The best digital resources for learning French - Coucou French Classes (2023)

Learning a language is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be intimidating. If you took French classes in high school, you might dread the idea of “studying.” For many students, it means spending hours pouring over textbooks or painstakingly copying out verb conjugations. But, actually, studying can and should be something you look forward to doing! And, with the help of digital resources, you can find a way to immerse yourself in French without even realizing that you’re technically “studying.”

Because every student has a different learning style, we know that what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. Maybe you love watching Youtube videos, but don’t listen to podcasts. Or you’ve tried Duolingo, but it’s just not the perfect app for you. We’ve created a guide that will help you find the digital resource that best matches your learning style. Below you can find out what Apps and YouTube accounts we recommend as well as discover our favorite websites, and podcasts!

By Sophia Millman

The best digital resources for learning French - Coucou French Classes (1)

Babbel

for students who want to polish their accents

Created in 2008 by a team of German linguists, this small start-up quickly became one of the most popular learning apps. Babbel isn’t free so we recommend sampling the trial version before subscribing. Babbel is a great resource if you want to work on your pronunciation. The quality of its recordings exceeds those of Duolingo and it has excellent speech recognition features.

(Video) FRENCH LEARNING ESSENTIALS | how I reached French fluency 🇨🇵 [CC]

Price: $4.95 a year / $ 9.95 a month

Duolingo

for students who love playing games

Duolingo famously turned language learning into a game. You match words, fill in phrases, and practice your pronunciation in order to level up. You can also compete with your friends. The app allows you to visualize your language mastery and identify which skills you need to improve. Lessons are about 5 minutes long and perfect for a subway ride or standing in line.

Price: free / Duolingo plus: $9.99

Memrise

for students who want to focus on vocabulary

Memrise helps you learn vocabulary lists that correspond to your level and to how quickly you want to progress. The app teaches you French words and phrases by pairing them with creative and funny pictures. It also prioritizes conversational skills over technical exercises.

Price: free / Pro: $60 a year

Busuu

for students who want to learn colloquial French

With Busuu, you can have a language-learning pen pal and learn to speak like a French native. Your speaking exercises are evaluated by Busuu students in France if you grade someone else’s homework in English. (Since there are over 90 million users around the world, it’s easy to find a study partner!) Lessons include helpful tips on informal and local usage.

Price: $8 for 1 month / $45 for a year

LingQ

for students who want to be active members of a community

YouTube polyglot star Steve Kaufmann created this app in order to bring together a community of language lovers. With the free version of LingQ, you’ll have access to thousands of lessons which consist of small texts with accompanying audio. With the premium version, you can participate in one-on-one or group conversations, vocabulary quizzes, and a variety of other activities. The app is customized to your needs so you can choose the story or topic you’re interested in. Some of our favorite stories include TED talks in French, Alice in Wonderland, One Year in France, The Foreign Language Institute French course, and The Little Prince.

(Video) BEGINNER FRENCH: Everything you need to know (tout en français)

Price: free / premium: $39 a month

The best digital resources for learning French - Coucou French Classes (2)

One Thing in A French Day

for beginners

​This is one of the longest-running French language podcasts on the web. Episodes are released three times a week, are a manageable five minutes long, and focus on an aspect of the host Laetitia’s life. Laetitia is une parisienne who talks about her daily life in the city of lights.

RFI Journal en Français Facile

for students who want to keep up with current events

This podcast is hosted by real French journalists who speak slowly so that their international listeners can understand them. Every episode has the most important news of the day in just under ten minutes. At the end of each episode, the hosts explain in detail at least one interesting word that they used during the broadcast. You can also consult the free online transcript of the episodes if there are phrases you don’t understand.

Transfert

for fans of podcasts like This American Life

This addictive podcast is the perfect way for you to sharpen your listening skills by becoming familiar with a variety of French voices and accents. Transfert is the French equivalent of The Moth: one person recounts an intimate story from his or her life. The narratives are often about love, family secrets, or strange coincidences. Some of our favorite episodes include: “Jusqu’ou peut on aller pour devenir ami avec ses voisins?”, “Savoir cerner les autres”, “La personne en face”, and “Etes-vous vraiment la personne que vous pensez être?”.

If you’re a big podcast listener, check out the rest of our favorite podcasts here!

