French Language Blog

As Easy As RFI: The News in French Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Vocabulary

When I first came to France I would spend every day in a café studying. I was trying to convert my entire life into French. I watched la télévision française (French television), watched des films français (French movies), listened to la musique française (French music), and followed l’actualité française (French news). Even though my French wasn’t really good enough to understand most of what I was hearing, I tried to understand everything I could.

I would often listen to les nouvelles (the news) from Radio France internationale, a French public radio station that specializes in international affairs with a bit of a focus on la Francophonie. Normally after several hours of listening to RFI my brain would just be fried.

Un jour (one day), while spending hours listening to RFI, I noticed une émission (show) that was specially designed for people learning French: le journal en français facile (The news in easy French).

Le journal en français facile is “Un journal qui présente l’actualité avec des mots simples et explique les événements dans leur contexte“: A news broadcast that presents current affairs with simple words and explains the events in their context.

I was happy to find a show that covers news stories in clearly spoken French and it even had transcripts available so I could look up all the words I didn’t know!

L’émission starts with a brief introduction naming the various topics that will be discussed, then presents each of them in more detail, including audio exerts from the original stories, typically spoken much faster and less clearly than les animateurs (the presenters).

To find these stories in français facile, il suffit de (you just have to) go to the RFI website dedicated to French learners. The whole page is in French, but it’s not too difficile (difficult) to navigate. You’ll notice many resources for French learners, but to listen to Le journal en français facile you don’t need to look very far:

français facile

Easy French News Broadcast on the RFI website.

Les mots clés (the key words):

Lire le script – Read the script
Ecouter 10’ – Listen 10’ [minutes]
Télécharger – Download

You can cliquer sur (click on) Ecouter 10′ to have a new window pop up that will play une émission you can then cliquer sur Lire le script to follow along and check any words you had trouble hearing or didn’t understand. If you want to download l’émission, il suffit de cliquer sur Télécharger.

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. asheesh:

    Merci beacoup

    • John Bauer:

      @asheesh De rien !

      If you have any questions, just ask them here en anglais or in French!

  2. RAUL:

    Thank you very much! I’ve been listening to it for some time and it’s a great émission.

  3. Lisa:

    I have been using the iTunes podcast (journal en français facile) however it stopped working so I have since subscribed to another version (RFI a – journal en francais facile 20h TU). The audio is working fine, but the transcript no longer appears when you press the front page like it did before. I find the transcript really useful for checking bits I don’t understand, so would like to be able to access this.

    Can anyone help?

  4. Robert Ziegler:

    Comment on accesse le texte associe avec l’emission du jour?

  5. Abdikani Yakob:

    merci beaucoup