There are numerous methods and apps for learning French, but not all of them are suitable for every individual or learning style. It’s critical to use the best app for you in order to stay motivated and consistent while learning a language.
Can you learn French with an app?
Yes and no.
There is no single book, course, or app that can provide you with everything you need to learn a language.
So, while you can learn French with an app, it won’t be the only thing you need to become fluent in French.
In the end, the best way to learn a language is to interact with it, so while an app is a great place to start, don’t expect it to be the only tool you’ll need.
Why learn French with an app?
Apps are a great way to start your language learning journey for several reasons:
The process has been fine-tuned in most apps to make it as simple and enjoyable as possible while covering some of the most important topics.
Each app takes a different approach, but regardless of which app you use, you will learn French.
A low entry fee
One of the most appealing aspects of learning through an app is how simple it is to get started.
Most apps are either free or offer a free trial, so you can always try them out to see if they’re right for you.
Though learning through an app may appear to be simple, most apps employ a large team of linguists and language learners who ensure that the content you are learning is actually useful.
Though some of the phrases may appear strange, they have been considered by others.
The randomness of some sentences can help you think more deeply about what you’re saying rather than writing on autopilot.
What to Consider When Choosing a French Learning App
Shopping for an app is not much different from shopping for a car or a coffee machine. There are just so many options in the market that you’re bound to get confused and annoyed if you start looking without first having an idea of what you’re looking for.
That’s why it’s so important to consider your budget, level, and priorities before you go app hunting. Consider these factors:
Usability: Check out the app reviews to see if the program’s a joy or a pain to use. Some apps are also available offline if that’s something you need.
Learning actively: A French language app shouldn’t be just a dead and dull translation tool. A good learning app, regardless of its key learning goals, should encourage you to think. This could be in the form of games, or simple question-and-answer.
Levels: Preferably, you should be able to choose settings that correspond to your own level. This helps to keep your learning structured, prevents you from getting overwhelmed (or underwhelmed), and inspires you to improve.
The best app for learning french in 2021
Duolingo is probably the best app to learn French iOS and Android. It uses a game-like format to deliver bite-sized lessons to learn vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, writing, pronunciation and listening.
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20 best apps for learning french in 2021
- 500 French Conversations
- Mango Languages
- Rosetta Stone
- Français Authentique (Authentic French)
- Pro Language’s French English Translator
On iOS and Android, Duolingo is one of the best apps to learn French. It employs a game-like format to teach vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, writing, pronunciation and listening in bite-sized chunks. For beginners who want to learn French, Duolingo is a highly recommended app.
For good reason, Duolingo is the highest-rated French learning app on the Apple App Store. The free version is simple to use and comes in a variety of languages. The animated user interface and multi-level reward system make learning more fun, much like playing a game seem more fun than attending a French class.
One of our favorite learning tools in this program is the Duolingo stories. These short stories are a good way to advance your reading comprehension and add to your French vocabulary once you finish the beginner modules since the vocabulary is at intermediate and advanced levels.
FluentU is a one-of-a-kind app that immerses you in authentic French no matter where you are.
It transforms real-world videos into personalized language learning lessons, such as music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks.
Scripted content is used on other websites. FluentU takes a natural approach to learn French, allowing you to gradually integrate the language and culture. You’ll learn French the way it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary you’re learning as you study and uses that data to provide you with a completely personalized experience.
“What’s so special about French flashcards?” you might wonder at first. But, believe me when I say that these flashcards are unique.
To begin, each flashcard includes native French audio, allowing you to hear how a French word or phrase is pronounced in order to improve your accent.
Second, these flashcards are fully contextualized. They don’t just give you a list of French words and translations. For relevance, they include words that are incomplete sentences.
Further, each flashcard comes with in-depth explanations of grammar points, so you’re learning new words and how to fit them into your existing French at the same time.
Add in a Spaced Repetition System that uses your brain’s memory patterns to present learned words for regular review, and this flashcard app definitely offers more than meets the eye.
You may recognize TV5Monde if you’re familiar with French media. It’s a native French television channel that broadcasts TV shows and news in France and around the world.
TV5Monde offers a well-rounded French learning app that allows you to learn the language completely from native French speakers using its video library.
The app has four levels of French starting at the Common European Framework of Reference for Language’s A1 level (complete beginner) up to B2 (high intermediate). Each level has dozens of videos featuring native French audio on an array of topics such as everyday life, news stories, history, cooking, and fashion.
Each video comes with complete subtitles in French and transcriptions to follow along. This transcript also comes with a translate feature, allowing you to translate from French to English or to another supported native language such as German, Arabic, Korean or Vietnamese.
Tandem has been described as the “Tinder of Language-learning Apps,” but don’t let that label make you think that people on the app aren’t taking learning seriously. It is a French conversation app that allows you to practice French with native speakers and to build meaningful, long-term language-learning partnerships (“tandems”) with people all over the world.
The premise is simple: Tandem acts as a matchmaker service for finding language partners. Simply fill out your profile (a picture of you and a short description of your goals is often enough) and scroll through the scores of other profiles of people with similar language aspirations as you!