The best digital resources for learning French - Coucou French Classes (3)

(Video) ♫ La Chanson des Couleurs ♫ French Colors Song ♫ Les Couleurs en Français ♫ Learn French Basics ♫

Frantastique

for students who like learning through stories

Frantastique sends you a 15-minute lesson every day that’s based on a fun story. After watching a video that illustrates the story with audio and text, you study the story through interactive exercises. The site adjusts to your abilities, focusing on the gaps in your knowledge of French. Ultimately, you learn extremely efficiently because you don’t waste time going over what you already know.

​Le Dictionnaire Multifonctions de TV5 Monde

for vocabulary practice

This handy dictionary site will improve your vocabulary in a number of ways. It provides detailed definitions in French, and includes a conjugator, thesaurus, as well as English-French and French-English translations. There are also a number of games and quizzes available on the site to test your language skills and cultural knowledge!

Lawless French

for grammar practice

Experienced french teacher Laura Lawless created this site for French learners of all levels. You can find hundreds of lessons that include reading and listening comprehension. Lawless French has particularly good descriptions of grammatical concepts, including an amazing tool called the subjunctivisor.

WordReference

for the most accurate translation tips

This website provides very comprehensive French-English and English-French dictionaries. Its Language Forum pages provide insights and opinions into finding translations for idiomatic expressions across the two languages.

(Video) Tutorial: How to subscribe to Learn French the natural way

The best digital resources for learning French - Coucou French Classes (4)

Damon and Joe

This channel is run by two friends (featured in the photo above!) who speak fluent French and discuss language, travel, and their personal lives. Try out some of these mini-lessons: French “Days of the Week,” “How to pronounce the French “R,” “French filler words,” “Say 70, 80, 90 in French,” “Nos chansons préférées en français” and “Mots difficiles à prononcer en français.” Any episode that’s in French comes with English subtitles, which makes this channel ideal for beginners!

innerFrench

Hugo Cotton created his teaching method based on Steven Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition. Cotton hosts a podcast and has his own website: innerfrench.com. Although his Youtube channel doesn’t contain as many videos as most of the channels mentioned above, Cotton’s videos are great because he explains quirks of the French language and breaks down all sorts of interesting components of French culture.

Learn French with Alexa

Alexa explains concepts slowly in English and you can also watch her videos with French subtitles to add an extra layer to your learning. Another plus is that her videos are very short (normally about two minutes-long), so you can rewatch them easily to really master certain concepts. We highly recommend her pronunciation lesson series, which you can speak along with to work on your accent.

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Want more YouTube channel suggestions? Read our full post about them here!

FAQs

Which is the best online platform to learn French? ›

The 9 Best Online French Classes of 2022
  • Best Overall: Berlitz.
  • Best Budget: FrenchPod101.
  • Best for Kids and Teens: French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
  • Best Audio-Based: Rocket French.
  • Best Dialogue-Based: Babbel.
  • Best Immersion-Based: Rosetta Stone.
  • Best for Humor and Entertainment: Frantastique.
20 Sept 2022

What is the best way to learn conversational French? ›

The most effective and efficient way to learn French is by immersing yourself in the language. If you happen to find yourself in a French speaking country, or know someone who is fluent in French, try striking up a conversation using some basic greetings and phrases.

Which app is better for learning French? ›

The best app to learn French overall is Babbel. With a complete course designed by professional linguists, Babbel can take you from complete beginner to conversational in just a few months. Other great apps to learn French include MosaLingua, Mondly, and Busuu.

What is the quickest method to learn French? ›

10 tips to learn French fast
  1. Watch films. Watching films in French with French subtitles is one of the best ways to learn. ...
  2. Learn with songs. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Find a partner. ...
  5. Don't be scared to try and make mistakes. ...
  6. Listen! ...
  7. Practice. ...
  8. Sign up for an intensive course.
12 Aug 2016

How many hours a day should I study French? ›

For most people, around 30 minutes of active study and 1 hour of language exposure a day is a schedule that will give you great results. It's a model that's sustainable over a long period to help you reach fluency.

How can I learn French fluently online? ›

Free Online French Classes, Courses, and Systems
  1. Coursera. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) not only offer French language courses, but they also offer courses on other subjects in French. ...
  2. EdX. ...
  3. Learn with Oliver. ...
  4. BBC Languages. ...
  5. TV5 Monde. ...
  6. Class Central.

