The words ‘ballad’ and ‘ballade’ are often used interchangeably primarily because speakers, including native English speakers and teachers of the English language, assume they mean the same – a narrative poem. The fact, nonetheless, is different. If you look up these words in a good dictionary, you will get distinct meanings, thus conveying that they are not just different from each other but poetically unique in their own way. It is worth mentioning that while ballads can fall under the free verse or fixed verse form of poetry, ballades solely belong to the fixed verse form. Furthermore, the latter has stricter rules than the former.