Top 14 Apps to Learn French & Bonus Tips [2021]

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Learning French doesn’t have to be so challenging. If you want to learn French fast and don’t know where to begin, not to worry. We have compiled a list of the best apps to learn French for a range of budgets and schedules. These apps will help you build your French grammar and vocabulary, as well as improve your French conversational skills.

Whether you’re a beginner starting from zero or simply in need of some revision, there’s surely a French language app that will meet your goals. Let’s get started.

Why use an app to learn French?

girl studying french with apps

It complements other French learning resources: There are many ways to learn French. You may have invested in books to learn French or sat for classes with online French tutors. There are podcasts, interactive websites, and full-fledged courses. Each comes with unique benefits, and you can choose a complementary app that tackles your weakest points: French conjugations, for example.

It makes learning French fun: Many of these apps make your French language journey simply more fun! For example, Babbel is the shortest path to real-life conversations by exposing you to French dialogues, while the wildly popular italki gives you the opportunity to connect and make friends with native French speakers.

You can learn anytime and anywhere: Have 15 minutes to spare in the doctor’s waiting room? Whip out your French learning app and start your lesson. Some of these apps even have offline capabilities, allowing you to learn French without an internet connection.

What are the best apps to learn French?

As far as French learning apps go, lots of French learners love Duolingo, Babbel and Mondly. Pimsleur is a tried-and-tested, scientifically proven method to learn French. FrenchPod101 does a great job at introducing beginners to the French language, while the italki app is excellent for finding affordable French tutors online.

Ultimately, it really depends on your goals and preferences. Keep reading to learn about these apps and more.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these apps with other resources, such as books, podcasts, online courses, and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled an epic list of 50+ French learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!

Best apps to learn French for beginners

1. Babbel

Babbel is one of the most popular apps for learning languages, and its focus is to get you speaking French from the very beginning. Using real conversations about everyday topics, it is an incredible app to practice conversational French, especially if you like an approach that does not include interacting with real people at first. 

Some of the features include French grammar tips and review activities. Learning to speak French on a busy schedule is convenient with Babbel because it is organized into 10-15 minute lessons. Speech recognition technology also helps with the French pronunciation.

The first lesson is free; after that, your subscription will set you back $12.95 a month. 

2. Duolingo

Duolingo has evolved considerably since it was launched in 2011. It helps users practice pronunciation and French grammar, and it is the best way to learn French for free.

Learning French with Duolingo is a bit like playing a game. One of the latest features is being able to practice speaking French through short stories that you can unlock after finishing the first level. 

Duolingo makes a great French app for kids. You earn cool badges and rewards as you meet daily goals in the app, and it does a wonderful job at keeping learners interested and engaged throughout their journey to fluency! 

3. Pimsleur

Based on the learning method of linguistician Paul Pimsleur (1927-1976), this is the best app to learn French because it teaches French grammar… by not teaching French grammar.

I know. It sounds completely counterintuitive, but it’s true. The Pimsleur method has been scientifically proven to be effective by promoting organic learning by engaging your brain with melody, intonation, and rhythm.

New vocabulary is given within the context of a conversation for easy understanding. Testimonials from the website all claim that Pimsleur has helped them converse with proper grammatical form despite never being explicitly taught grammar. 

If you’re still skeptical, it’s worth mentioning that the Pimsleur language learning system has had a great effect on the field of language learning and teaching even today. It is undoubtedly an incredible resource for learning to speak French and acquiring French grammar without even realizing that you’ve done it! 

What are you waiting for? Try the full Pimsleur course absolutely free for seven days.

4. Memrise

Memrise is one of the best apps to learn French for anyone trying to make learning French an enjoyable experience. One of the most difficult parts of trying to learn French is acquiring vocabulary and phrases, but Memrise solves that problem by helping you speak French through mastering difficult vocabulary. 

With features like flashcards and board games vocabulary, it takes away the monotonous tone of learning French in a classroom. Memrise makes learning French fun, which makes it one of the more enjoyable French apps for kids, too! 

5. LingQ

It’s easy to like LingQ for its lessons and vocabulary building capabilities. The tools that are at your disposal are very effective for obtaining a basic understanding of French. Anyone new to learning to speak French will find it a valuable asset to have in your arsenal. 

It is a lovely French app for kids, too. Not only does it track your language learning progress and allow you to add new flashcards to a personalized deck, but it gives you an adorable avatar that you can personalize.

As you continue learning with LingQ, you earn virtual coins that you can use to buy items for your avatar. Monthly community French challenges set targets for how much reading and listening you should do in order to keep earning coins for your avatar.

Whether you’re an adult or searching for resources for a young learner, this is hands down the best app to learn French if you are looking for a personalized game to stay engaged in an incredibly fun way! On top of that, LingQ’s customer support is excellent.

6. Mondly

Mondly claims to make learning French grammar fun, even when it’s supposedly the hardest and most boring part of learning a language. Like Pimsleur, Mondly aims to teach grammar without focusing on teaching grammar. Instead, you will listen to real conversational French from real native French speakers, Mondly vows to get you to understand and learn French grammar by taking a holistic approach that examines the way that children acquire language.

Millions of people worldwide use Mondly’s innovative app to understand advanced French grammar rules without having a boring grammar lesson. With three sections of the app dedicated to short but comprehensive grammar lessons, Mondly’s exercises are designed to keep you as engaged as possible, even when tackling the pesky task of trying to understand French grammar. 

