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The Best French Lessons

Who Offers the Best French Lessons?

When we think of someone speaking French, we think soothing and seductive, as it's simply dreamy to hear. We think of the romance of Paris with the Eiffel Tower, of Southern France with the rolling lavender fields, of the Alps with the snow-capped mountains, of the coast with the warm sandy beaches. And of course there's the decadent French food and wine.

Learning French allows you to more fully enjoy French culture. When you learn French, it opens the door to learning phrases that the French speakers use in conversation, manners and mannerisms, how the French live and interact in everyday situations, and perhaps gaining an appreciation and insight into their art and history. There are so many doors to be unlocked once you take the first step.

Sunday, March 3rd

2024 French Lesson Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Busuu Review 5 Star Rating

Busuu

5 Star Rating
  • Placement testing
  • Writing and speaking work corrected by native speakers
  • Social component to connect with others
  • Personalized language goals
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Busuu is an excellent online French lesson program where you can receive personalized instruction based on your personal goals. You can also choose whether you want to focus on speaking or writing, or both. It's great to know you can make "friends'' on Busuu, where you can check each other's work done in your own native language, rather than relying on a bot to give you feedback. The only challenge is finding out the price once you're on the site, but fortunately we've done that legwork for you.

Where should you start?

Start with the placement test, especially if you've already had some French classes. Busuu will then provide personalized lessons just for you. The placement test is well-designed because a nationally-known testing company created it. The level you're placed at will coordinate with CEFR, the European determiner of level of fluency.

Personalized lessons

Why do you want to learn French? Perhaps you want to travel, your profession requires it, or maybe you've had some French and want to improve your pronunciation. Whatever your reason, let Busuu know. Then tell them how much time you plan to commit to learning French, and Busuu will create a curriculum and time line with your needs in mind. Since adding to your routine can be challenging, Busuu can remind you of when your lesson will start.

Hey, we actually say it like this

You know how sometimes a phrase in a textbook isn't what's said in a real conversation? For example, rather than saying "How is it going?" we might actually say, "How's it goin'?" Busuu does some of that for you in French, so you can sound more like a local.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Busuu offers 2 plans to choose from: Busuu Basic, and Busuu Premium.

  • Busuu Basic
    • Free
  • Busuu Premium
    • 1 month for $13.95
    • 6 months for $50.70 ($8.45 per month)
    • 12 months for $83.40 ($6.95 per month)

You'll do okay with the Basic plan

Free is nice, and with the free Busuu basic plan, you have access to goal setting, vocabulary, writing, reading, and interactive quizzes. You can still have fun bonuses like earning prizes, which are actually Busuu "berries" - and they're motivating. You can trade in the berries for fun "purchases." You can also have Busuu "friends" to compete with and motivate each other to complete lessons or reach fluency goals. With the free plan, however, you can access only some parts of the lesson, so you may be missing important grammar lessons.

You'll get complete access with the Premium plan

When you purchase a Busuu plan, rather than using their free one, you get access to all that the Basic plan has to offer, plus access to the grammar lessons. You'll get all of the lessons, you can use the Smart Review to practice with the mistakes you've made, you can get faster feedback from the Busuu French community, and access even more courses such as pronunciation, travel, and more.

Best French Lessons

Student discount

There's a student discount of 20% when you verify your student status with Busuu.

Canceling your subscription isn't easy

There are different ways to cancel your subscription depending on which platform you enrolled: website, App Store, or Google Play, and whether or not you used PayPal. There's a 14-day money-back guarantee, and that only applies to your initial purchase. You cannot receive a refund once your subscription automatically renews. This could cause a huge issue for you if you got a longer subscription such as a year. We'd suggest trying the free version for a good while until you get a feel for it, or try the one-month subscription until you're really sure.

You play hide and seek to find the refund and cancellation policies

When you're on the site, it's quite a challenge to find the differences between the Busuu basic and Premium levels, and also to find the cancellation policy. Make you know exactly how to cancel or get the refund before you sign up for the subscription.

They've got the whole package

Busuu offers a lot for free in their online lessons, plus so much more with the reasonably-priced Premium subscription. Not only do you have a personalized curriculum, but you can get feedback on your speaking and writing from native French speakers. The unique social component lets you make "friends" on Busuu, where you can communicate in French with other students or native French speakers. Just be sure to check the cancellation and refund policies before you commit to any of the subscription packages. Still, that shouldn't stop you from trying Busuu - it's our #1 choice among providers of French lessons today.

Rosetta Stone Review 4.5 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

4.5 Star Rating
  • Three-day free trial period
  • Program remembers where you left off
  • Speech-recognition feature
  • Full immersion method

Rosetta Stone is one of the most well-known names when it comes to language learning. Founded in 1992, they have helped thousands of people learn to read, write, and speak in more than 30 different languages.

Immerse yourself

Rosetta Stone uses the highly acclaimed immersive method to teach you French. Within the first lesson you should be able to converse a little. You'll read and hear a French word, phrase, or sentence, and choose the photo that fits best. Soon you'll speak a sentence and the voice-recognition program will let you know which parts of your sentence are correct and which you'll need to practice a bit more. In recent years, Rosetta Stone has added short, On-Demand videos to explain the culture of France, and you can even jump in on live lessons or get a private tutor.

All in French

How did you learn your first language? You didn't learn through flashcards and grammar explanations, but we'll bet you're pretty good at it now. Rosetta Stone figures that if this method is good enough in learning one's first language, and it works worldwide, it can work with a second or third language. And they're right. Many of us hear of immersion in language classes, and we shy away. But why? It is a tried and true method, and thousands of Rosetta Stone fans will attest to that.

Some English might help

Those who are fans of Rosetta Stone don't mind that there's no English. Many, however, wish there would be just some English to help understand the complexity of the French pronouns or conjugations. Having that bit of explanation here and there can be quick and satisfying rather than the user relying on their own instincts to answer their own questions (and maybe perpetuating errors when there's something they think they've understood... but actually didn't).

Rosetta Stone's answer? Be patient

Still, Rosetta Stone realizes that being in an "I-want-my-answer-now" society, a little patience goes a long way. If you just accept it and continue with the lessons, things might just fall into place.

Best French Lessons

Feedback on your spoken French

There's a speech-recognition feature called TruAccent, where when you speak French, the program will let you know if you could be understood. They'll tell you which part of what you said should be understood by a native French speaker and which parts you'll want to practice pronouncing.

Pick up where you left off

You don't need to remember which lesson you were on or where you left off in a certain section. Rosetta Stone remembers it, whether you were learning online or with the app, and even if you switch platforms, Rosetta Stone won't miss a beat for next time.

Extended Learning resource

Sometimes there are cultural or other topics that don't necessarily fit into the lesson themes. These are gathered into the Extended Learning section so you can opt to learn even more.

On-Demand videos

There are short videos that help us understand the culture of France. For example, when entering a French restaurant, how do you know if you should wait to be seated or seat yourself? How do you ask for the bill? How much should one tip? These are all great questions, and there are On-Demand videos to tell you about those and other cultural tidbits so you don't make any faux pas.

Extras

In addition to the On-Demand videos, Rosetta Stone offers phrasebooks to help your pronunciation with common phrases, stories to improve your reading skills, and an Audio Companion to help you listen to and understand native French speakers.

Best French Lessons

Live lessons and tutoring

Rosetta Stone may have been around for more than 30 years, but ooh, la la, they have changed with the times. Not only do they continue to offer great lessons with a tried and true methodology, they've really stepped up their game. Now you have the option to jump in on live lessons. There's a guide that lets you know when there's an upcoming lesson and what the topic is. If you want a little extra help, you can even get your own tutor.

Costs

Here's what you can expect to pay for Rosetta Stone:

  • 3 months for $35.97 ($11.99 per month)
  • 12 months for $167.76 ($7.99 per month)
  • Lifetime for $199

The lifetime subscription is the best deal

If you choose the Lifetime plan, you have access to not only French lessons, but also lessons in all 25 Rosetta Stone languages

30-day satisfaction guarantee

You've got a three-day free trial of Rosetta Stone French. After you've chosen a paid plan, if you're not satisfied, let Rosetta Stone know within the first 30 days and they will refund your money in full.

They're still the gold standard... for less than the price of gold

Rosetta Stone has had the highest reputation for decades, but the price has also been quite steep. Along with the innovations they've added to their repertoire, they've also lowered their prices, making it easier to afford. We do realize that some learners just have a hard time learning a language without any English explanations and that Rosetta Stone still might not fit a few budgets, so be sure to try it out before you sign up for a subscription. Otherwise, jump right into Rosetta Stone's French lessons and get started.

