*This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
There are hundreds of reasons why you might want to learn French. Love, adventure, curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge. Whatever your reason, you’ll be in need of the best resources to learn French.
Let’s get one thing straight: Learning French can be done on any budget, using as few or as many French learning resources as necessary. It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario, but rather something you have to tailor to your preferred learning methods.
Round-up of best resources to learn French
As you’ll soon find out, there are tons of French learning resources that all promise they’ll get you fluent in French in no time. To make things easier, I’ve curated my absolute favorites before we get into the main article.
- First, download Babbel. This fun app is a great initiation into the French language.
- Couple that with the Pimsleur audio course to build your listening and conversational skills.
- Next, grab yourself a French-speaking guru on italki, a platform that connects you to online French tutors from just $4 a lesson.
- Just for fun, check out the YouTube channel Comme une Francaise for creative ways to learn French online.
- Consider Rocket French, a comprehensive French course with 172 hours of lesson time.
With that said, let’s explore all the best options!
Best apps to learn French
If your goal is to achieve fluency, downloading some French learning apps is a great starting point. But what’s the best app to learn French? Well, that depends.
Here are just some of our favorites.
Babbel offers lots of content at a reasonable price. It’s a great introductory course to learn French in small doses each day. It delivers results quickly and effectively. A beginner’s must-have.
Another fantastic app to learn French, Mondly’s game-like interface will have you match words with images, build sentences, and reconstruct conversations in French.
With Drops, you will memorize new French words through a simple, fast-paced game on an aesthetically pleasing interface. Learning new French words has never been so easy.
With just ten minutes a day, MosaLingua will build your French vocabulary and commit them to memory. The lessons will improve your listening, reading, and pronunciation skills, and get you to conversation-level quickly.
Busuu delivers lessons that are complemented by audio or dialogues spoken by native speakers. It also teaches French grammar concepts through bite-sized lessons. Sign up for premium to unlock the review feature and bonuses.
The most enjoyable language app on the market. Get personal as you learn French with LingQ. This app equips you with a personalized and stylized approach to language learning.
Create your own flashcard deck, track your progress, and have fun dressing up your avatar as you improve!
WordDive was designed by Finnish language teachers for visual learners. If you prefer pictures over words, this is a great option. You’ll also learn to speak intuitively: there is rarely one “right” answer to questions.
This word game app is an entertaining way to test yourself. Mix up your methods and learn French the fun way by completing crosswords and word puzzles!
Best French language courses & programs
Next, courses and programs. Here’s how to get access to the depth apps can’t provide.
Get interactive audio lessons that go in-depth into French culture, and maximize your potential by learning correct French pronunciation.
Each Rocket French lesson comes in 20-minute segments, totaling up to 172 hours of lesson time for Level 1. Rocket French is excellent for beginners or intermediates. Also comes with access to their own app!
10. Rosetta Stone
You may have heard of Rosetta Stone since it’s such a giant in the language learning industry. The Rosetta Stone French course is an all-in-one software that immerses you into a French learning curriculum. It’s based on a method that works. Pricy, but worth it.
Find the latest Rosetta Stone promo.
Use Pimsleur to get fail-proof audio lessons on everything from grammar to conversational skills. Plus, Pimsleur uses technology to help you intuitively learn French, so it’s a great choice for interactive learners.
Here’s an offer for you: Try the full Pimsleur French course free for seven days!
Géraldine Lepère looks like a French Anne Hathaway, and will help you embody your own je ne sais quoi. She has a range of courses, some free and some you need to pay for.
Combine them with her popular YouTube videos and sound like a native in no time at all!
Lessons on Français Authentique are all delivered in French, so this is for intermediate to advanced French learners only. The course puts particular emphasis on improving spoken French, which is great if you’re already a confident reader, writer, or listener.
Best French language group classes
14. Fluent City
Fluent City delivers high-quality tuition catered especially to your level. Classes are delivered via Zoom and your tutor is a qualified native or fluent speaker. Receive one-on-one tuition or as part of a small group.
Lingoda takes traditional language classes and makes them digital. Classes on this online school are held via Zoom, and there’ll be a maximum of five people on the call including yourself and your tutor. As part of the French course, you also get access to all materials used during the class if you need extra practice.
Best websites to find French tutors
Even if you download all the best apps, listen to every French podcast out there, and read all the books, you might hit a dead end.
That’s when you know it’s time to step it up and get some lessons from a French tutor online. These days, you can do this without even leaving your house.
For finding a tutor you actually enjoy talking to, learning from, and at a decent hourly rate, there can only be italki.
This website and app will connect you with a tutor of your choice. Your criteria matters, and regardless of budget, level, or location, you’ll find the perfect tutor. Lessons are held digitally (Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) so convenience is a top priority.
Need more discipline and structure to help you learn French? Try Preply.
