Due to French colonial history and the resultant exposure France has had to other cultures, as well as the amount of influence it has had on other cultures, the French language can be used to better connect to the world as a whole. After English, French is the most learned language in the world. What this also means is that there is a huge number of resources and language learning communities available to the French learner - beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
People across five continents speak the French language, with twenty-nine countries having afforded it official language status, including Belgium, Haiti, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Canada, Mali, and more. It’s also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. All these reasons have made the French language a favorite among language learners.
One of the greatest benefits of learning French is that it remains a real international lingua franca.
Learning French lets you open the doors to communicating not just with native French speakers, but other people like yourself who have studied French. This can especially come in handy when traveling. If you already speak English (on top of your native language) and add French to your skillset, you give yourself the flexibility of interacting and conversing with people, even in countries neither English nor French is an official language!
Top Smartphone Apps for Learning French
In this article, we will explore some of the most popular smartphone apps to learn French. With technology to aid you, it is easier than ever before to find the best French classes near me. Let's get down to the business of learning French without further ado!
Students love Brainscape and it is often touted as the most user-friendly and smartest online French learning tool. Indeed, Brainscape's adaptive flashcard app makes it a truly effective resource for introductory French language lessons. The Brainscape AI designs learning tools that allow you to familiarize yourself with all the nuances of the French language.
Equipped with custom adaptive learning technology, Brainscape is a repository of thousands of French vocab words, pronunciations, and grammatical concepts that allow students to spend more time on words that they find difficult and less on those they have already mastered. Brainscape's algorithm focuses on learning through effective repetition, which, according to scientific research, is the best way to retain learning.
Brainscape French contains verb conjugations and thousands of vocab cards with audio, along with an advanced Sentence Builder that lets students practice grammar through the constant translation of increasingly advanced sentences. The app also offers flashcard decks for listening comprehension, for learning French history and pop culture.
Duolingo offers a fun, game-like setting for learning French. It's a great place to start for beginners, especially when it comes to learning French vocabulary, conjugation, reading, writing, pronunciation, and listening skills in a competitive and fun way!
Duolingo has been ranked as the highest-rated French learning app on the Apple App Store for good reason. It’s free, fun, easy to use, and lets you master the basics fast.
Learn French with Busuu
Busuu is based around a community of native French speakers. This ensures that students are learning French the way native French speakers really use it today. The app lets you practice your French-speaking skills. Additionally, students can receive some feedback on their written work from native speakers.
The app also makes sure that students are getting familiarized with idioms and modern slang in case someone wishes to travel to France. However, there is a price to pay for all this interaction with native speakers. Some students may find the membership cost to be steep.
French Translator Dictionary +
You can't learn French, or any other foreign language, without a dictionary. A dictionary is a de fact companion to learning and study resources in French. The French Translator Dictionary + by Vidalingua is known to provide accurate phrase translations that language learners can even view offline. The Dictionary is a treasure house of translations and examples for headwords including slang and regional dialects.
Users can tap on anything on the app to hear it pronounced with the speed and accent that can be selected. Full points for customization, we say! Moreover, the app includes a verb conjugator with over 400,000 verb forms, as well as quizzes and flashcards for strengthening French vocabulary. French Translator Dictionary + is ideal for intermediate and advanced learners who are looking to cross that final hurdle in French lessons. The app is available for free for both iPhone and Android.
One of the oldest and most respected online French learning tools, Rosetta Stone offers language courses for 24 different languages, French being one of the most popular ones. The app uses an immersion-based learning methodology that allows students to be exposed to conversations from the real world from the start.
- Some of the features of the app include:
- Speech recognition technology
- Feedback on pronunciation
- Games and other challenges for engaging students during the learning process.
Students are expected to use their instincts to start learning, instead of having everything translated into their native language. Rosetta Stone offers a three-day free trial, after which users can choose from various monthly packages.
Similar to Busuu, Hello Talk allows students to learn French by interacting with native French speakers from around the world. The platform supports 150 languages, with a 20 million-strong community of native speakers.
The app operates on a language exchange methodology where users learn from a French speaker while teaching the French speaker their own native language. Text, voice recordings, voice calls, and video calls are some of the best ways to interact on the app. Users can also avail of built-in assistance with pronunciation, translation, grammar correction, spelling, etc. during conversations The app also offers live French classes.
The Memrise app is designed to make French learning fun by combining technology and science with real-life language content, using audio, images, and memory techniques, such as flashcards. Users can make connections between words and concepts using the memory-based methodology.
The app also includes features like tests and quiz-type games, such as Speed Review, Listening Skills, Difficult Words, and Classic Review. Learn with Locals video clips is also a great way to learn French by watching and listening to real native French speakers.
French by Nemo
The French by Nemo is the private teacher that helps you learn French at your own pace. Students can pick it up whenever they wish to as there are no stipulated lessons to adhere to. The app focuses on essential French language concepts so that you can start speaking French quickly. The essentials may include high-frequency words and phrases that you can start using right away.
Their system presents new words and phrases progressively and reviews them every so often so that you can commit them to long-term memory.
Useful features of the app include:
- Ability to record your voice and compare your pronunciation to that of a native French speaker
- Interactive audio
- Phrasebook that also doubles up as a translator
The app is available for download for free so that students can access the essential content. However, once the essentials are downloaded, you must upgrade to the app's paid features to able to continue your learning.
You can spend hours on the unique app that is FluentU. It is a completely immersive experience, no matter which level of learning you are at (beginner or intermediate or advanced). The app turns everyday messages, such as music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks, into French learning experiences!
Find out how you can learn French with the help of podcasts!
Start Your French Class Today!
Most of the language learning apps drive at a common goal, that of presenting the French language to students (beginners, intermediate, or advanced learners) in its essence and make it fun and tangible for them to learn the language through bite-sized lessons.
Having said that, students should first decide upon their learning goals and assess their learning styles. For example, a beginner in French will have a slightly different style of learning than one who is at an intermediate stage of learning. Choose the learning app according to your preferences. You can also ask your language teachers to guide you in this regard.