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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, September 24th
Want to learn French on your own terms? Busuu's got you covered. They'll help you figure out where you're at with a placement test, and then create a personalized learning plan just for you. You'll get reminders when it's time to schedule your lessons, and they'll even have native speakers give feedback on your writing and speaking. Because Busuu's got it all, it easily ranks as our #1 pick for French lessons online.
Not only will you get the tried-and-true immersion method to learn French with Rosetta Stone, you'll learn to read and write in French as well. If you want to mix things up a bit, hop in on a live French lesson or even get a tutor. It might not be the right fit if you don't love the jump-right-in immersion approach, so take advantage of Rosetta Stone's three-day trial if you're not sure - because these French lessons are effective and well-loved by many learners.
Babbel is an excellent online course for learning French, especially for beginners and intermediates. Right away you'll learn conversational phrases, the lessons are fun, and there's a tab to review previously-learned material. If you want unlimited, live classes, choose Babbel Live.
Wouldn't it be great to learn French with a real, French-speaking person? You can. You can sign up with italki, choose your teacher, let them know what you'd like to learn, and just start. It's that easy - mais oui. You'll have to do a bit of work to find a teacher that offers lessons the way you want them - super-structured or casual conversation - but italki makes it worth it.
Memrise takes an old, crusty, flashcard concept and blows it out of the water. Choose lesson topics that are interesting to you and watch a video of a native French-speaking person saying your new word. Watch silly or interesting fifteen-second videos putting these words into context. Memrise gives you the taste of speaking with someone and makes you want more. Give the free, limited access a try because we think you'll love Memrise.
Mondly knows what you're looking for in learning a language, and it's not stuffy and dry. You want to learn French with proven methods and envelop it in the latest technology like AR and VR and other interactive software. With Mondly, you'll not only learn, but be entertained and get helpful feedback all along the way with their state-of-the-art technology.
Want to hear French and start speaking, even at the beginning of the lesson? With Rocket Languages you can. What's more is that when you speak into the microphone, the program will give you feedback on what you said. You can have a free trial to dabble in some lessons before you purchase a course. Rocket is a great way to learn French if you're a beginner or have had a few classes already.
Isn't it beautiful to listen to French? French Pod 101 has around 2,000 audio and video files, so listen until your heart's content. A unique feature is that you can slow down the audio for better understanding. Pay for one of the subscriptions and you'll have access to more vocabulary lists, notes, and practice to help you improve your French skills. French Pod 101 is great for all the audio, but keep in mind that you may find it lacking in traditional course format, lessons, and feedback.
With Pimsleur, you know that their method is a good one when it's created by a linguistics professor. Listen to French with each 30-minute lesson, then practice. If you are on the go, don't have time to sit to learn, and you love listening to podcasts, this method should fit right into your schedule without missing a beat. Still, Pimsleur could take it up a notch to earn our highest rating: we wish they had a better free trial opportunity and it would be great if they had lessons and practice for the advanced learner.
If you have been in a traditional foreign language classroom and like that routine, try Ouino. You'll get lessons on vocabulary and grammar, can practice with dialogs, flashcards, and written exercises. The technology is a bit outdated, but they have good intentions. You will get to choose the order of your lessons, which is a nice flexibility benefit. Although the price for these French lessons is reasonable, it's just that Ouino is not that much fun or motivating.
Fluenz has a good concept, they just need to execute it better. They teach you French with English explanations, and they want you to be fluent in French, which is good. But there are details, and not small ones, that we feel they're missing: there's no free trial and they should update their software to correct your writing samples.
If you or your child find that traditional language-learning methods just don't work for you but still want or need to learn French, Unforgettable Languages might be for you or them. They use mnemonic devices related to sometimes silly English images to help you remember. It's not as robust or adult-oriented as many rival French lessons, but it could be the right fit for a small percentage of learners.
If you've tried learning languages in a traditional way and are excited to see what's happening in French-speaking countries or want to listen to French podcasts or learn through French YouTube videos, definitely give LingQ a try. You'll get access to thousands of articles and videos, most created by native speakers. LingQ builds vocabulary words and grammar to supplement when needed. It's a free-form program tailored to your interests and not for those who want more structured lessons. However, these French lessons can be pretty spendy, and that flexible approach will be a turn-off for more than a few students.
Don't waste your time with Strokes International. To see a sample lesson you have to spend time downloading an older version, and it's so frustrating to try and find information about the method when you have to keep clicking "English" or it defaults to German. And we couldn't find pricing, even when we did have pages in English. It's no wonder why these French lessons get our lowest possible rating.
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:
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.
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