In an ideal situation, you’ll find a native French speaker, and you’ll spend time practicing French in exchange for letting that person practice English (or another language you speak!) with you.
Learners have the option of conversing through the in-app messaging functionality or taking their exchange off-app and using an audio or video calling service such as Skype or Hangouts.
500 French Conversations
The basic premise of this app is simple and quite self-evident: 500 French Conversations is an app that offers 500 authentic French conversations.
The conversations are short and to the point, and they’re perfect for beginners and intermediate learners looking for speaking and listening practice.
The conversations themselves cover topics such as school, work, and daily life, but with a library of 500 conversations, there’s no topic out of reach. They are in no particular order, so you don’t need to complete preceding conversations to skip ahead and unlock the conversation you actually want to study.
The script for each conversation is available in French and in English, and after listening, learners can practice with useful fill-in-the-blank exercises to test their listening and speaking skills. 500 French Conversations would be a great addition to a French-speaking app like Tandem.
MindSnacks is a beautifully designed iOS app for French learners. Even though the app is geared toward students, I suspect you’ll find the iOS French app to be highly enjoyable in helping you learn new French words.
Widely acclaimed for its game-oriented approach to learning and revising words, MindSnacks helps you learn new words through nine games. The app is divided up into different units of vocabulary like food, jobs, and transport. For each vocabulary set, you can use these games to help learn and strengthen new words.
In one game, a word flashes on the screen, and you have to match it to the drawing. Get as many correct as you can every round for high scores. In another game, a bunch of French words and English words appear as balloons. Your challenge is to match as many pairs as possible.
MosaLingua is a platform that’s a good blend between an interactive French app and an audio phrasebook.
What makes MosaLingua unique is its use of the Spaced Repetition System (SRS) when presenting new words. Basically, SRS is a way to calculate when words should be presented for you to revise just before they’re about to be forgotten. That way, in the long term, the words you learn will stick with you a lot longer.
With over 14 categories and 100 sub-categories, all with conversations and audio files to boot, and covering over 3,000 phrases in its audio phrasebook, MosaLingua is designed to help you absorb all this material in the shortest possible time.
Mondly is a pretty well-rounded app for learners who want to get a broad introduction to the French language. While Mondly is a little lacking on the grammar end of things, it’s definitely good at effectively teaching new and useful vocabulary for French learners.
Mondly claims to have 1000s of lessons to help you learn all the French you need for conversations with French native speakers. It hosts lessons based on topics such as food and drink, school, and travel, and within each lesson, learners do a variety of activities to learn the words and phrases that go with each topic.
Such activities include matching, fill-in-the-blanks, and sentence building. Repetition really is key here, and you get loads of it with Mondly!
But Mondly doesn’t use simple flashcard-based activities: you can practice using actual French with a real French speaker. A French chatbot, that is!
Surprisingly—or not—the idea behind this app is actually in its name! Learners quite literally master the French language one drop at a time.
Each drop is a word or a short phrase, and learners practice this word or phrase’s meaning and its usage by dragging it around the screen in various activities. These activities can be picture matching, true or false, and word and sentence building.
This app is so gamified that it’s easy to forget that each drop is growing your bucket of French fluency.
Drops focus on practical vocabulary and don’t weigh the learner down with tedious grammar rules and explanations. The vocabulary revolves around words and phrases that are most useful to the learner at the beginner and intermediate stages of learning: food, shopping, transportation, and many others.
Mango Languages French is one of the best all-around apps for learning basic French. And best of all, Mango Languages is free with certain library memberships in Canada and the United States. Simply log into your local library and see if your library has a partnership with the app.
The primary Mango Languages French course has four units with five lessons in each. Each lesson revolves around a written and spoken French conversation. The subsequent activities include dissecting the grammar and vocabulary used in the dialogue through a flashcard-based approach.
In addition to its basic course, the Mango Languages French app allows you to record your own French audio to accompany each French word and phrase. This is great for comparing your recordings to native French speech and practicing the accurate pronunciation of French words and phrases.
It’s almost impossible to mention language learning without mentioning Rosetta Stone.
One of the oldest and most popular learning methodologies around, it’s now available as a mobile app.
Without going into the gory details, Rosetta Stone sets itself apart from many other language methodologies by offering a completely immersive experience. From the very beginning, it teaches French purely through French—there’s not a word in English inside the course.
By doing this, it simulates the environment that it believes is most conducive to learning a new language—when we were young children learning to speak our mother tongues.
Even though it can seem alien at first, by linking concepts and objects directly to French words (instead of their English equivalents), Rosetta Stone is a method that has great long-term benefits.
You’ll be taken through a well-sequenced program where you’ll be exposed to words, sentences, and phrases that build on top of what you’ve already learned.
If you’re a stone-cold beginner in French, and you’re looking for a French iOS / Android app that allows you to learn French in a pure way, Rosetta Stone might be what you’re looking for.
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One of the most innovative free apps for learning French words I’ve seen in a long time, Memrise is an excellent choice for your learning needs if you’re struggling to remember French words after a while.
Since a recent update, Memrise includes community-created as well as professionally-created courses. Their staple French courses, for example, have been created by French teaching professionals.
