Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Sunday, October 1st
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.
There are 2 memberships available with Ouino:
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.
What can you expect to pay for Ouino? Here's the pricing for their plans:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Select any 2 French Lessons to compare them head to head