Babbel Review 4.5 Star Rating

Babbel

4.5 Star Rating
  • Placement quiz
  • Speech recognition
  • Free trial
  • Continual review to improve long-term learning

Babbel knows that learning French takes practice and repetition. With several lessons at the beginner and intermediate levels, all including review of the previously-taught material, you have plenty of opportunity to improve your language ability here.

Start out running

Babbel starts out right away with conversational phrases so you can meet people when you travel, and their speech recognition technology gives you feedback to see if you would be understood. The lessons are created by linguists and are in accordance with the official European levels of fluency markers. If you don't care to learn on your own with the online program, there's Babbel Live where you can take live classes, as many as you like, within your subscription time period.

Your first lesson includes French you can use in conversation

You'll start out with French phrases that are usable conversationally. This can give you a boost of confidence and motivation to want to speak right away. Some popular online French programs may never get to actual conversational phrases, and instead you'll talk about what the boy eats or where the girl goes. Not with Babbel.

You'll learn from linguists

Babbel's courses are prepared by linguists and the levels you reach are the levels that European students use when advancing in their language courses. You know that your European level A1 actually means something rather than simply moving from one random lesson to another. Babbel's goal is to get you to move higher on the European fluency scale.

You can know where to start, even if you've had French lessons in the past

Take their placement quiz to show what you've remembered from your previous classes, and they'll place you in your appropriate level. Would you rather just start from the beginning? Sure, you can do that, too.

How it works

Your Babbel lesson presents the material, and then you'll practice it with fill-in-the-blank activities, match words and images, and you can repeat spoken words into your mic and get feedback on your pronunciation. The added bonus is that there's a review bar at the bottom of the page so you can practice vocabulary that you have learned in previous lessons to make sure you haven't forgotten it.

Best French Lessons

It recognizes your voice

Do you ever wonder if you'll be understood by a native speaker once you start speaking French? Babbel can help with that when you connect your microphone. Babbel's speech recognition technology listens to your voice and compares it to their native French speaker so you can have instant feedback. It's not perfect, and most speech-recognition isn't, but it is good.

It's great for beginners or intermediate French learners, but not if you're advanced

There are several lessons to help the beginning French learner, and many others in the intermediate level. Once you get to an advanced level of French, you'll want to choose one of our other highly recommended online French programs to hone your skills as Babbel probably won't get you there.

Spaced recognition really helps

Babbel has a key method for retaining what you've learned, known as spaced recognition. This is where you'll learn words and phrases, practice them, and move on to the next lesson. In that following lesson, they'll sneak in those previously-learned words so you can commit them deeper to memory. It's a style that language teachers use in the classroom - under a few different names - and they find it quite helpful for their students' progress.

Babbel uses an appropriate amount of English

When you want to know why you'd greet an adult differently than you'd greet a child, Babbel explains that to you. They're careful to overtly explain why certain words and phrases are used in different situations rather than have you stop and deduce it on your own. In this method, it's a better use of your time to just get an answer to your question "why" rather than wonder and maybe you'll figure it out in time. Because Babbel will use English to help you learn, you'll get the answers you need.

They remind you to take your lessons

Habits can be hard to start, and our busy lives can get in the way. Babbel recognizes this and offers you push notifications to take your lessons. You tell them if you want notifications daily or otherwise, and when you want to learn - perhaps first thing in the morning, during a lunch break, or maybe just before you retire to bed. Let Babbel help you find and keep the rhythm.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Here are the current prices for Babbel as of the time of our review:

  • Babbel Traditional
    • 6 months for $89.70 ($14.95 per month)
    • 12 months for $179.40 ($14.95 per month)
    • Lifetime access for $239
  • Babbel Live
    • 1 month for $99
    • 3 months for $209 ($70 per month)
    • 6 months for $359 ($60 per month)
    • 12 months for $500 ($50 per month)

Free trial

Once you sign up for Babbel, free of charge, you can try the first lesson in each course at no cost. This is a good way to find out what you'll learn at each level as well as a bit of a taste for Babbel, and that's the point. You'll have enough access for that taste, but not to really have free lessons and learn a significant amount of French, and still be encouraged to make a purchase.

Try Babbel Live for something different

Babbel Live consists of real, live classes via video chat. The room will have six or fewer students and you can take as many classes as you like in a month. These classes can also start at the beginning level (A1), and they will continue through an advanced level (C1). These level designations are official European fluency levels, where you know exactly what you'll be able to do at each level - they are not random company-based designations. Enjoy the class in French, take notes, review material, and don't worry about homework or tests, as there aren't any. When you sign up for Babbel Live, you'll also have access to their app and online material in the traditional Babbel format. Students of Babbel Live must be 16 or older.

There's a money-back guarantee

Babbel has a 20-day money-back guarantee that starts the day you sign up. Be sure to contact customer service within that time period to receive your full refund if Babbel's not for you.

Babbel keeps you interested while you learn real, conversational French

From the get-go, you'll learn useful, conversational phrases with Babbel. The lessons aren't random, as they coordinate with the official European fluency levels. There's always an opportunity to review as you learn and move forward with your skills. The speech recognition software gives you confidence to know if you'd be understood by a French person, and if you want actual, live classes, try Babbel Live. Babbel is great for all of these reasons. Our only wish is that they would carry their French lessons into the highest fluency levels for those who are pretty fluent and want to hone their skills.

Italki Review 4.5 Star Rating

Italki

4.5 Star Rating
  • One-on-one live lessons
  • More than 1,000 French teachers to choose from
  • Convenient booking system
  • Affordable

Italki started out in 2006 as a social network for language exchange. A couple years later they created an environment where students could pay teachers online for language lessons. They've continued to grow, and now offer over 150 languages from 20,000 teachers available from anywhere in the world.

Easy to start

Signing up with Italki is so much easier - and cheaper - then flying to France so you can learn French from a real French-speaking person. You don't have to sign up for a long-term plan and you don't have an auto-renewing subscription. This is so simple, it feels like it should be harder. What it's not is an online set of French courses where you'll use cute flashcards to learn vocabulary and play matching games to see if you have retained the material. There are no prizes or clapping kitties when you pass a level. There's no set progression from beginning French lessons to advanced lessons in a set curriculum. And that's okay. If you would like that, and there's nothing wrong with that, you can find an excellent online French learning program from our list. And then, you can use italki to practice what you've learned in a real conversational setting.

Italki itself is a facilitator

Sometimes you just want the human factor when learning something. Maybe you've taken online classes where you have spoken in the mic and you listen to yourself. In that situation, no one gives you feedback so you know if you can carry on a conversation. What you'd want instead is italki. Italki is a facilitator to connect you with a real, live person to help you with your French. You decide what you want to learn and they'll teach it to you. Or if you're already taking a course and want a tutor, get one from italki.

No long-term subscriptions to sign up for

With italki, you select your teacher and then sign up for a lesson in their available time slot. That's it. Sign up for as many or as few sessions as you need, and sign up whenever you want. You're not paying italki on a monthly plan or a yearly subscription - you're making an appointment with a tutor like you would any other professional.

Choose a teacher

Go on the italki website and click on French. You'll see a ton of teachers to choose from. From their bio you can see what their native languages are, how much French they know, how other students have rated them, and more. You would let them know your needs: if you need help with your current French class, if you want to practice speaking French with someone, or if you want to learn French for business or travel. There are so many French speakers to choose from; you can stick with one or switch it up to hear a different accent or learn from someone new.

Two types of teachers

First, there are actual teachers. They have a degree in education or a teaching certificate, and these teachers can charge more as they are qualified in this area. The other type of teacher is a community tutor. They tend to be less expensive and wouldn't have the credentials. All of that said, not all actual teachers may teach the way you want to learn; and on the other hand, there may be community tutors that are very good at teaching. The community tutors can tend to try really hard as their pay starts out less and they want to earn higher pay with more fabulous reviews. See what - or who - is best for you.

Best French Lessons

Language partners

This is a unique, free feature where you can find someone to speak French with, and they'll want to speak English with you. This is like meeting a new friend - it is not a format for classes or lessons, though. Wouldn't you like to chat with a native French speaker? Well, they would like to talk with you, too. Share time speaking each language, and maybe an online friendship could occur.

