Your Free French Starter Pack!
If you’re learning French, I’ve created a great free guide for you that gets you set and ready to go, armed with all the essential knowledge you need as you begin to learn French!
Download your free French Starter Pack by clicking the image below.
Apps to Learn French
French Conversation Dialogues
If you enjoy learning through conversations and dialogues giving you context, this is for you.
There’s 500 conversations in total available on the app, but that involve upgrading to premium.
If you want to keep things free and easy, then you’ve still got a good range of 200 free French dialogues.
Each dialogue gives you audio and a written transcript to follow along with.
If you tap around a bit, you can speed up and slow down the audio, see English and French transcripts side by side, and even copy the transcript to other apps.
That means you can print it, share it, save it…all that good stuff.
Another plus here is that you’re not plagued by robotic voices. All the audio is spoken by real people. Woohoo!
Read more and download it here:
(Brainscape) French Vocab
You may have used Brainscape before as there’s many languages and other things available to study on the app and website.
However, I’m listed it here as they have an app available uniquely for French. Handy if you’re easily distracted by other languages…!
Brainscape uses spaced-repetition (SRS) and lets you be the judge of when you want it to next ask you to review things you’ve learnt.
Take a look and download it here:
If the thought of written grammar drill exercise workbooks fills you with dread (or just boredom. Yawn) then try this.
It’s quick and simple with so many grammar exercises. Seriously. There’s a lot to keep you busy.
The lessons are ordered by level as well, so if you have an idea of where you’re at, that helps to keep things “Goldilocks” – not too hard, not too easy, just challenging enough. There’s things here for A1, A2, B1, and B2 level.
This app is completely free but there are ads. Generally, they’re not too invasive though. Less than you’d get on Duolingo.
Read more and download here:
If you want to pay for this one, you’ll unlock much more lessons. However if you’re trying to keep things free and low cost, you’ve got around 59 lessons to choose from. That’s significantly less than what’s available on French Grammar Test.
The exercises are ordered by topic first and then level within that. And as it’s not just the first lessons that are free, you’ll have to look around a bit to find the lessons that are right for you.
Although I couldn’t find the price, there are no ads. So, you know, swings and roundabouts.
Read more and download here:
If you’ve left your weighty dictionary at home and you can deal with the ads, this is a good option with a huge library of verb conjugations.
At first glance when you’ve tapped a verb from the very thorough list on the left, it seems like there’s just eight tenses conjugated.
But look below the ads and you’ll spot the option to switch between indicative, subjunctive, conditional and other. (‘Other’ shows you imperative and participles.)
Why this when WordReference has amazing verb conjugations? Because this one has audio. That’s the big advantage.
If you just need a reminder, WordReference will do the job.
However, if you’d also like to hear the conjugated verbs, this app will do that for you.
Find out more and download it here.
This app has a much simpler interface than the previous one.
It conjugates verbs, very similar. However, the difference here is that there’s no ads and you can make your own verb lists for easy access to relevant or difficult verbs for you.
Of course, no ads means they need another way to pay for it. That’s where the upgrade comes in. It’s £6.99 to unlock access to everything. That includes all tenses and 600 verbs.
If you’re sticking with the free version, you’ve only got 22 verbs to view. That makes the free version of this one great for complete beginners as it’s much less overwhelming and just shows you what you need.
There’s voices too when you tap the conjugations, but they’re a little robotic.
Read more and download it here:
Android: Looks to be unavailable on Android at present.
Va Te Faire Conjuguer
Between this and the previous three, it’s really a decision of where you’re at and what matters most to you. Or if the slightly cheeky name of this one puts you off.
This is another verb conjugation app. There’s a huge range of verbs here, despite what the small selection verbs sized by popularity on the front page might lead you to believe is a small range.
You’ve got full free conjugation, no ads, but the downside is there’s no audio.
If you’re already a WordReference user, you might not need this. I promise I’ll get to WordReference soon.
Download it here.
The apps above are French specific. In other words, they’re only for French learners.
The apps to learn French listed below are suitable for a range of languages. Many of them, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with so skip as you wish and check out the ones most interesting to you!
It’s not just Memrise’s own created French courses, which include great video soundbites for certain words and phrases. There’s a whole range of Memrise community created courses that are great for more specific vocab topics and levels.
AND, if there’s still nothing there for you, you can create your own course full of personalised stuff to learn. Yay!
If it’s your vocab that needs increasing Drops is a great choice. Even if you’re at quite a decent level in a language, some of their topic lessons have a wide enough range of vocab that you may just learn something new.
The great thing about Drops is that you can tell it to not show you words you already know. No time wasting.
uTalk has well-organised topics with similar structures for each, so you can get familiar with new words one chunk at a time.
The best thing about uTalk is their range of languages. So as well as French, you’ve got languages that live alongside it to learn the basics for too. Catalan, Haitian Creole, and Wolof to name just three.
If you’ve not yet used LingQ, be sure to check this video I made with Steve Kaufmann, the co-founder.
He explains how you can best use LingQ to learn French (and many other languages).
Beelinguapp lets you learn French (and other languages) with audiobooks and music.
You can easily read French texts alongside the English equivalent. Use it to get familiar with the written language, use it to repeat what you hear aloud and improve your pronunciation, use it as a fun way to connect beyond your textbook.
I’m a little bit obsessed with LyricsTraining!
Pick a song, pick a difficultly level, and fill in the blanks as you listen along. LyricsTraining creates cloze exercises for you using the lyrics to songs shared to the app via YouTube.