What is the best way to learn French online free? ›

The 9 Best Free Online French Lessons Beyond Duolingo
  1. Loecsen.
  2. The French Experiment.
  3. BBC Languages: French.
  4. elearningfrench.
  5. French in Action.
  6. ielanguages.
  7. Français Authentique (Authentic French)
  8. Français avec Pierre (French with Pierre)
24 Aug 2022

Is Rosetta Stone or Babbel better? ›

Which is better, Babbel or Rosetta Stone? After a thorough review of the language learning courses from both Babbel and Rosetta Stone, we have to give the edge to Babbel as the better language program (albeit a narrow victory).

How can I practice French by myself? ›

Get to know French grammar

Study with a French grammar book. Join an online program, either an application or a learning website and make grammar fun. Enlist a tutor for grammar lessons (try to find a native) Watch online grammar videos on useful topics to bring learning to life.

What should a French beginner learn first? ›

One of the most important things to do when you start learning French is to understand basic vocabulary, phrases, and numbers. Beginners usually start practicing words that will help them when meeting French people, ask basic questions, and introduce themselves.

Is it possible to learn French in 3 months? ›

While you certainly won't master it in three months, especially if you can only put a few hours a week into it, you can make sure to be more efficient by following an initial plan of action. Let's take a look at what you should do in the first hour, first day, first week and first month of learning French.

Which app is most used in France? ›

App App NameCategory Category
1MonPetitProno by MPGGames / Sports
2Ryn VPN - Browse blazing fastTools
3ActionShopping
4Pluto TV - Live TV and MoviesEntertainment
46 more rows

Is Duolingo or Babbel better for French? ›

The main difference between Duolingo and Babbel is that while Babbel focuses on a more robust and traditional form of teaching a foreign language through comprehensive lessons, Duolingo tries to gamify your learning and offer a modern experience.

Which language learning app is most effective? ›

Best Language Learning Apps for 2022
  • Duolingo. Best for learning multiple languages. See at Duolingo.
  • Babbel. Best for an online school-type experience. See at Babbel.
  • Drops. Best for visual learners. See at Drops.
  • Mondly. Best for helping you remember specific phrases. ...
  • Memrise. Best for learning to speak casually in a new language.
27 Oct 2022

How many hours you need to learn French? ›

According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), French is a category 1 language. This means learning French takes 23 – 24 weeks (575 – 600 hours) for most English speakers. This makes French one of the easiest (and fastest) languages to learn.

How many hours of French to learn it? ›

If you are an English speaker, learning French requires 575-600 hours of study (or 23-24 weeks full- time). It is the same for other European Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish etc) and the Germanic ones (Danish, Swedish, Dutch/Afrikaans Norwegian – not German).

Is it possible to learn French in 6 months? ›

With the right tools and support, you can be on your way to speaking a new language like a pro in just six months! Trying to learn a new language can be daunting, but it's not impossible. With the right approach and some dedication, you can be speaking a foreign language in just six months.

How many months does it take to be fluent in French? ›

French is a Category I language, so it's relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency. Which we could break down as the following: If you study for 1 hour every day, you can learn French in 1.5 years.

How many words do you need to be fluent in French? ›

However, it is estimated that a truly fluent French speaker knows around 3,000 words.

Why is learning French hard? ›

Many find French hard to learn because of the complex grammar and linguistic nuances that don't exist in English, especially for those who have never studied another European language specifically Romance languages like Spanish or Portuguese. Spoken French can also be challenging!

Can I learn French online on my own? ›

It's quite easy to learn French by yourself, and with so many great websites and apps that also have the ability to download content offline, you can learn from anywhere. Provided you are willing to put the time in and stick to a course or program, there is no reason why you can't learn French by yourself.

How can I learn French in 30 days at home? ›

How to Learn French in 30 Days: An Adaptable Guide for Your Personal Language Goals
  1. Step 1: Define Your French Learning Goals. ...
  2. Step 2: Build Your Personal Reference Library. ...
  3. Step 3: Bookmark Pronunciation Resources. ...
  4. Step 4: Download Apps for On-the-go Learning. ...
  5. Step 5: Create Your Study Plan.
19 Jun 2022

Is it possible to learn French online for free? ›

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.

Whether you're a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing, and speaking, Duolingo is scientifically proven to work.

Which app teaches French for free? ›

Duolingo is the fun, free app for learning 40+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons. Practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing to build your vocabulary and grammar skills.

Can you become fluent by Duolingo? ›

Plus, many users noticed that they would study and keep their streak up for days and days, and still not be able to speak the language or could only speak at an intermediate level. And this comes from a lack of human interaction and real speaking practice. So, no, you can't become fluent with Duolingo alone.