Easy to schedule a session

After you've selected a tutor, italki shows you the available times for lessons. If you like the tutor but they don't seem to be available when you are, you can message them if they could meet you when you are available - the worst they can say is no, right?.

There's no set curriculum

Italki doesn't offer courses. It offers French speakers to help you. Many of them have taught French courses before, so you can ask if they are willing and able to teach you beginning French, or French for business, or help you do well on your high school French AP exam, or if they have courses they could teach you. Whatever your French language needs, there should definitely be someone to help you. If you just want to learn French, though, and there's no consistency in curricula from one teacher to another, what do you do? Well, let's find out.

So what can they teach you?

That depends on the teacher. Click on a teacher. Watch their video where they describe how they teach. Read about them as a teacher and their teaching style. Under their teaching style, they might list the resources they have available, such as flashcards, text documents, presentation slides, and homework. Feel free to message them to tell them what you want to learn and see if they are willing and able to help you meet your goals. If so, see if their price works with your budget and give it a go.

You can even do a combination

Maybe you want a set curriculum from an online French course, so italki isn't for you. Well, we have several highly rated online French programs for you to choose from. Learn and practice with that French program, and when you want someone to converse with as a change of pace, sign up with someone from italki and improve your conversational skills. Or get personal help from an italki teacher if you're stuck in a lesson. There's so much you can do and learn when talking with a French-speaking person, and italki is where you'll find them.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Italki prices are pretty straightforward:

  • From $5 per hour to $30 per hour
  • Discounted prices on three trial lessons

Trial lessons

Italki allows you three trial lessons at a reduced price to check out the program and try a few teachers. They're not free because there's an actual person helping you and they should receive at least some pay for their time.

Refund policy

All payments are final, and remember, the person you're working with deserves to be paid for their time. That said, you can receive either a refund or credit toward another class if you have canceled a class in time, your teacher has canceled a class, or if you have reported a problem with the session.

Italki is ideal for improving French conversational skills

It's fun to learn a language, but there's nothing like the thrill of speaking it and having someone actually understand you. It brings your lessons alive and opens up your world. With italki you have more than 1,000 French teachers who can teach you exactly what you want to learn, or you can choose people to converse with so you can become proficient and confident in your French speaking skills.

For what it is, it's fabulous

In our normal world, it's not easy finding someone to practice French with. In an italki world, it's easy as pie. Sign up to improve your conversational skills or for lessons. Improve your conversation and improve your French accent. Because the teachers may or may not be consistent with each other, you may have to work with a few different people until you get someone that can meet your educational needs. Some have curricula that can work with you, some don't. Or if instead you choose to sign up for a traditional online course that we can recommend for you, use italki teachers for tutoring and actual French conversation. Either way, italki has a lot to offer that you simply won't find anywhere else.

Memrise Review 4.5 Star Rating

Memrise

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free and low-cost options
  • Video clips of native French speakers in authentic situations
  • User-created materials in addition to Memrise content
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Memrise is a relatively new addition to French lesson options, and we love it. Their flashcard concept is unique, the short dialogs are also pretty novel, and the combination will keep you coming back for more.

Look forward to the next lesson

That's what you want, right? You want to look forward to the next lesson, the next level, and keep improving your French. You'll have confidence in understanding people in the real world because you're already understanding several people in the videos. It's great for beginners and intermediate-level learners. Just keep in mind that once you become advanced in French, you'll want to look at our other highly-recommended French online lessons to keep progressing.

They get you from hello

Rather than working through a boring, old textbook or following a set curriculum that may or may not interest you, try Memrise. You'll learn French based on your interests. Take the intro lesson of greetings. There's a quick video of a native French speaker saying hello, and you see the French spelling as well as the English. Not understanding the French word? Choose the speaker icon and hear at least two other people saying it. Then, mark the vocabulary word as "known" or "unknown" to indicate if you need more practice on it or leave it alone. When you need that additional practice, it's not the same person's video that presents the word "bonjour," for example - they choose different people each time so that your brain doesn't associate a certain person or accent with the word "hello" .

It's interesting and organic

Memrise wants your lessons to be interesting to you, so you will choose your own lessons based on categories such as activities, health, relationships, shopping, social life, work, education, health, and more. When you learn a new vocabulary word or phrase, you'll hear a native French speaker in an authentic setting. Although it's just for a second or so, you get a taste of talking to a real French person. There are longer video clips of native French speaking people in natural settings. It's much better than looking at a photo of something or even a drawing or cartoon. And the videoed people talk to you at conversational speed. Want to break it down? Click on the speaker to hear a slower version with different speakers.

Best French Lessons

If you like flashcards, you'll get plenty

Memrise is exactly that - memorize. You'll memorize flashcards and vocabulary words and phrases. When you click to tell them you're done with the lesson, you'll practice with flashcards. Much of what Memrise has to offer is flashcards.

Fun video clips

When you've mastered all the words, watch short videos that have almost a TikTok flair. They're entertaining, sometimes cheesy, but they hold your attention. You may hear quite a few words that are new to you, but that's okay. Pause the video, slow it down, or choose English subtitles. Want a challenge? Speed it up to twice the speed or choose no subtitles. Play around with it and have fun while you build your French skills.

There's even interactive writing practice

You and the bot will have a conversation. They say something and you respond either in French or English. If you reply in English, they put your French translation near what you said. You can even ask for hints when you're writing your answer. It's pretty interactive and gives a decent amount of feedback.

What they have is phenomenal, we just want more

The flashcard concept Memrise uses is phenomenal. The videos put the vocab into context and make it interesting. If that's enough for you, that's great. If you want to talk and have feedback with speech-recognition technology, it's not here. If you want writing practice, there's not much here, either.

Best French Lessons

Costs

The cost for Memrise is very affordable:

  • Limited access for Free
  • Monthly $8.49
  • Annual $29.99 ($2.50 per month)
  • Lifetime $119.99

30-day money-back guarantee

You may be inclined to stick with the free plan, because who doesn't like free? There are plenty of lessons and practice for free but there's so much more with Memrise Pro. If you select the monthly option, though, you don't have the money-back guarantee; just be sure to not let it auto-renew. When you choose the annual or lifetime Pro options, you have 30 days to cancel.

This is not your mother's French class

It may seem like it when you hear that it's flashcard-based, but oh, there's so much more, and even in how they present their flashcards. Their flashcards are real people speaking your vocabulary word or phrase. Want to hear it again? Choose at least two more speakers to hear how they would say it. To hear the words in context, watch their TikTok-like short videos. Some may be silly, but at least they are entertaining. Practice your writing and even get some feedback. It's fun, easy, and reasonably priced. We do love Memrise; we would suggest, however, that they add actual speech-recognition and more writing practice to jump into a five-star rating.

Mondly Review 4 Star Rating

Mondly

4 Star Rating
  • Gamified learning
  • AR and VR apps make learning fun
  • Speech-recognition technology
  • Reasonably priced

Not everything has to be so serious, and that includes learning languages. Mondly does the serious job of using neural science with language learning and you get to benefit from that while you use your VR and interact with a bot.

Time flies learning with this program

Time will fly by as you learn helpful French words and phrases. But wait, there's more. When you practice your speaking and writing, you actually get helpful feedback with your responses. If you've ever tried getting feedback with other programs, you know this is rare. We love Mondly and wish they would continue into advanced levels so all French learners can have fun while increasing their language skills.

AR and VR? You have our attention

The lessons with Mondly are gamified, using AR and VR apps. You can have some serious fun while learning French or any other of Mondly's 40 languages. They are the first and as far as we know, the only platform to use AR and VR in language learning. Put on that Oculus and have fun - oh, yeah, and learn, too. Create an avatar who will be your teacher. This avatar presents the lesson, listens to your spoken answer, and guides you to the correct response.

Actual corrections to your writing

In practicing writing, when you write a whole sentence, other programs might just tell you "right" or "wrong" regardless if you have one error or twenty, and that's just not feedback. Mondly gets it. If you were to answer the question about if it's sunny, answer by telling what the actual weather is and it will recognize it and correct what you actually wrote. If you were to answer with a current sports score, it would let you know that you didn't answer the question. If you've ever taken an online course or practiced writing with a program, you'll realize how huge and rare this is and what a relief it is.

