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Strokes International Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 French Lesson Reviews

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.

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.

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.
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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.

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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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