Can Duolingo make you fluent? ›

Can Duolingo make me fluent? Research shows that Duolingo is an effective way to learn a language! But the truth is that no single course, app, method, or book can help you reach all your language goals.

How much does Babbel cost per month? ›

Babbel offers four different subscription options to choose from: a month-by-month plan, which costs $14 per month, a 3-month plan which costs around $30 ($10 per month), a 6-month plan that costs around $50 ($8.50 per month), and finally a 12-month plan, which is the best value at around $7 per month.

What is better than Babbel? ›

Duolingo uses plenty of example sentences to help you learn words in context. And since words are frequently reused in different examples, you'll get to see how a word may be used in more than one context. Duolingo offers over 20 languages, so you'll have over twice as many language options as Babbel.

Can you become fluent with Rosetta? ›

While Rosetta Stone will help you build a solid foundation, it won't make you fluent. When you feel like you've maxed out on learning with Rosetta Stone, you might need to push yourself into situations where you're actively using the language instead of reacting to an app.

How long should I practice French each day? ›

The short answer is as much as possible.

Realistically, however, at least 20 minutes per day should be dedicated to learning a new language. The ideal amount of time to spend on daily study, if you can find the time, is an hour, but you don't need to cram it all in at once.

How many minutes a day should I practice French? ›

On the other hand, if you study for 15-20 minutes every day, French will become much easier. Language learning is all about practice. And the more you use your French, the easier it will become to learn and remember everything.

Can I self taught French? ›

With the right amount of motivation and commitment, a healthy learning habit, plus the right tools and method to guide you, yes you can teach yourself French. As a French teacher for many years, I've come across a lot of people who would rather spend time learning a new language by themselves.

What are 3 greetings in French? ›

The most important French greetings include bonjour (hello), enchanté(e) (nice to meet you), bonsoir (good evening/hello), salut (hi), coucou (hey), Ça fait longtemps, dis donc (long time no see), Âllo (hello), Ça va? (how are you?), tu vas bien? (have you been well?), quoi de neuf? (what's up?), au revoir!

What is the best age to learn French? ›

To become completely fluent, however, learning should start before the age of 10. There are three main ideas as to why language-learning ability declines at 18: social changes, interference from one's primary language and continuing brain development.

What is considered basic level French? ›

The “A” Levels: Basic User

A1 or Beginner: It is the most basic level of language learning. At this level, the user can do the following tasks: Can recognize and use known expressions and fundamental phrases that used in everyday needs.

What does B1 level French mean? ›

Level B1, which is sometimes referred to as 'Threshold' or 'Breakthrough' stage, is the point at which a French speaker moves away from the most simplistic language usage and is able to cope with most of the situations they are likely to encounter when travelling around a French-speaking country.

Can you get fluent in French in a year? ›

Regardless of your definition of fluency, you'll need to practice the language if you want to master it. If you want a short answer, yes, you can become fluent in French in one year (or even less), especially if you follow the 10 steps included in the next section.

Is French harder than Spanish? ›

Learning Spanish or French

All in all, neither language is definitively more or less difficult than the other. Spanish is arguably somewhat easier for the first year or so of learning, in large part because beginners may struggle less with pronunciation than their French-studying colleagues.

What apps do I need for France? ›

Great Tools for your trip
  • Citymapper.
  • Gas Now.
  • Google Translate.
  • The Fork.
  • Tiqets (last minute tickets)
  • Uber.
  • The French Weather Forecast : France Weather app.
  • XE currency converter.

Is duolingo the best app to learn French? ›

Duolingo is one of the best French learning apps on iOS and Android. It uses a game-like format to deliver bite-sized lessons to learn vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, writing, pronunciation, and listening. Duolingo is a highly recommended app for beginners who wants to learn French.

Can you become fluent in French with Babbel? ›

If you're looking to achieve an advanced level of fluency and really master French, Babbel just might not the best option out there. Of course, once you get to that point, you could always add in some live classes in order to get some more conversational practice under your belt.

Can Babbel make you fluent in French? ›

While it won't help you become fluent, Babbel can definitely improve your conversational skills. Its lessons cover reading, writing, speaking, and listening, so it's a great way to start learning a language.

Which app helps learning French faster? ›

The best app to learn French overall is Babbel. With a complete course designed by professional linguists, Babbel can take you from complete beginner to conversational in just a few months. Other great apps to learn French include MosaLingua, Mondly, and Busuu.

