Watching Lupin On Netflix To Practice Your French

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

The French series Lupin on Netflix is a great way to improve your French. It’s still made for a French audience, but Omar Sy’s French is easy to understand.

The series Lupin on Netflix, staring Omar Sy is a huge international hit. I watched it and here is why I believe it’s also a great tool to practice your French.

I already wrote an article about how to learn French with movies. And another one listing easy to understand French movies.

A word of caution though: Lupin is a series made for a French native audience. It’s not French for students of French so it’s still requires a pretty advanced level of French. But it’s “easier” than other series. Here is why…

But first, let’s see how we say Omar Sy and of course, Lupin…

Click on the link next to the headphone icon to hear my audio recording of the French word.

1 – How do you pronounce Omar Sy in French?

The name of the French actor who plays Lupin is Omar Sy. [omar sea]

2 – How do you pronounce Lupin in French?


Watch out! In French, Lupin is pronounced with a French nasal vowel sound, not an English [een] sound.

Now let’s see why Lupin is a great series to practice your French.

3 – Lupin’s French Diction

The main character “Lupin” is played by French actor Omar Sy. Many of you saw “Intouchables” and like the rest of us, fell in love with this handsome and gentle man.

Omar Sy speaks relatively slowly in French. Even though he does apply all the natural spoken French glidings and contractions, his diction is clear, which makes him particularly easy to understand.

But that’s not the only thing that makes the TV series Lupin understandable for French students.

4 – Slow Action

The action of the TV series is rather slow paced. Lots of scenes are silent, so you will not be overwhelmed with what’s going on or the non-stop dialogues.

There’s another thing I personally love about Netflix’s Lupin.

5 – Real French Actors, Real French Language

Everybody who speaks French in the series Lupin is actually French. Well, it’s a French series after all…

The other day we were watching the series Bridgertown… For the costumes of course… We were watching it in English and suddenly, the character Marina Thomson starts speaking “French” with the presumably French seamstress. Hum… That didn’t go well.

This kind of things drive me nuts! How difficult is it to actually find a French native speaker to check the 3 lines of French script? Come on people!! With all the forums and the French educators online, it would take only a second to check… Yet, you have no idea the numbers of shows that feature French gibberish…

If you know someone about to shoot a movie with French lines, tell them to contact me. I’ll be happy to proofread a couple of French lines for a movie, series etc… (but let’s be clear: I wont’ correct your French homework…)

Back to Lupin…

6 – Dialogues Between Two People, Indoors

For some reason, the show also features many dialogues between only two people. This is much easier to understand than conversations between a group of people.

Many of the dialogues take place indoors, with no background noise. So the quality of the audio is clear: you can hear clearly what they are saying. That’s a huge help.

Now let’s see something that you should be aware of since it may confuse you when you’re studying French with Lupin.

7 – ⚠️ The Subtitles Are Not Reliable

As I had decided to write about Lupin, we watched the last episode with French subtitles. The things I’d do for you…

Unfortunately, as it often is the case, the subtitles don’t perfectly match the dialogues. For example, someone may say:

  • Tu vas bien ?
  • but the subtitles would show: ça va ?

Both mean the same thing, but they don’t match the dialogues word for word, which can be quite confusing for French learners.

Yet, there’s something really special about Lupin, something we can all agree on: Lupin transport us to Paris!

8 – Beautiful Paris

Released during the Covid 19 crisis, Lupin is a breath of fresh air to all of us who cannot travel there. Just like the series Emily in Paris.

So, what’s not to like?

What about you? Have you watched Lupin yet? What do you think? Are there any other French series you can recommend?

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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