Similar to Italki, Preply hooks you up with an online tutor of your choice. The tuition you receive from Preply tutors is primarily based on specific French lessons such as grammar, rather than simply conversational skills.
18. Live Lingua
Live Lingua matches you to a fully-certified and thoroughly vetted tutor that gives lessons via Skype, Zoom, or any other platform you prefer. You can try a lesson for free, without any credit card required.
Need help tacking French grammar? Head to Wyzant to search for a tutor. You get to review the tutor’s qualifications, reviews, and rates. You will pay as you go, so there’s no need to worry about costly packages.
Total beginner? So are 85% of users who use Rype.
Rype offers one-on-one tuition online, delivered by professional teachers. Your teacher will assess your needs and tailor their lessons to suit you.
As well as French lessons for beginners, Rype caters for multiple levels of expertise, so intermediate or advanced learners can benefit too.
Best podcasts to learn French
Absorb French easily and effectively by tuning into the best French podcasts on Spotify or your podcast app.
Bonus: they’re free!
My personal favorite French podcast. Explore France without leaving your house by tuning into hosts, Marc and Pierre-Benoit’s, podcast, Coffee Break French. You’ll learn French vocabulary, cultural references and improve your listening skills!
Beginners will love these short but sweet episodes. Titles and much of the content are in English, but with interspersed French words and phrases.
Intermediate and advanced French learners, here’s a challenging but gripping podcast option for you. Fabien Sausset, a French teacher, covers everything from the clichés of Emily in Paris to the history of French-speaking cities like Québec.
24. French Blabla
Use this podcast to increase your fluency and to take a break from formal “lessons”. Each episode only lasts around five minutes, and disguises “boring” topics like grammar by making them fun and interesting.
Check out my favorite episode, Wigs (it’s all about Marie Antoinette’s unachievable hairdos).
Stay informed but learn French at the same time. Keeping up to date with news in French is a great way to expand your vocabulary and put your lessons into practice.
This podcast is a great option to fit into your ten-minute coffee break. Learn what mistakes you’re making and how to correct them, and test your knowledge.
This series had a “Grand Quiz de l’Été” which you can do by yourself or challenge a fellow French learner.
Best books to learn French
Next, it’s time to hit the French learning books. There’s nothing wrong with getting the basics from apps or podcasts, but books can teach you in the depth you need to achieve fluency.
Here are some of our favorites books to learn French.
Click here: Buy on Amazon
This book offers structured lessons in a concise, step-by-step manner. Each chapter covers a different topic and leads into the next segment logically. It’s the ultimate French book for beginners who want to practice French.
Useful tip: It also comes with a handy app to extend your studies.
Click here: Buy on Amazon
A top-notch example of a great French grammar book. It’s effective and encompasses all you need to know.
Not just for beginners, either; intermediate and advanced learners will also benefit from the grammar tables and pronunciation guides.
Click here: Buy on Amazon
Those who are great at remembering vocabulary but struggling to learn French grammar will love this French grammar guide. Recommended for intermediate to advanced learners, as the guide is in French.
Click here: Buy on French Today
Learn at your own pace by selecting a French audio guide to suit your proficiency level. Use this book in lieu of a tutor if you’re determined to learn French by self-teaching, or if you’re an auditory learner.
Click here: Buy on Amazon
Learn conversational French and get progressively more difficult lessons as you improve. Use this book for your serious study sessions (around half an hour to forty minutes) for comprehensive, cohesive lessons through stories.
Click here: Buy on Amazon
Storytelling is a creative way to rewire your brain to think in French. Listen to these well-written stories and answer the follow-up questions at the end to give yourself a challenge!
Best websites to learn French
Quit scrolling on social media for a few minutes each day and make these websites your new go-to boredom busters. These are the best free online resources to learn French for students of all levels!
33. Digital Dialects
It looks like this website popped up at the same time as Google but don’t be put off by its simplicity! These quizzes and games are fun for kids and adults alike, and can be done in a few minutes each day.
Fellow quiz-lovers will have already heard of Sporcle, but if you haven’t, here’s why it’s great. Taking these timed quizzes and puzzles will help cement key vocabulary in your head, and have fun while you learn.
35. Lawless French
This website requires you to sign up but it’s 100% free.
They post fascinating articles, writing challenges, and quizzes. It’s also seasonal so you can learn about cultural nuances in French, everything from noël to Hanoucca and much more besides.
36. Oui in France
Learning French because you want to move to France? Read this blog to find out about French culture, lifestyle quirks, and linguistic gems.
Personal favorite post: why French people don’t like to hug (and why there’s no one word for “hug”).
Best YouTube channels to learn French
Let YouTube do the talking! YouTube is a great resource for learning French. Whether you need lessons or want to hear French spoken naturally outside the context of learning, here are the best YouTube channels to learn French!
Here’s a channel every intermediate French learner should watch. Johan’s videos touch on subjects such as cultural references, idioms, and short lessons to speed up your progress.