This means that the French flashcard decks focus on the most useful French words for their level, and they include video and audio clips of native French speech.
In addition to these are the community-created French courses. These are created by everyday learners or amateur French teachers, but they are packed with useful French words and phrases.
While they may be missing video and audio (or both), these are fantastic for picking up where the professionally-made courses leave off. Further, because they’re created by the community, they are constantly evolving with new content being added daily.
Français Authentique (Authentic French)
This app is based on the successful Français Authentique YouTube channel. As of January 2022, Français Authentique’s YouTube channel has over one million subscribers, and its host, Johan, has helped countless people improve their French through his French vlogs and podcasts.
Français Authentique’s YouTube channel is completely in French, and as such, the app is also completely in French. This includes the actual in-app audio and video content as well as the descriptions and supporting materials. Because of this, this app is recommended for those who have at least a solid basis in French such as high beginners and intermediate learners.
The audio and video content revolves around podcasts produced in slow, clear French. Podcast topics include common French vocabulary and grammar topics, lifestyle vlogs, and Johan’s interest in self-improvement and productivity.
The concept behind LingQ is two-sided.
On the first side is French content you love and want to learn from. This makes a world of difference when you’re trying to learn French. On LingQ, you can find written and audio content on virtually any topic from history to travel to culture to classic French literature.
Simply browse LingQ’s ever-growing library of content, choose a lesson that speaks to you at your French level and dive in.
The second side of LingQ is its fully interactive reading interface. Each word in LingQ is clickable, and you get an instant translation of the French word into English. Better yet, you can turn every unknown French word into a flashcard, or a “LingQ,” as it’s called in the program.
With these LingQs, you can review them using the Spaced Repetition System and make them into known words, effectively transferring them into your long-term memory.
Frantastique isn’t your typical swipe-and-click app: It’s actually a fully functional platform for well-rounded French lessons delivered daily to your phone.
Each day, a new Frantastique French lesson arrives on your device. The lessons seem a little out-of-this-world, and I don’t only say that because of their value. The lessons actually revolve around stories about aliens!
In fact, these cute aliens take us through various aspects of French culture from Edith Piaf to Victor Hugo, and they teach us loads of French along the way.
After listening to and reading a short scene about the aliens’ adventures in French, learners study various aspects of the French language presented in the aliens’ scene. Oftentimes, learners practice newly introduced vocabulary and grammar structures, and there are plenty of practice exercises for reinforcement.
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Busuu French is a very different app than what you’re used to. Like all other apps, there’s a learning component, but what makes it really unique is that, unlike other apps that are geared towards personal use, it has an active community of users to help you practice speaking French.
The Busuu app is also based on the CEFR, so its material is highly certifiable. In each lesson, you’re typically taken through key vocabulary, the dialogue, a writing exercise, a practice speaking session with native speakers, a dialogue recording, and a lesson review to close things up.
Similar to Open Languages, it’s very comprehensive in the topics it covers, and the exercises are designed around speaking, writing, and listening.
SpeakEasy is actually a phrasebook app available for iOS and Android you can take with you on the go.
Armed with native speaker recordings, you can be sure that you can get the whole experience when traveling to a French country. So when you find yourself in situations where you have to speak French, you have these recordings to fall back on.
Some cool features of SpeakEasy are the slow playback feature and flashcards. This way, you’re really armed with everything you need to succeed with learning and practicing new French phrases!
Pro Language’s French English Translator
Pro Language’s French English Translator is a translation app that supports both French and English input. Whether you want to translate a single word or you want to copy and paste a full text from your device’s clipboard, the app offers an accurate translation from either English to French or French to English.
In addition to its written-input functionality, the app also supports speech input. Simply say the French or English you want to translate and get an instant translation into the other language. Do you want to actually hear how the French sounds?
Well, lucky for you, Pro Language’s French English Translator also includes text-to-speech technology.
Beelinguapp gives you access to a bunch of stories and books that are in both French and English. You can read the two versions side-by-side, which will help you follow along more easily in the French version.
You can also listen to audiobooks, the news, and even songs on Beelinguapp. Everything available has a transcript to follow along with, and you’ll learn a lot of new words and phrases quickly.
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FAQs on The Best App For Learning French In 2022
What’s the best app to learn French?
The best app to learn French overall is Duolingo. It uses a game-like format to deliver bite-sized lessons to learn vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, writing, pronunciation, and listening
Can I learn French by myself at home?
It’s definitely possible to learn French at home, but you will need to study consistently and find ways to practice your communication skills.
How fast can you become fluent in French?
To become completely fluent in French, most people need to study consistently for at least a year.
Is French hard to learn?
If English is your native language, French is not too hard to learn when compared with other languages like Arabic or Mandarin Chinese.
Is it possible to learn French with French movies?
It’s possible to learn some French with French Dramas. It helps you become familiar with commonly used words, making them easier to remember.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced French learner, learning French online through apps is a fantastic tool.
Naturally, each app is created with a slightly different goal in mind. As a result, not every app will be suitable for you. But, hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of the best French learning apps for both iOS and Android devices.