7. Rosetta Stone

Remember those old Rosetta Stone commercials in the early 2000s? Rosetta Stone is an educational software company that develops language and literacy software, and its award-winning language programs make it one of the best apps to learn French quickly. 

Rosetta Stone is the best French immersion-based app that teaches French grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, and it is hailed for its ability to help people learning to speak French retain their language skills in a shorter period of time. Be aware though – six hours of lessons will set you back $124, but it is well worth the money. 

8. FrenchPod101

A personal favorite of mine, FrenchPod101 is a listening-based app that provides fun, relevant and holistic lessons that focus on proper pronunciation, grammar and sentence structure. It also introduces you to French culture in different countries worldwide which gives you a more rounded introduction to the language as a whole.

There is also a large collection of videos and podcasts with lesson notes and transcripts that often include vocabulary lists and grammar tips. Frenchpod101 is the best app to learn French for anyone who is a total beginner to the language because it does a very comprehensive job of introducing you to conversational French.

Your subscription even includes a feature where you will get a daily email with the word of the day. This includes a list of phrases and sentences where you would see the new word. It’s also a convenient way to learn French – I often listen to podcasts while I drink my morning coffee or while I’m commuting to work. 

9. FluentU

FluentU is a wonderful immersion app. It turns music videos, news, commercials, and more into French learning experiences. By teaching common French expressions and slang, it helps you practice conversational French as if you were practicing with real people in real life. 

Worried that you wouldn’t be able to understand the videos? FluentU has got you covered; all videos have interactive subtitles to help you through the process, and you can even pause the video to find definitions and useful examples of the words you are having trouble with.

Like FrenchPod101, FluentU is an incredible way for you to have an immersive experience when you are learning to speak French. I would even argue that it’s the best app to learn French in terms of listening comprehension and becoming truly conversational in French.

Best apps to learn French grammar

10. Busuu

With an AI-powered grammar review tool, Busuu is a wonderful resource to learn French grammar. While many apps to learn French focus on vocabulary, Busuu takes an integrated approach to teaching French grammar. 

Busuu is one of the largest language learning apps currently available, and it boasts many features for learning to speak French. The study plan feature and specialized courses help anyone trying to fit learning to speak French into a busy schedule. 

11. MosaLingua

MosaLingua uses a spaced repetition system to promote long-term memorization as you learn French. With this app, you will gain access to resources that help you understand verb conjugations, as well as a comprehensive section dedicated to grammar essentials, learning tips, and thousands of flashcards with audio. This app will definitely help you acquire French vocabulary and practice your French pronunciation.

This is the best app to learn French offline. After you pay $4.99 to download the app, you enjoy all of the content without any additional charges. Bonus content as you advance helps to keep you motivated while you’re learning to speak French.

Best apps to start speaking French

12. italki

Italki is a language platform that connects language learners and teachers through video chat. It’s so easy to book a lesson that you might end up with multiple teachers – one for conversation classes, the other for reading lessons, and another for grammar drills. That’s part of what makes italki such a popular app for French learners.

On Italki, you’ll find community tutors and professional tutors. Lessons are typically conducted via Skype and they begin from $4, though most French tutors charge between $10-$20 an hour. As a new user, you’ll also get three trial lessons at reduced prices. Whatever you need help with, Italki is a fun way to learn from the native speakers themselves! Try it!

Preply and Rype are alternatives to Italki for finding French tutors online, but Italki might be the more well-known option. Read Hey Explorer’s dazzling review of Italki here.

13. Hellotalk

Hellotalk is one of the best apps to learn French for free, calling itself “The Ultimate Language Exchange.” Founded in 2017, the app helps you acquire conversational French skills by connecting you with French speakers all over the world. It creates a unique, virtual language exchange where users can teach each other their native language. 

It also helps individuals achieve fluency through a series of engaging tools, including video chat and text chat. When you’re learning to speak French, one of the hardest things to master is French pronunciation, making Hellotalk an incredible tool to have in your toolbox.

Be careful though – the app does not have a rating system for its users so it’s vital to exercise caution when using its social networking features. 

14. HiNative

HiNative is a Q&A app for people learning to speak French. Language learners can log onto the app and ask questions that are answered by native speakers, making it the best app to learn French and practice conversational French skills if you are someone who learns best in a Q&A format. 

The app has multiple features, including reading and writing assistance and audio recordings for natives to check your French pronunciation. 

Top tips for learning French

Learning a new language doesn’t have to be hard. Even if you aren’t in Paris or Quebec right now for the complete cultural immersion, don’t let that stop you from taking control of your language dreams. 

french kindle book

Here are some quick tips and tricks to keep in mind to be successful:

Invest your time into other resources like podcasts, books and online courses.

Learning French is incredibly fun and fulfilling when you are taking full advantage of your resources. Online courses such as those offered by Fluent City expose you to structured lessons, but content like French books, podcasts, Netflix shows and music videos are all enjoyable ways to practice French while doing things you enjoy.

French isn’t easy to learn, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

Anglophones like you have a relatively easy time learning French, with the average learner achieving fluency after roughly 220 hours of language practice.

Keep daily contact with the language!

If there is only one thing that you take from this article, let it be this: The best way to learn a language as quickly as possible is to have constant contact with your target language. Whether you sit down for a lesson or listen to a French podcast while you’re having your morning coffee, the most essential part of your language learning journey will be consistent exposure. 

Are you ready to start your French language journey? Toutes nos félicitations, you’ve already taken the first step by getting to know your options. Good luck, and happy learning!

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