Amazing speech-recognition technology

Have a conversation with a bot. The Mondly bot actually can understand your spoken answer. Not only that, but you don't have to give only one specific answer in order to be correct. When they ask your favorite color, for example, they remind you of a few answers you could give, such as yellow, blue, or green. When we gave a full sentence answer (not requested, and not in the format of the question), it let us know that it understood that we preferred red and that it was an acceptable answer. This pretty much blew us away.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Here's what you can expect to pay for the Mondly program:

  • One month for $9.99
  • 12 months for $47.99 ($4.00 per month)
  • Lifetime access for $89.99
  • Optional Mondly Kids

The subscription gets you so much more

With the free access to Mondly, you have French lessons to choose from, but there are so many more lessons with the paid subscription. With the taste of what you get for free, you're going to want to be hooked on what you could get with paid access.

The price is reasonable

Try out the monthly plan if you're not quite committed to learning French. If you really want to learn and improve, try the yearly plan at only $4 per month - it's one of the cheapest out there. If you do get hooked and want to learn more languages, they have the lifetime option and that opens up 41 languages for you to learn and practice with your bot.

Learn French with explanations or translations in other languages

What if English isn't your first language or your most comfortable language? Mondly, as a Romanian company, recognizes that not everyone has English as their first language, so they have many others as their teaching base. Thank you, Mondly.

Best French Lessons

There's a kid-friendly version

AR and VR are for kids, too, right? Let them get hooked on learning French with this method. Sign up for Mondly Kids and the whole family can learn and converse in French.

It's not all fun and games - or is it?

The bots and virtual reality are great for being entertained and keeping you motivated, but that's not all. The methods Mondly uses to teach you, including how they review words and phrases periodically, use neural science for the best language acquisition and retention.

What if you're a grammar nerd?

There are helpful pop-ups for grammar help, but if you're looking for lengthy, textbook-type explanations for things such as French tenses and pronouns, you won't find them. But maybe Mondly could still be good for you as you ease your grip on the perceived need for detailed explanations. If you try it, you might like it.

A superior product for the early learners

Mondly has it all: the latest technology, neural science behind its teaching techniques, motivation, and a price that's easy on the wallet. If you're a beginner, intermediate, or a kid, definitely give Mondly a try. If you're beyond that with your French, Mondly probably can't help you, though we hope that eventually they expand their library to that level because we genuinely love this format of taking French lessons.

Rocket Languages Review 4 Star Rating

Rocket Languages

4 Star Rating
  • Free access to some lessons
  • Pay once for lifetime access per level: no auto-renewing subscription
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
  • Accurate speech-recognition software

Rocket Languages had its inception back in 2004, when the founders looked for a way to better improve learning French. Since then, Rocket has grown into a global leader in online language learning, offering programs in 14 different languages with over 2 million members.

Using tech to test your speech

When you think of learning French, you might think of the beautiful way it's spoken. Well, that's what you get each time you start a lesson with Rocket Languages. You hear an audio segment, similar to a podcast. Then you get to speak and the technology does a pretty good job of recognizing what you say and how well you said it. It's great to know if you'll be understood. You'll get grammar, vocabulary, and culture lessons, as well as plenty of practice. It's great for beginner and intermediate learners but doesn't advance much past that. Pay once per course for lifetime access rather than a monthly subscription.

It's based on audio

When you learn a lesson, you start out with audio that's like a podcast and you'll see English and French subtitles to help you understand. You can slow down or speed up the French. Next, you'll have a chance to practice speaking.

Speech-recognition technology

After you hear a dialog, you can play the part of one of the characters. When it's your turn to speak, click on the microphone to talk. You'll see what you said written down. The green letters or words are what you've said that's correct and the red are mistakes. You'll also get a percentage correct so you'll know if you'll be understood in a real situation. This speech-recognition program is a pretty good one and quite rare in online language programs.

Best French Lessons

After the lesson dialog, there's instruction, practice, and more

You'll get a full lesson, including a breakdown of the vocabulary and grammar or structure. After the lesson and practice, including pronunciation practice and flashcard exercises, you can take a quiz to see how well you've learned the material, helping you decide if you want more practice or move on to the next lesson.

Costs

Here's the pricing breakdown for Rocket's 3 language levels:

  • Level 1: $59.98
  • Levels 1 & 2: $119.96
  • Levels 1, 2, & 3: $179.94

Free trial lessons

With Rocket's free access, you can use a few lessons at each level. It's nice to try out, but we don't think it's enough to really get the hang of having a French conversation. It really is more like a free trial to see if you feel comfortable with Rocket Languages before you invest in the course.

Best French Lessons

Pay per level

The fee to use Rocket Languages is straightforward: you pay per level. Pay for whichever class or classes you want to take. We didn't notice significant savings when you get packages that bundle levels. If you'd prefer, there's a payment plan where you pay every six months for a year.

You get quite a bit with Level 1

You'll have 138 hours of lesson time including audio, language, and culture lessons: 29 practice conversations, 3,636 voice-recognition phrases, and a "survival kit" of additional words and phrases. There is about the same amount of material in Lessons 2 and 3. Oftentimes the higher levels get cut short with material, but that's not the case with Rocket Languages' French lessons.

60-day money-back guarantee, but only when paid in full

If you're not satisfied with Rocket Languages' program, email them within 60 days. You must include the receipt number that's on the receipt emailed to you when you signed up. Don't delete that email. Processing can take up to two days and the refund up to five days before you see it on your statement. Be aware: if you choose the payment plan option, you will not receive your first payment back; you will only have that future second payment canceled.

It's a really good program

Rocket Languages can help you learn French in a podcast-type format, and right away you're speaking French where a program recognizes your voice and speech and lets you know what it understood. It's not perfect, and that can be frustrating, but it can be motivation to work harder. There are activities to practice and even assessments to check your progress, and it's great for beginners and some intermediate learners. Be patient with the repetition of the activities, it's how you learn. There's no annoying auto-renewing subscriptions here, but there is a one-time course fee which isn't cheap. We still encourage you to try Rocket's limited, free access and start hearing and speaking French right away.

French Pod 101 Review 4 Star Rating

French Pod 101

4 Star Rating
  • Option for free, limited lifetime access
  • Lots of audio recordings
  • Opportunity to slow down recordings
  • Choose a lesson path or choose randomly

French Pod 101 is a podcast format. There are a plethora of audio and video at every level, from beginner to approaching advanced. If you want to hear French, this is the program for you.

Not your traditional language learning course

They also offer a free, lifetime subscription where you can see videos and get some key vocabulary, and that may be enough. There's even an option for a real person to teach you one-on-one and offer you personal feedback on your speaking and writing. However, if you're looking for something that looks more like traditional courses with a plethora of guided practice and feedback, French Pod 101 might not be it.

Think podcast with French Pod 101

With about 2,000 audio and video lessons, you have so many to listen to and you can hear various accents. It's not like, for example, you only listen to a Parisian accent and then can't understand someone from different areas of France or even Quebec. French Pod 101 sets you up for success with a variety of French speakers.

Whoa, slow down that French

When you've listened to French before, does it sound overwhelming? What's phenomenal, and actually unusual, is that you can slow down the audio with French Pod 101 so you have a much better chance at understanding the speaker. Listen as slowly as you need, and build up speed in time when you're more confident. Especially for French, this is a great feature.

So many videos that the quality can differ

Some audio and videos have excellent quality and you may like the delivery. You may find some with questionable quality, some with the old slideshow format, and you will find some with very good quality. Just be aware that the quality can differ. In addition, the videos are created by different people, so they lack uniformity - which can actually be a good thing.

Best French Lessons

Several plans to consider

Here's what you get:

  • Free access. You'll get more than 50 sets of phrases, the first three lessons in each Pathway, the French Word of the Day, more than 100 vocabulary lists, and a 7-day trial of the Premium subscription.
  • Basic. You'll get everything that's included for free, access to all lessons, plus in-depth lesson notes.
  • Premium. You'll get everything included in Basic, plus line-by-line audio dialog, personal word bank, spaced-recognition flashcards, your personal word bank, premium lesson tracks, and multiple-choice assessments.
  • Premium PLUS. You'll get everything included in Premium, plus 1-on-1 access to a teacher, guided and personalized assessment, and hand-graded assessments.

Yes, they explain how French works, too

There is a ton of audio and video on French Pod 101 so you get to listen, but how will you know how the French language works? There are explanations and lesson notes so you can learn the grammar and why they say things a certain way.

But do you really need grammar?

French Pod 101 has grammar explanations with the higher subscription levels. Since some of us feel that we need grammar explanations, they do offer it. However, French Pod 101's approach is that we can learn through context; therefore, grammar lessons may not be necessary. Choose your own approach and subscribe accordingly.