A great way to spend a few minutes that you might otherwise waste scrolling social media or the news!
The Pod/Class101 series is often an essential part of my learning process with a new language. I love how well-organised their huge library of lessons is.
There’s a selection available if you don’t subscribe, but you miss out on the full experience with transcripts and extra activities.
Don’t worry though if subscribing isn’t for you as they share a lot on their podcast feeds and YouTube channels for each language as well.
An absolute essential for French!
This is pretty much the only dictionary app you need.
Don’t know a word? Word Reference’s basic function is a dictionary.
Want to see a verb conjugated? Word Reference has full verb tables.
Not sure of that weird colloquial expression? Word Reference forums might just have the answer.
Seriously, it’s a must.
Ok, so I said Word Reference is the only dictionary app you need…but…if you want a backup, check out Linguee.
What makes Linguee special is that it shows you real examples of language in context, taken straight from the web. You can even click through to the original articles and websites.
Special (perhaps unexpected!) Mentions…
It’s not just typing “French app” in the App Store that’s going to take you to the useful stuff here. Here’s a couple of honorary mentions that aren’t strictly designed for language learners but still have a lot to offer us.
If music be the food of language learning, play on, right? Ok, so first things first, find music to listen to in French. Done. easy.
But what’s great about Spotify is that it’s not just music. There’s podcasts, there’s comedy, there’s a handful of language lessons, there’s even a small selection of audiobooks.
I’ve written about this before in lots of detail so take a read if you’re curious.
It’s not listening listening to stuff that can help, it’s watching it too. Although the range of what Netflix has to offer isn’t quite as diverse as Spotify (no language lessons…yet), it’s still worth considering.
Set up your own profile for French, find some stuff to watch, and you’re away!
If you prefer to keep your Spotify for music, check out your podcast app for a potentially wider range of podcast options.
When it comes to French, you’ve got A LOT to choose from. There’s both things made for natives and things made for learners. You get to decide.
How to Find Apps to Learn French
This is by no means an extensive list. There’s always new apps appearing and old ones disappearing. So with that in mind, I though it would be helpful to end this post walking you through what I did to find all of the apps to learn French I shared above.
I don’t have an Android device, so I’ll show you on the Apple App Store via an iPad.
1. Start Simple: “Learn French”
The best way to start looking is to type something simple and probably quite broad, such as “learn French”.
You’ll probably be shown first some popular apps that are useful to know about for many languages, such as Duolingo. Even if you switch your search slightly, things may still look kinda similar. So what next?
2. Adjust the Filters
Tap the ‘Filers’ drop down menu (the top left on an iPad screen) and adjust as needed.
If I’m looking for something I’ve not seen before, I like to first try ‘Sort By’ and then ‘Release Date’.
Now we have a whole range of newer apps that would never have made it to the top of the search if we stuck to the default search. Some maybe not directly related to learning French (WineWhisper!), but it’s no problem.
Another option is to play around with the categories as well. Switching from ‘Productivity’, to ‘Education’ to ‘Music’ displays a whole new choice of apps at the top each time.
I’ve just found an app, Univoice, to help ‘learn languages through song’ after adjusting the category filter.
So consider what you want from an app. Is it vocab, grammar, culture? Efficiency, simplicity, fun?
3. You Might Also Like…
Click through to an app you like the look of. Let’s stick with Univoice for a moment as an example.
Before quickly tapping download, scroll down to the bottom of the page. You should see a section called “You Might Also Like”.
Think of this like when Netflix keeps popping that show in your banner when you log in again, and again.
Other people that liked this app also liked these, so you might too.
Or, these apps have something in common with the app you’re looking at, so you might want to download these as well.
Open it up with ‘See All’.
Interestingly, only one of these is for French. Let’s check that one out…
As it turns out, this one doesn’t look great. BUT! Follow the same process again. At the bottom of this app page, in the ‘You Might Also Like’ section, we’ve got all French apps now!
Click around a bit, see what looks good, and download. Done!
4. Get Specific.
Once you’ve had a play around through delving deeper with your initial simple search, it’s time to get specific.
Try searching for what you actually need and will use:
Then adjust the filters and see what shows.
5. Search In The Language.
Here’s a tip to access some apps actually made in the language you’re learning, and not just for non-natives to learn it.
Try searching for some keywords in the language you’re learning, not in English (or your native language).
For example, when I search “dictionnaire français”, here’s what shows…
Compare that to when I search “French dictionary” in English…
All English results there.
Scrolling down through the first search, I found ‘Mot du jour’, an app designed for natives that could be useful for learners too…
And now following the step above of checking down to “You Might Also Like…”, here’s what I see…
Lots of choice here, and many in French. Woohoo!
6. Change The App Store Region.
Occasionally, apps are only available in certain countries (and therefore certain regional App Stores.
If you want to search for native apps, not just apps to learn French designed for learners, this can be a useful step to follow.
Don’t expect a whole different landscape though, as most apps are widely popular across borders so will be the same!
9 Reasons to Learn French
If you’ve found this post helpful and you’re after a little more French inspiration, check out the updated edition of 9 Reasons to Learn French below.
Free French Starter Pack
And once you’ve had enough of apps to learn French and are in need of some further inspiration, I’ve put together a simple free French Starter Pack for you.
This will give you inspiration for what to enjoy in French – from music to movies, as well as a solid foundation in the key grammar, vocab and pronunciation points you need to know.
Click the image below to download your copy now.
Are you learning French? Any favourite apps? Share in the comments below!
This content was originally published here.