent uploads include talks and interviews with experts on the given topic or public figures, sometimes other youtubers. (While these video calls tend to be very interesting, listening to them as a learner can be challenging because of the varying sound quality.)

Why do we like it?

This channel contains an immense amount of information about health and biology that everyone should know. It gets to the bottom of things without leaving out anything important (so expect to have to pay close attention), but it’s made with a general audience in mind.

Primum non nocere videos explain stuff in a great amount of detail, which also means they might be a touch too technical for some. If you like(d) biology classes in school, though, that’s a strong indicator you’ll dig this channel. I did and I do.

DirtyBiology: Often weird, sometimes bizarre, but always enlightening!

Number of subscribers at the moment: 1,29M. Yes, it’s a big one.

Complexity score: 3 to 5 / 5 – strongly depends on the particular video you watch (some of them are nice and slow-flowing, and some others… not so much!)

Typical length: roughly 20 mins (but videos can range between 7 to 30 mins)

Why do we like it?

DirtyBiology videos are always fun, quirky and very well thought out. They have a very distinct style, and they tend to be bursting at the seams with memes, montages, and animations. Light-hearted content? Check. Super interesting stuff? Check. The occasional weird topic? Check.

The way Léo manages to combine education with top-quality entertainment should be taught in schools. Learning through this channel doesn’t stop with talking about specific topics, though: Léo tries to impart a general science-based view of the world to his viewers, an approach I can only applaud. Sounds boring? Watch an episode and it will prove you wrong!

This channel will make your head spin, and you’ll be thankful for it.

3. Nature

NatGeo France: The bitesize contender you know

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 1M

Complexity score: 2 / 5 (short videos with unhurried narration)

Topics covered: History, archeology, science, space, animals, and basically any kind of documentary.

Typical length: Their videos are overwhelmingly short, most of them lasting between 1 and 3 minutes.

Why do we like it?

NatGeo videos are known for high-quality footage and animations, and they don’t disappoint in their French YouTube edition, either. Most of their videos have slower, leisurely narration, so you won’t have problems keeping up with the pace. That’s always welcome. Given that videos on this channel are super short, you won’t be able to say “I don’t have time to study French” ever again. Until you run out of videos to watch on NatGeo, that is.


Nota Bene – An inescapable and thoroughly enjoyable history channel

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 2M

Complexity score: 3 or 4/5, depending on the video

Topics covered: History in all its flavors plus myths and legends. Think of any historical age, and chances are Nota Bene will have some videos on it. That’s inevitable with more than 370 uploads, right?

Why do we like it?

Nota Bene was launched in 2014, and the channel has grown enormously (and exponentially) since then, so much so that now the Nota Bene channel is run with a fairly large team behind it. Its founder, Benjamin Brillaud is one of the best-known French youtubers right now.

If you like history trivia, you’re in luck – learning about history has never been so fun. While some videos can be oddly specific (there’s a video about the missing nose of a sphinx, for example), many cover longer periods or important historical events.

Nota Bene is all about history with high-quality videos and a lot of visuals, and it also has official subtitles you can (and should!) turn on.

Typical length: between 10 and 25 minutes. You can count on roughly two uploads per week.


ARTE Junior FR: News and a wide variety of content that’s perfect for learners

Number of subscribers at the moment: about 46K

Complexity score: 2/5

Topics covered: Basically anything at all, but history, sciences, geography, religions, animals, sports and languages are mainstays at ARTE Junior.

Typical length: Usually 6 minutes for news videos, and anything between one minute and an hour for others.

Why do we like it?

While this channel was created with kids in mind (hence the name Junior), it’s far from being only suitable for children. With daily news segments and countless interesting topics covered, it can be totally worth your while regardless of age.

Language is less complex than in videos made specifically for adults, but they don’t “dumb down” issues – just make it easier to follow and understand stuff. The videos are interesting and visually attractive.

That’s it! And don’t forget, we have an awesome collection of French magazines, blogs and sites you’ll love, too. If you take a look at them, that is!

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