It's not just audio

Of course, speaking and understanding is important. But French Pod 101 hasn't forgotten that you may want to read it, write it, learn grammar, and learn culture, too. You can have access to those lessons and practice when you get a paid subscription.

Choose your Pathway

Choose your own Pathway so you get the French topic you need. If you want to travel, choose a travel Pathway. If your job is directing you to French, choose a business Pathway. Discover the Pathways for your French learning needs, interests, and motivation.

Best French Lessons

French Pod 101 has improved

If you have tried this program in the past, you may have found the lessons to be a bit, well, haphazard: random audio and video to pick and choose individually. However, with the creation of Pathways, French Pod 101 has sorted their material and created a sequence. If you are looking for this structure, it's a huge improvement. If you would rather pick and choose as you could before, this option is still available.

There's plenty of practice and reinforcement

You'll have word lists, slide shows, and flash cards to break down the material and offer you practice.

Stay focused with your dashboard

Whether you choose Pathways or random lessons, take a glance at your dashboard from time to time. It will show your progress in your French-learning journey. You'll see not only your progress but also your recommended lesson list. You will need at least the basic subscription to see your dashboard.

Costs

Here's pricing for the different levels of French Pod 101:

  • Introductory: Free access
  • Basic: $4 per month for a 24-month subscription
  • Premium: $6 per month for a 24-month subscription
  • Premium PLUS: $13.73 per month for a 24-month subscription

Great for beginners and intermediates, not for advanced French learners

If you're an advanced learner and you want to immerse yourself in French podcasts as a refresher, try French Pod 101 for a while. If you want to delve deep into the advanced grammar and practice, you should try another of our highly-recommended online French programs.

Best French Lessons

The price is reasonable

When you compare subscription prices, French Pod 101 has one of the cheapest per-month subscriptions. You will have to make a two-year commitment, but per month it's a great deal.

Money-back guarantee

If you're not happy with French Pod 101, you can get your money back by simply emailing them within 60 days of signing up. There will be no questions asked.

Great if you want to dabble

With French Pod 101, you can choose a somewhat-structured pathway, or you can randomly choose lessons or videos. This is why it's good for dabbling. If you want more guidance, more practice, actual feedback, more encouragement and motivation, more of a set curriculum, take a peek at some of the other highly-recommended French lessons options we've evaluated.

Pimsleur Review 3.5 Star Rating

Pimsleur

3.5 Star Rating
  • Daily audio lessons
  • Good for on-the-go learning
  • Learn French in 30 minutes a day
  • Created by a linguistics professor

Think about it: in real life, when you want to converse with a person in French, would you study flashcards first? Would you want to know the vocabulary list and memorize the words first? No, and a linguistics professor - Dr. Paul Pimsleur - knows that, creating the Pimsleur method where you listen to French right away in each lesson you take. After the lesson, you can practice speaking, reading, and writing to fortify your new knowledge. Learn French in 30 minutes each day.

Learn for long-term retention

How many times have you heard people say that they took four years of high school French and they don't remember a thing? Does it make you nervous that if you take French lessons now, you won't remember them long-term either? Well, the Pimsleur method is designed to help you retain French words and phrases for a long time. They use graduated interval recall so that with each lesson you'll learn new words and have them pop up again and again so you commit them to memory.

Listen and learn

What makes Pimsleur unique is that they don't start out by having you study random flashcards. Each lesson starts out with you hearing French. You'll hear the phrases they want you to learn and you'll hear them over and over so that you catch on and they become a part of what you know. Hearing French in context and then working with it is a nice change. It's actually how you learned as a child. Did your parents test you on flashcards first thing each day? Or, did they talk to you for a long time before they expected you to talk... or read... or write? Yes, they did, and Pimsleur does too, to a point. It's a good method.

Created by a linguistics professor

Dr. Paul Pimsleur, a researcher and linguistics professor at Ohio State University and UCLA, discovered that language acquisition occurs naturally when we hear the language over and over, in everyday context. Then you interact with what you're exposed to so you can speak it, then read it and write it.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Here's what you can expect to pay for the different Pimsleur programs

  • Free 7-day trial period, but only when you purchase a subscription
  • Premium: $14.95 per month
  • All-access: $20.95 per month

The audio lessons go in order of difficulty

In order to make the Pimsleur method work, the lessons should go in order of difficulty, and they do. The downside to that, if you will, is that some people want to pick and choose their lessons in order of themes that interest them. Yes, you could stay more interested, but it's harder to build on and repeat those phrases for increased memory. Pimsleur's method works when you give it the chance. It might seem slow going at first due to repetition, but you should find out later that it's needed to have a good basis to build on.

It works easily with your schedule

Pimsleur's on-the-go method of listening to audio lessons is especially helpful if you want to learn French on the go, while cleaning the house, cooking dinner, commuting, or waiting in the doctor's office. If you're at home and moving about, try the speaking practice activities. If you're not driving and can sit for a bit, choose to do the writing or reading activities.

You get what you pay for, so we suggest going higher than the basic level

With the basic-level access, you can listen to lessons and definitely learn some French. There's more to learning a language, though. You might want to purchase a subscription package so you can use flashcards, get pronunciation practice, or test yourself with flashcards.

Best French Lessons

So what do you get?

What you get with each subscription package:

  • Audio only. You can listen to any of the audio classes and aren't restricted from any.
  • Premium. You'll get audio and reading lessons, get some practice games, save vocabulary words so you can review them later if you want, and get access to extra vocabulary.
  • All-access. You get everything from the Premium level plus have access to all 51 languages. Maybe once you get started with French, you might want to brush up on a language you've already studied, or add another one to your repertoire.

You only get a free trial when you pay for a subscription

If you want to dabble and see if Pimsleur's right for you, you can't just get free access like you can with most rival French programs. You have to literally give your payment information in order to have a seven-day trial. For us that's a no-go. With so many programs out there that let you test drive before you commit, even with Pimsleur's seven days to change your mind, this policy doesn't sit well with us. Be sure to cancel before the 7 days if you don't want your card to be charged. This offer is only given to new customers; if you've tried Pimsleur before, even with a different language, you don't get this free trial. We even clicked on "see full terms" to make sure we were understanding properly, but we got caught in a loop and never got to the full terms.

Best for overview of the language and getting a handle on it

Pimsleur has an excellent teaching method of listening to input. Listen to the lessons and the French dialogs. Learn some good, applicable vocabulary, and practice it. If you already know a lot of French and want to get even more fluent, Pimsleur's probably not for you, and unfortunately there aren't too many competitor programs out there for you either. We do have some we can recommend, so check our list. However, if you want to get a good grasp of French and are patient with the repetition, you can try the Pimsleur method.

Ouino Review 3.5 Star Rating

Ouino

3.5 Star Rating
  • More than 450 French lessons
  • More than 1,300 exercises
  • Limited free version
  • Take lessons in the order you like

If you want all the nuts and bolts to learning French, such as vocabulary and grammar lessons, lots of flashcard practice, listening to dialogs, writing and speaking practice, it's there with Ouino. But just like actual nuts and bolts, unless you want to delve into the workings of French with these lessons, it's just not much fun. Ouino is pretty old-school in its methodology - which works for some learners but not for others.

Study lessons that you want to study

If you've taken language lessons in a formal setting such as a classroom, there's a syllabus and the material goes in a certain order, whether you want to study a certain unit or not. Ouino, however, lets you choose the lessons you want to study in the order you want to study them. If you want to take a look back at what you've done and how well, choose the "progress and achievements" tool.

There's not much for free

Ouino offers quite a bit with their paid memberships. There's not enough in their free lessons to learn much. But just like test-driving a car, it's enough to give you a feel for how Ouino works. If you still need more experience to decide if you like it, you can purchase a membership and be sure to decide before the 30-day period ends.

Membership choices

There are 2 memberships available with Ouino:

  • Limited membership
    • 30-day satisfaction guarantee
    • 450+ lessons
    • 1,300+ exercises
    • No ads
    • Multiple devices and cloud sync
  • Lifetime membership adds:
    • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
    • Personal language mentoring
    • Free lifetime upgrades

You help your own pronunciation

There's a voice-recognition program, which means that Ouino will record your voice and you can hear the playback. In the context of the lesson, you will listen to your own voice next to that of the native speaker; then you judge yourself and can re-record if you want to try for improvement. Ouino doesn't have the capabilities to understand your voice and give feedback, where other online courses we've recommended can.

