Written by Jani Carr, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Parkview High School
I often listen to the Duolingo French Podcast when I want to improve my French listening skills. Great for beginners, each podcast episode features a new guest from a French-speaking country that talks in intermediate French while the host, Ngofeen Mputubwele, narrates and provides some context in English. Each episode is very educational as you learn new vocabulary and gain new perspectives about other cultures.
One of my favorite episodes is “Une chanson révolutionnaire” (A Song of Revolution), which features singer Emel Mathlouthi. In the episode, Mathlouthi tells her inspiring story of her involvement in the Tunisian Revolution when she converted a poem her friend wrote into a song. In the song, Emel speaks out against the inequalities of the dictatorship of President Ben Ali. It became even more dangerous for her when Mathlouthi performed it at a singing event in France. Her performance went viral and became the song of the revolution in Tunisia. Emel’s story –– like all the others that can be heard on the podcast –– is truly motivating. Mathlouthi’s words and actions required a lot of bravery and sacrifice that not many possess.
I like the Duolingo Podcast because it always highlights individuals from various backgrounds in the francophone world including women, people of color and individuals who identify with a wide range of sexualities and gender identities. This podcast is perfect for anyone who wants to learn French, and Duolingo has similar podcasts for other languages as well.