What app helps you become fluent? ›

It's possible to learn English by yourself by using language apps like Babbel and Pimsleur. These can help you achieve a conversational level. However, if you really want to become fluent, it's best to practice with native speakers. This is really easy to do with apps like italki.

Is Babbel harder than Duolingo? ›

Final Thoughts On Babbel Vs Duolingo

Babbel is harder for beginners and it might be better to use it after getting acquainted with the language. Compared to Duolingo it pushes students to write more than read and has a far more conversational approach, almost entirely teaching in the form of conversations.

Is learning French in duolingo effective? ›

French is probably one of Duolingo's best courses for speaking thanks to features like audio lessons. However, it still falls short in terms of getting you to a solid conversational level. At least by itself, anyway. The main problem is that (audio lessons aside) the speaking exercises aren't conversation exercises.

Can you learn French just by listening? ›

When learning a new language, the fastest and most effective way to absorb new material is by actively listening. You'll be able to engage with what you're hearing on a deeper level, even if you don't understand what's being said.

Is Rosetta Stone effective for French? ›

The answer is an emphatic yes, especially if you're new to a language and want to develop a strong base of vocabulary and grammar. It's well structured, clear, and moves at a deliberate pace. Use Rosetta Stone faithfully for a few months and you'll learn to speak, read, write, and understand basic words and phrases.

What is the best resource to learn a new language? ›

26 BEST Language Learning Tools & Apps You Should Use in 2023
  • Mondly. It's no secret that I've been a fan of Mondly for years. ...
  • italki. I feel like italki is the secret weapon of the polyglot world. ...
  • uTalk. ...
  • Glossika. ...
  • Busuu. ...
  • Babbel. ...
  • LingQ – The Linguistic Institute. ...
  • Duolingo.
4 Oct 2022

Is Babbel or Duolingo better for French? ›

Although the two companies are similar in several respects, I just think Babbel is the better overall language learning program. I do like that Duolingo offers a free version and how they try to gamify learning, however, if you're serious about learning a new language, I think Babbel is the better bet.

Which is better Duolingo or Rosetta Stone? ›

Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.

Will I be fluent if I use Duolingo? ›

Duolingo can't make you fluent by itself

The other way in which the research is misleading is that learning a language requires more than just an app, in the same way learning just about anything requires more than just a textbook. It's clear that we can achieve a lot with 'just' Duolingo.

What should you not do when learning French? ›

Here is a short list of things to avoid in order to best learn French:
  1. Rooming with other foreign students. ...
  2. Only making friends of your same nationality in your French course. ...
  3. Going out at night with only your fellow countrymen. ...
  4. Using your phone as a translator. ...
  5. Wanting to move too quickly from one level to the other.
15 Mar 2017

How long does it realistically take to learn French? ›

How long does it take to learn French? According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), French is a category 1 language. This means learning French takes 23 – 24 weeks (575 – 600 hours) for most English speakers. This makes French one of the easiest (and fastest) languages to learn.

Which French accent is easiest to understand? ›

Compared with Parisians, Southern French people speak French at a slower rate, which can make it seem easy to understand.

Why is Babbel better than Rosetta Stone? ›

Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Final Verdict

While both are good for building a strong vocabulary base, Babbel offers better opportunities to hear real-life conversational phrases. While this isn't enough to make you fluent, it's the better choice if you want to practice talking to people naturally.

Can you become fluent using Rosetta Stone? ›

You will never become fluent, by any definition, with Rosetta Stone. The content and methods simply aren't there. Your whole life. Just as with any other method.

Which language learning tool is best? ›

Our Top Picks for Best Language Learning Software for 2022
  • Duolingo – Best Free Course Software.
  • Rosetta Stone – Best Comprehensive Language Learning Software.
  • Babbel – Best for Intermediate Learners.
  • iTalki – Best for Tutoring.
  • Pimsleur – Best for Learning on the Go.
  • Sign It! ...
  • Lingoda – Best for Group Lessons.
11 Nov 2022

What is the number 1 way to learn a language? ›

Make friends with native speakers.

Native speakers are great teachers (and the best way to learn a language) because they know all the in's and out's of the language, they are experts in conversational speaking, and they can teach slang, jokes, and references that you may otherwise not be privy to.

What is the fastest proven way to learn a language? ›

The fastest way to learn a new language is a well-established language learning program and practice, practice, practice! The phrase “practice makes perfect” is particularly relevant when it comes to learning a new language.

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