Best French Lessons

Costs

What can you expect to pay for Ouino? Here's the pricing for their plans:

  • 3 months for $38.97 ($12.99 per month)
  • 6 months for $59.94 ($9.99 per month)
  • 12-months for $83.88 ($6.99 per month)
  • Lifetime access for a one-time payment of $95.76

30- or 60-day money-back guarantee

Contact Ouino within 30 days, or 60 days with a lifetime membership, and Ouino will refund your payment, no questions asked.

Grammar lessons

There are building blocks where Ouino teaches you grammar and other French language structures. You'll hear the explanation, see sample sentences in blue where the grammar or structure is in red. They'll show you several samples to help and to build your confidence before you begin the exercises. The explanations are in English.

Practice

You can practice writing or speaking activities to test your knowledge, even if you haven't watched the grammar or vocab lessons. Maybe use these as a pre-test as well as a post-learning test. Once you complete the written activity, you might choose to practice again the words you missed the first time. Continue this as many times as you need to feel comfortable with these words.

Best French Lessons

Dialogs or conversations

You'll hear dialogs, or "conversations" as Ouino calls them. As they speak, you'll see both the French and the English written out for you. You can then practice the phrases. They'll say a phrase based on what you've learned and you choose the correct indication of what they've said.

There's even more practice, if you like

In the section of "extra language practice," you can choose more listening, speaking, reading, writing, and memory - AKA flashcards - exercises.

It falls short

With Ouino, you have what you need to learn French. There are vocabulary and grammar lessons, dialogs to listen to, enough practice to improve all your skills, and a reasonable price. It's just not enough. The audio technology basically does what your device does: records your voice. It's up to you to compare it and judge it next to that of a native speaker. The lessons are good, but frankly, we got a little bored. When it comes to learning a new skill and being motivated to keep up with the lessons, Ouino just falls behind some of today's more novel French lesson platforms.

Fluenz Review 3 Star Rating

Fluenz

3 Star Rating
  • Hundreds of video-explanations for English-speakers
  • Instructions spoken by a real person
  • Pay per class, not per month
  • Homeschool options

When you're learning a new language, you want to know how it relates to English, and that's natural. Not only does Fluenz give you explanations in English, you can watch an actual person via recorded video explain the concept to you.

No free lessons

There are flashcards and other activities for you to practice the language, and you can go to your dashboard called "my data" to see details of your progress. You won't get much feedback on your writing sample, though - you're either 100% right or 100% wrong, as the software can't give you any more help than that. If you want to try out Fluenz' French lessons, there's no trial period and no free lessons. You'll have to purchase a course and use the 30-day money-back period instead.

You'll learn from a real person

Rather than learn how French works from a written description or practicing flashcards and figuring out the language, you'll watch videos of a real person explaining the French concept to you. You can watch it once or rewatch if you need more time for it to sink in.

They want you to be fluent

First, you'll watch a video of the person explaining how French works. You'll practice with their "workout" or exercises and utilize their flashcards.

Five levels of French for greater fluency

In Fluenz' first level, you'll be taught enough French to build a communicative base, working toward better fluency. You'll prepare to go out for meals and other entertainment, navigate basic travel situations, make travel arrangements, and shop. In the higher levels, you'll prepare to interact socially with friends, plan trips, schedule meetings, handle financial and legal matters, discuss professional and cultural topics, and use French idioms and colloquialisms to express yourself more naturally in French.

Best French Lessons

Fluenz' key is fluency, not advanced grammar

Even in their Level 5 class, you'll only form and use the imperfect (past) tense, use possessive pronouns, and work on prepositions. You won't get further than the past tense. That said, you will get some subjunctive in Level 4 and some conditional in Level 3. But if you're looking for advanced grammar, that doesn't seem to be the focus of Fluenz.

Purchase the course you want: there's no subscription

With Fluenz, you purchase the course or courses you're interested in. You don't have to have a subscription plan that automatically renews whether or not you keep up with your lessons. It's also nice to know that with Fluenz, even if you have to stop using the course for a while, it's still yours to keep so you can pick up your lessons when you're ready.

Practice with Workouts

Fluenz calls their practice exercises Workouts. Listen to dialogs, with or without English subtitles. These are the words or phrases that will occur quite often in your exercises to improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Between the activities, you'll see a video where they'll break down the meaning of these words and phrases and how they're actually used.

Perfection, please

When you write sentences during your Workouts, you can know if you are correct or not, but it's all or nothing. If you have a small mistake, the whole thing is just wrong. They don't tell you how many errors you made or where they are. This is really frustrating. We wish they would update this technology, as it's out there.

Look at your data

There's a section called "my data" and you can see how well you're doing, how many times you try before you have gotten answers correct, and how much time you have spent on each lesson. This might motivate you to compete with yourself to improve your percentages.

Best French Lessons

Costs

Fluenz offers a variety of pricing plans for their program:

  • Fluenz French 1 or 2: $187
  • Fluenz French 1 + 2: $258
  • Fluenz French 1 + 2 + 3: $308
  • Fluenz French 3 + 4 + 5: $320
  • Fluenz French 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5: $398
  • Homeschool Basic Fluenz French 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5: $433
  • Homeschool Pro Fluenz French 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5: $568

No free trial, not even a sample

If you're interested in Fluenz, you'll need to jump in. If you need an out, you'll have to utilize their satisfaction guarantee.

30-day money-back guarantee

You have 30 days from when you purchase your course or courses to decide if you like Fluenz or not.

It's a good idea, but it needs to improve

The two main priorities of Fluenz seem to be fluency and video-recorded instruction by a live person. It really is nice to receive instruction from someone explaining the concept to you. It's also great to be able to rewatch all of it or sections that take you longer to grasp, and it's fabulous to have the focus on fluency. However, there's more to language acquisition than that. If you want to have the opportunity to learn and practice more complex grammar, Fluenz doesn't offer it. There's also no placement test - you'll have to guess where to start if you already know some French.

It lacks too much

If you're a beginner learning French, Fluenz could be good for you. They put you in conversational situations and they explain the workings of French in English. You can even watch a person explain French to you, much like in a classroom setting. But, given that there's no placement test, no choice of learning and practicing advanced grammar, terrible feedback on your writing, and no free trial or sample lessons, we just can't rate Fluenz higher.

Unforgettable Languages Review 3 Star Rating

Unforgettable Languages

3 Star Rating
  • Uses English word association
  • About six new words per lesson
  • Levels 1-4 contain 1200 vocabulary words
  • 15 languages to choose from

If learning languages has been really hard for you because you just can't memorize the words or there are too many at once to retain, try Unforgettable Languages. If you have dyslexia or learn slowly, Unforgettable Languages might be your key. Word association is used to link the new, French word to a silly English word or phrase so the French sticks in your long-term memory. Unforgettable Languages teaches to the population that needs that boost to catch on.

Word association

Relating a new French word to an image that uses English words or phrases is known as word association. Unforgettable Languages calls their application of this "Linkword" . They link the French to a silly, cartoon scene to make learning easy and fun. For example, le lapin is French for rabbit. Imagine a rabbit lapping at a bowl of water.

Great if you have dyslexia or if you learn slowly

One study looked at students who had particular difficulties learning a second language. They saw that it was because they had a hard time remembering the unique sounds. The Linkword method, or word association, works directly with this issue. Linkword was tried at two schools with a high percentage of dyslexic students and as they called them, "poor learners." After taking languages with this method, many students' grades went up 38%. Note that this may have not been an independent study.

It gets pretty silly

Some words might seem pretty relative such as le lapin with lapping water. Some are a bit far fetched such as le chou/cabbage, imagining a cabbage growing out of a shoe. For some, this word association is a far reach; but if you love it, you may have found the learning link you need in Unforgettable Languages.

Does it work or is it a bit much?

That's exactly it. We all learn differently. If you have had trouble learning French or other languages in any of the traditional ways and want to give up, don't. Maybe Unforgettable Languages has the key to unlock the door for you to learn and retain French.

Best French Lessons

Try out the demo

There's a quick demo where they teach you a few words, either with just audio or with the cartoon images. If you find this absurd or overwhelming, this method isn't for you. If you find it funny, silly, or just the ticket to the French-learning train, hop aboard.