Yeah, it’s the French Anne Hathaway lookalike, Géraldine Lepère again!
You don’t have to pay for this great content, though. She gives you 10-minute lessons on everything from common expressions, grammar breakdowns, and the history of French. I love this channel!
39. Inner French
The YouTube channel sidekick to the popular podcast, Inner French. All of us struggle with different aspects of learning French. Whether it’s grammar or pronunciation, Inner French has your back. The friendly and inviting host debunks myths, and gives you tips and tricks to overcome easily made errors.
40. PL Cloutier
French isn’t only spoken in France, so if you’re interested in learning Canadian French, here’s one for you. I’d recommend this channel to intermediate and advanced learners (he speaks incredibly fast).
However, this is a great taster channel to hear Québecois and how it differs from mainstream French.
Best FREE resources to learn French
A small budget shouldn’t, and won’t, prevent you from learning a language. It’s what you put into it that counts, so here are some of the best free resources to learn French.
Free apps to learn French:
Duolingo is a favorite for many because it’s free, and promises to teach you a language by using it for just five minutes a day. It introduces vocabulary and rudimentary grammar concepts straightforwardly.
Memrise is another great option, as they teach you French using memes (fun, but again, not as informative as you might want).
You don’t even have to post if you don’t want to, but users share interesting articles, podcast tips, and questions daily. Use it to ask advice, get your questions answered, and receive community support from fellow French learners.
HelloTalk makes finding that digital pen pal even easier. Get matched with another French learner and practice speaking French. This is an excellent service since it corrects your spelling, grammar and syntax, and you can make new friends and language exchange partners.
Free French classes:
For fun and entertaining free French classes online, check out The French Experiment. This website caters to beginners and is a great starting point if money’s tight.
46. BBC French
BBC French is another great resource for people starting out learning French – there are grammar exercises, audio lessons, and much more completely free.
Free French books:
47. Local libraries
Buying your own copy is obviously great for the long haul, but some grammar books and vocabulary builders might be available at your local library. Some libraries even offer rented PDF versions that can be delivered to your tablet.
Best tv shows and movies on Netflix to teach you French
Finally, on the subject of staying motivated, here are some French movies and tv shows to watch if you’re running out of steam. Though they might not technically count as French learning resources… watching Netflix does count as learning, as long as it isn’t the only way you try to learn.
Plus, you’ll hear tons of slang and phrases you won’t get from books. Enjoy!
49. Les Aventures des Tintin
A classic and personal favorite of mine. I was really surprised to learn that Tintin uses the “vous” form even when talking to criminals! I guess he’s just polite to everyone.
50. Night on Earth
If you have a passion for animals, Night on Earth is available with French audio in some countries. Learn what creatures are called en Francais and cozy up with earth’s nocturnal wanderers.
51. Nailed It! France
Don’t even ask how I ended up binge-watching this, but I was somehow hooked from the trailer. It’s trash tv, but the best kind. It’s a baking show that follows some less than awesome bakers. Cake and laughs, need I say more?
52. The Hook Up Plan
You can tell by the title that this is a slightly cheesy rom com tv series, but I laughed so hard when watching this. One of the characters has a guinea pig called Moules-Frites. Hilarious. Awesome for the days you feel like taking a break from your studies.
The best way to learn French online
Everyone online claims they’re able to teach you the fastest way to learn French. But in all honesty, it all comes down to you. Your goals, personality, time scale, etc. I studied French for five years during middle and high school, but if I could relearn it using methods I know work better for me today I would do it in a heartbeat.
Here are my top five tips for learning French quickly and effectively.
Mix up your methods
Don’t assume that because you’re an auditory learner, audiobooks and podcasts are your limit. This list of French learning resources is a great place to diversify your methods. Sit in on a few classes and give every method a go.
Then you’ll know for sure what works.
Get a study buddy
You need to practice talking to someone in French at least weekly. Daily if possible. Tell them when you want to be corrected/interrupted. Don’t get embarrassed if that’s all the time.
Set achievable goals
I knew what I had to learn to pass my exams, but after that, I had no idea what to do to advance my French. I set a goal of being able to read one of my favorite books by the end of the year. It was tough, but rewarding.
Try to think in French, not English
This is very valuable advice. Instead of trying to translate your native language to French, try to make sentences from the words you already know. This will build up over time as you learn vocabulary, and you’ll learn much faster because of it.
Incorporate your French lessons into your day, especially things you enjoy. I love walking, so I listen to podcasts at the same time. You’re more likely to complete lessons if you enjoy what you’re doing instead of dreading them!
I also changed the language on my video games to help me learn French. This was especially helpful playing Sims. If you’re a gamer, try it!
I hope this guide has been useful to my fellow French learners out there. Remember, we never stop learning and improving, so share this guide to help someone out!
If you’ve got more French resources we haven’t discovered yet, let us know in the comments. Bonne chance!