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French Short Stories to Help You Learn Faster

There’s something to be said about visiting France just to see the Eiffel Tower, or to drink the world’s finest wines while munching on the country’s world-renown baguettes. However, while these are all excellent reasons to visit L’hexagone, if you’re looking to learn the language, you might also want to delve into some French short stories as well.

These days, thanks to the internet, you don’t need to actually visit the country to get a taste of French culture. And, by reading the many classic French short stories, you’ll be able to dive into the culture while sitting in your room.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of popular French short stories to help you learn the language. 

Petit Poulet on The French Experiment
Petit Poulet, or Chicken Little in English, is a traditional short story that began as an oral folk tale. Often referred to as Henny Penny or Chicken Licken, the story has roots that can be traced back nearly 25 centuries. However, it only appeared in print in the early 19th century when the Brothers Grimm released their first collection of German folk tales.

The story is a cumulative tale with a moral ending about a chicken who strongly believes that the end of the world is nearing. Throughout the story, the phrase, “The sky is falling!”, or Le ciel est en train de tomber!”, is used many times and has become a popular idiom in the English language expressing the hysterical belief that a disastrous event is imminent.

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L’étranger by Albert Camus on UQAC.ca
Albert Camus is a popular French philosopher and novelist who we simply could not refrain from adding to our list. L’etranger is a classic French story and is relatively easy to read for French speakers of almost any skill level.

L’étranger is a tragic story about a Frenchman named Mersault, who murders an Algerian man on a beach in Algiers. As the story develops, readers will witness Mersault struggling to cope with what he has done, all while the authorities slowly close in on him to arrest him for his crime. Mersault’s thoughts also delve into the Absurd, which is a philosophical question about man’s ultimate struggle with life and death.

The story has become popular around the world and has been translated into countless other languages. For those who might need a bit of help getting through the French version, you can use LingQ to import the text and easily look up new words and phrases, as shown below:

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Import French short stories into LingQ for faster learning

Un Drame Dans Les Airs by Jules Verne on Atramenta
Jules Verne is another popular French author known for his science fiction stories. While Verne’s stories are filled with page-gripping suspense, they are also relatively easy to read and introduce quite a bit of technical French, which makes it an excellent read for anyone who is looking to learn and improve their understanding of the language.


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Un Drame Dans Les Airs is a story about a stranger who sneaks his way onto a hot air balloon filled with partygoers just as the balloon is about to take off. The unknown man’s intent is to force the pilot to drop his ballasts, taking the balloon as high into the sky as it can go. While the craft climbs ever-higher, the man takes advantage of the journey to recount the history of lighter-than-air travel to the balloon’s other passengers.

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Learn French Faster Using LingQ

While it’s great that the internet is full of resources for you to learn French, it can be a bit tedious going back and forth between sites, using different dictionaries to look up words, and so on and so forth.

Using LingQ, you can keep all your favorite French content stored in one platform, easily look up new words, save vocabulary, and review them for later. You can turn content you love into lessons optimized for learning a new language.

You can turn something like this:

News in the French language

Into an easy-to-read (and listen, if you have audio to go along with the content) lesson where you can look up words instantly.

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You can import videos, podcasts, and much more too! Check out our guide to importing content into LingQ for more information.

Learn French online using LingQ, available for desktop as well as Android and iOS. Gain access to thousands of hours of audio and transcripts and begin your journey to fluency today.

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