Costs

There are different price points for the Unforgettable Languages program:

  • $24.99 for Levels 1-4 (using software)
  • $24.99 Levels 1-4 (for MP3 audio)
  • $54.99 for 15 courses (PC & Mac software, apps for limited devices)
  • $54.99 for 14 courses (MP3) (excludes Polish)
  • $64.99 for 15 courses plus e-books

The lessons are quite reasonable in price

Four extensive levels of French for $24.99 is almost unheard of. It's hard to go wrong, as long as the demo of this unique learning style has you motivated. And for just about double the price you can learn up to 15 languages.

No subscription

Pay once with Unforgettable Languages. If you don't have the time to take lessons every day, you may not want the monthly subscriptions that many other online language classes require. Pay the one-time fee here and learn at your own pace.

Best French Lessons

60-day money-back guarantee

You have 60 days from the date of purchase to try out the product. If you're not happy, Unforgettable Languages will provide a full refund as long as it's requested within those 60 days.

Difficulty contacting them?

From what our research shows, there are a few 1-star ratings for Unforgettable Languages, and that has to do with their customer service. When people have called as well as emailed regarding the return policy or letting them know the program had a flaw, no one at customer service answered.

If you have difficulty learning, you're not lost or forgotten

Especially if you have trouble learning a second language or learning in general, this just might be the method for you. Relating the French word to a silly image might be what you need, and it might actually make learning fun. Unforgettable Languages' French lessons are also inexpensive. You can get all four levels for less than $25. If you're a traditional learner, this method probably isn't for you - and we have plenty of other French courses we can recommend. But for those who feel forgotten, try the demo, and give Unforgettable Languages a chance.

LingQ Review 2.5 Star Rating

LingQ

2.5 Star Rating
  • Authentic text
  • Ability to upload your own content
  • Content at different learning levels
  • Vocabulary lists that you create

If you've ever taken language lessons for a significant period of time, but can't read news articles or understand what's on TV, try LingQ. It was created by Steve Kaufmann whose motto with LingQ is, "Learn Languages from Content You Love."

Focus on authentic language

The focus is authentic French language input combined with comprehensible input, which is material you can comprehend without understanding each and every word. If you think about it, it's how we understand complicated reading material or informational videos in our own language: we might not comprehend each word, but we get what they're saying. The idea is to immerse yourself in authentic language, and it will sink in. Don't worry, there's also a vocabulary list and exercises to help you along.

Authentic material

Authentic material is something written or spoken whose intended audience is a native speaker. Examples are news videos or articles, blogs, podcasts, stories, anything a French speaker might read or hear on a daily basis. And all or most of the text and audio with LingQ are done by native French speakers.

If they talk too fast, slow it down

Yes, you can slow down the audio so you can understand better. Wouldn't that be great to do in real life? Well, you can practice by first slowing down LingQ's audio and gradually speeding up when you are more comfortable. The goal is to get immersed in French you're comfortable listening to and gearing up toward normal speech speed.

The content is categorized

The content on LingQ is placed in one of six learning levels, from beginner to advanced. They're also in topic categories, such as travel, politics, lifestyle, entertainment, news, and more. Each lesson has a percentage that indicates what percentage of the words are unknown. Decide if you're ready for a challenge or you want to feel confident without a lot of work.

Best French Lessons

Costs

LinQ offers a variety of subscription plans for their paid programs. All subscriptions are automatically renewing.

  • LingQ Premium
    • One month for $12.99
    • 6 months for $71.94 ($11.99 per month)
    • 12 months for $107.88 ($8.99 per month)
    • 24 months for $191.76 ($7.99 per month)
  • LingQ Premium Plus
    • One month for $39.99
    • 6 months for $233.94 ($38.99 per month)
    • 12 months for $431.88 ($35.99 per month)
    • 24 months for $839.76 ($34.99 per month)

Add your own content

If you have French text, audio, or video that you'd like to work on, just upload it. If you can find it, whether podcasts, articles, emails, e-books, YouTube videos, and more, you should be able to upload it and learn from it. This way your content and your interests become part of your own French learning.

Vocabulary words in context

Rather than starting a unit of study and immediately jumping into vocabulary flashcards to memorize, you'll get vocabulary in context. You'll see the reading, for example, and when you don't know a word, click on it, and it appears on your list to practice. Once you know it, mark it as "known," and you're done studying it.

Related grammar

There's a grammar tab for each unit where you can learn or review the suggested grammar. This is grammar in context and might be the reverse of what you're used to. Normally, in traditional methods, the focus is grammar and vocabulary, and then readings and audio are chosen to support them. The opposite is true with LingQ. Choose a reading you like, and grammar and vocabulary will happen naturally. Take a moment to learn or review grammar, but remember, it's not the focus, nor should it be.

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They welcome advanced French learners

With many online language classes, you might find that they go up to higher intermediate levels and don't reach true advanced levels. Not true with LingQ. There is a lot of content to choose from at an advanced level. Add to it that you can upload your own to keep interested.

Free, Premium, or Premium Plus?

There are 3 levels of program you can choose with LingQ:

  • Free. Access thousands of hours of audio with transcripts, save 20 words and phrases, and have flashcard quizzes on those words.
  • Premium. Access thousands of audio with transcripts, save words and phrases, create lessons from imported content, access audio playlists, take flashcard quizzes, have an unlimited number of saved words, unlimited imports, access full-sentence translations, track your learning statistics, complete French-learning challenges and access material offline.
  • Premium Plus. You'll get all the Premium features plus 3,000 LingQ points for live tutoring, writing correction, and premium lessons.

Love authentic materials, but want more structure

LingQ has the unique concept of jumping in with authentic material to actually learn the language rather than supplement your grammar/vocabulary lesson. The focus is unique and we applaud it, and it might be better for intermediate or advanced learners since they already have a French base and want to explore on their own. If you're beginning or you want more structure and direction with your lessons, we'd suggest one of our other highly recommended online language courses - especially since we also find LingQ a bit pricey.

Strokes International Review 1 Star Rating

Strokes International

1 Star Rating
  • Downloadable French lessons
  • Option for DVDs
  • Microphone to hear yourself speak French

We've never seen a worse program than Strokes International. The sample lesson you can download - yes download - is of an older version. When downloaded, it looks like a 1980s filmstrip. There were no instructions, or no clear instructions anyway, to the lesson or activity. There's not even pricing that's remotely accessible.

The microphone

One of the semi-redeeming qualities of the Strokes International program is the microphone option where you can record yourself doing the dialog and then listen to yourself playing both parts, all at once. But again, that's a feature that was available in the 1980s.

Back to the future?

If you want to know what language lessons may have looked like in a technologically-advanced, early 1980s language classroom, this is it. There are rudimentary drawings of people having a dialog. You click on "next," which is basically like going to the next slide in the filmstrip, and the next phrase appears. Strokes International is hardly relatable to this century's technology.

Your sample is from an older version

You are welcome to a sample French lesson. For that you have to literally take minutes to download the lesson. Then you can only select the sample lesson, and that's from an older version. We have no idea what you might get with the current version, but we have no confidence in that, either.

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Costs

When we went to checkout, the purchase price was listed in "CHF. With a little hunting, we determined this was the denomination for the Swiss Franc (uhhh... what?) With the conversion rate at the time of our review, this equated to roughly $140. When we emailed the company to ask about their pricing, their first reply was in German, even though our question was in English. Bizarre.

The English isn't correct

We wanted to know about the discount for "Student-Unemployed." You have to request that via an application and receive an answer via email. They want to know your title: are you mister or woman? Then they want your surname (but really want first and last names), your email address, and there's a place to drag a file - why would we drag a file? If we don't have confidence in the English usage in this simple section, why would we have confidence in their language teaching program?

Don't believe us? Try it on your own

You can download an older version of a sample lesson and see for yourself. Not only was the format antiquated, but there weren't any directions. We didn't know if something was a lesson or practice. We didn't know if we were supposed to flip phrase cards or leave them there.

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Looking for a French lesson?

When you want a French lesson sample, you have a drop-down menu to choose your language of study, but need to know what "French" is in German, because that's the word you click on. It's Franzosisch, by the way.

They give you a tour of the program - if you understand German

When we wanted to learn about the French program here, we had to keep clicking on English to get a version of instruction that we understood. Each click required another English click. Okay, fine. However, when we wanted to take a tour of the program, the whole thing was in German. And it wasn't a video explanation: we had to click to get it to continue to another slide.

So frustrating

The Strokes International program represents methods and technology from at least 30 years ago. The material is downloadable, not via an app or going to the website. The activity doesn't have instructions. We feel like we're back in the 1980s. Enough said? We got so frustrated that we lost interest quite quickly. And the pricing issues left us unsure about just who we were dealing with. Do we even need to tell you to pretend like Strokes International doesn't even exist? Choose literally any other French lessons in our review and you're practically guaranteed to have a better experience than what you'll find here.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Naturally, when we think French we think of France. Yet French is actually a global language and the official language of 29 countries, so you can practice your French language skills in more than one place. French is also a heritage language in all or part of Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and even the US - like Louisiana.

Picking up the French language may be easier than you might think. Some of us are intimidated by the unusual sounds and the silent letters, but did you know that there are many words that look like English? We'll bet you know these French words: table, responsable, ambiance, brilliance. There are about 1,700 words in French that look like the English word, so there's a good start.

When choosing among the several options for online French lessons, here are some things to consider:

  • Free trial. Look to see if there's a chance to try out the lessons before you buy them to see if this is how you want to learn and to see if you'll stay motivated. Most options include at least a free trial, and some have free access to a limited amount of lessons so you might be able to get all of what you want for free.
  • How they teach. Today there is such a variety of teaching methods in the various online French lesson companies. You can learn individual words with flashcards first and then build to speaking or reading. Some teach by where you hear conversational phrases and build on those. Some build their lessons around grammar and vocabulary while others don't teach grammar specifically - you'll innately catch on the more you practice. Some cut to the chase like textbooks and some use AR and VR to keep you hooked and motivated.
  • How much French you may already know. If you're a beginner, the French lesson world is your oyster - there's so much for you to choose from. If you are at the advanced level and want to polish your skills, most online programs don't teach to your level; though there are a few that could work for you.
  • Your budget. There are some programs where you should be able to get quite a bit of practice for free. Others have a reasonable cost. Some have options for you to have a one-on-one instructor, and those will cost a bit more.
  • One-time purchase or monthly subscription. There's the good, old fashioned way of purchasing a course, and that's where you keep the lessons, learning at your own pace, guilt-free if you need to take a long break. The subscription method is where you pay per month or year to use the product and it automatically renews at the end of that subscription time. You'll be motivated to not take a long hiatus from lessons if you know that your subscription auto renews whether you use it or not.
  • Satisfaction guarantee. Most have a period of time where you can try out the courses to know if you really like them and want to continue. If you're not happy within that time, simply ask for a full refund

Top Consumer Reviews has researched and ranked the most popular French courses available today, to make it easy for you to choose how you'll want to learn French. Whether you're thinking of learning French for the first time or brushing up on what you may have taken in high school, now is a great time to learn French online as there are such a variety of French lesson programs out there. We're sure you'll find at least one that you'd like to try.

The Best French Lessons Compare French Lessons Compare French Lesson Reviews What are the best French Lessons Best French Lesson Reviews

French Lesson FAQ

That can be a tricky question! It's estimated that there are about 76 million people who speak French fluently as their first language. But, there are another 235 million individuals that use French daily and fluently without it being their native tongue, plus up to 110 million who use it as a second language with varying levels of proficiency. Beyond France itself, you'll find speakers throughout Africa, India, the Caribbean, and Canada.
There are many different French dialects, depending on where it's spoken, but for the most part they're all mutually understandable. If you learned French from a Parisian and then traveled to Montreal, you would still be able to use the language without much of a problem - though you might need to pick up new vocabulary and train your ear to hear it a little differently. It's similar to the regional accents you'll find within the US - think of how English is spoken in New York vs. Texas, for example - or how English differs depending on whether you're in Canada, England, or Australia.
According to the US State Department, French is a Category I language. That means that French is closely related to English, making it easy to learn! (Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Romanian are some of the other languages in that category.) Most students of French find the language to be somewhat familiar, which makes it more comfortable to study and to retain the vocabulary.
Start by learning some basic vocabulary. If you've got plans to use French in a specific context, like an upcoming vacation or a business meeting, choose some words and phrases that you'll need there. And, as with any language, the more you can expose yourself to the way it's used by native speakers, the more you'll pick up without even trying. Many students swear by watching TV shows and movies in French (with or without subtitles)!
You won't find a way to learn French that's more convenient or affordable, that's why! While French is one of the most commonly-taught languages in American schools, it can still be hard to find a class that fits your busy schedule. Even if you can find one that works, you may pay a lot of money for a semester of coursework; for that same investment, you could access years of online French lessons.
One reason French is easier to learn than some languages is because it uses the same alphabet is English - mostly. There are a few different characters that you'll need to know how to produce. Fortunately, they're not hard to make: on a smartphone, you can usually hold down the base letter (like c, e, or a) and accented options will pop up. On a desktop pc, there are shortcuts you can use when typing.
Not at all. You could pay under $300 for three levels of French coursework, or study as long as you like on a subscription plan that ranges from $4 to $23 per month. That's much more affordable than in-person lessons!
Each language platform has different policies regarding satisfaction guarantees and refunds. For subscription-based French lessons, you can probably cancel future payments but might not get your money back for what you've already spent. If you've paid a one-time fee for a language program, there may be a 30- to 60-day refund period. We recommend utilizing any trial options offered by a French lessons program before committing to it: you can usually find sample lessons or a one-week all-access pass, and that will help you get a feel for how the platform teaches French.

Compare French Lessons

Select any 2 French Lessons to compare them head to head

best-french-lessons
  • Busuu
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Babbel
  • Italki
  • Memrise
  • Mondly
  • Rocket Languages
  • French Pod 101
  • Pimsleur
  • Ouino
  • Fluenz
  • Unforgettable Languages
  • LingQ
  • Strokes International
Busuu vs Rosetta Stone Busuu vs Babbel Busuu vs Italki Busuu vs Memrise Busuu vs Mondly Busuu vs Rocket Languages Busuu vs French Pod 101 Busuu vs Pimsleur Busuu vs Ouino Busuu vs Fluenz Busuu vs Unforgettable Languages Busuu vs LingQ Busuu vs Strokes International Rosetta Stone vs Babbel Rosetta Stone vs Italki Rosetta Stone vs Memrise Rosetta Stone vs Mondly Rosetta Stone vs Rocket Languages Rosetta Stone vs French Pod 101 Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur Rosetta Stone vs Ouino Rosetta Stone vs Fluenz Rosetta Stone vs Unforgettable Languages Rosetta Stone vs LingQ Rosetta Stone vs Strokes International Babbel vs Italki Babbel vs Memrise Babbel vs Mondly Babbel vs Rocket Languages Babbel vs French Pod 101 Babbel vs Pimsleur Babbel vs Ouino Babbel vs Fluenz Babbel vs Unforgettable Languages Babbel vs LingQ Babbel vs Strokes International Italki vs Memrise Italki vs Mondly Italki vs Rocket Languages Italki vs French Pod 101 Italki vs Pimsleur Italki vs Ouino Italki vs Fluenz Italki vs Unforgettable Languages Italki vs LingQ Italki vs Strokes International Memrise vs Mondly Memrise vs Rocket Languages Memrise vs French Pod 101 Memrise vs Pimsleur Memrise vs Ouino Memrise vs Fluenz Memrise vs Unforgettable Languages Memrise vs LingQ Memrise vs Strokes International Mondly vs Rocket Languages Mondly vs French Pod 101 Mondly vs Pimsleur Mondly vs Ouino Mondly vs Fluenz Mondly vs Unforgettable Languages Mondly vs LingQ Mondly vs Strokes International Rocket Languages vs French Pod 101 Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur Rocket Languages vs Ouino Rocket Languages vs Fluenz Rocket Languages vs Unforgettable Languages Rocket Languages vs LingQ Rocket Languages vs Strokes International French Pod 101 vs Pimsleur French Pod 101 vs Ouino French Pod 101 vs Fluenz French Pod 101 vs Unforgettable Languages French Pod 101 vs LingQ French Pod 101 vs Strokes International Pimsleur vs Ouino Pimsleur vs Fluenz Pimsleur vs Unforgettable Languages Pimsleur vs LingQ Pimsleur vs Strokes International Ouino vs Fluenz Ouino vs Unforgettable Languages Ouino vs LingQ Ouino vs Strokes International Fluenz vs Unforgettable Languages Fluenz vs LingQ Fluenz vs Strokes International Unforgettable Languages vs LingQ Unforgettable Languages vs Strokes International LingQ vs Strokes International
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