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How to Learn French: 6 Effective Ways to Learn French Fluently

Kelsey Wetherbee Published on September 12, 2022

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Are you looking for the best resources to help you learn French effectively?

French can be très difficile to learn, but having the right resources can make it easier. This guide showcases 6 different ways to learn French. Not everybody learns the same way, so we included many different tools to help you on your language journey. From traditional methods like textbooks, courses, and tutors to more modern ways like language apps, YouTube channels, and podcasts, this list can help you find a resource that’s right for you.

The team at Langoly has over 5 decades of combined language learning experience, and we’ve tested and reviewed over 600 language products. We only include high-quality resources that can make studying a new language easier. We’ve helped millions of readers through the language learning process, and this article will help you find the best tools to improve your French skills.

Best French App

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Best French Tutors

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With over 274 million speakers, French is one of the most spoken languages. It’s an important language for diplomacy and global affairs because it’s an official language of 29 countries, and also an official language of the European Union and United Nations. But there are many other reasons to learn French. France is one of the world’s most visited countries so it’s also an important language for tourism. French artists and authors have produced some of the most famous works of art, so learning French can help you read Les Miserables in its original language. And since 40% of English vocabulary is derived from French, you’re already well on your way to learning!

How to Learn French: Achieve Fluency with These 6 Proven Methods

There are many great resources available, but it’s difficult to gain a complete knowledge of French by using just one. That’s why it’s better to use a variety of tools. For example, you can use a language app to learn more vocabulary and listen to podcasts to improve understanding. But this certainly isn’t the only way! Take a look through this guide to see what interests you. Most resources offer a free trial or free content so you can try it out before buying anything. With some dedication and effort, you’ll be speaking French in no time at all!

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Another important step is finding a high-quality resource that will help you learn correctly. At Langoly, we use a strict testing methodology to make sure any products we recommend are high quality and worth your time. I included the methods and resources on this list because they are proven effective by our testing. Any of the products on this list will help you learn French the right way.

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1. Use the Best French Apps

Language apps have become one of the most common ways to learn a language, and for good reason! They don’t require a lot of commitment and are often inexpensive. You can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule. Babbel, Mondly, and Rocket French are 3 reputable options. Each one teaches French in a different way so you can try them all to see which one works best for you.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low-Medium
Convenience: High

Look at more French apps

Babbel

Babbel is one of the best apps for learning French because it teaches you how to communicate in everyday situations. The lessons are interactive and will help you develop all language skills, like reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Babbel uses spaced repetition, so you’ll see the new words you’ve learned again before you forget them. You can try Babbel for free or read more about it in this Babbel review.

Mondly

Mondly is a good choice for beginners because the lessons are quick and easy, and teach the basics of French. It’s a flexible way to learn because you can choose what order you study the lessons in. There are also some AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) lessons to keep things interesting. Try Mondly for free or read more about it in this Mondly review.

Rocket French

Rocket French is a comprehensive course for serious learners. It’s not as interactive as the other options on the list, but the detailed lessons are much more extensive. It’s a good option if you like to have more explanations of why the language is spoken the way it is. You can read more about Rocket French in this review, or try Rocket for free.

2. Take an Online French Course

Similar to language apps, online French courses are an easy way to learn French from the comfort of your home. They are laid out in a clear way, so you know exactly what to study next. It’s the perfect option for people that prefer a structured way to learn. The 3 courses listed below, LingoCulture, Frantastique, and French Today offer well-developed courses that are extensive and help you practice a wide variety of skills.

Commitment: High
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

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LingoCulture

LingoCulture connects French language learners with qualified teachers to take live French classes online. You get unlimited classes with native teachers for one monthly price. There is a specific LingoCulture curriculum you can follow, but the lessons are also completely customizable. You can tell your teacher exactly what you want to study and they adapt the class to your needs. Be sure to use the coupon code langoly to get $10.00 off your first month or learn more in this LingoCulture review.

Frantastique

Frantastique is a unique way to learn French. You are sent a daily lesson to your email that you can complete when it’s convenient for you. In each lesson, you watch a short video clip and then complete practice activities about the video to learn grammar and vocabulary topics. They give immediate feedback to your answers with explanations as to why your answers were correct or incorrect, something that not many other courses or apps offer. You can try Frantastique for free for 7 days.

French Today

French Today is a comprehensive course that can take you from beginner to advanced. It’s another course that follows a story throughout the course and has detailed descriptions in English of the important language topics. There are also 2 different types of pronunciation to switch between, enunciated French and modern spoken pronunciation, so you can hear how French people really talk.

3. Find an Online French Tutor

Learning French with a teacher is one of the best ways to improve quickly. However, taking in-person classes can be expensive and time-consuming. Due to the increase in popularity of online learning, now there are tons of options to find an online French tutor. It’s important to find a platform and teacher that are reputable. Lingoda, italki, and Preply are 3 platforms that are safe and secure and have a wide selection of qualified French teachers.

Commitment: Medium
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

Lingoda

Lingoda is the best option for taking online lessons with a French tutor because they use an established curriculum. This means your lessons will have continuity and you’ll build on what you’ve already learned. You choose what time you want to take the lessons and a teacher is assigned to your class. There is also the option to take group lessons. You can try a lesson for free or read more about it in this Lingoda review.

italki

Italki is a massive language learning platform that can connect you with a French tutor that teaches online lessons. You can search for a teacher by using different filters like availability, price, and what languages they speak. French is one of the most popular languages on italki, and there are over 1,250 teachers for you to choose from. You can take a discounted trial lesson to see if the teacher is right for you or read more about the platform in this italki review.

Preply

Preply is a platform similar to italki. You can choose your teacher based on different criteria and schedule an online class with them. Each teacher provides their own curriculum so you can learn exactly what you want. You can read past student reviews of each teacher to make sure you get one that you like. You can take a discounted trial lesson or learn more about it in this Preply review.

4. Study with High-Quality French Books

Using a high-quality book is a comprehensive way to learn French. Some offer lengthy explanations of difficult topics, others have lots of practice exercises, and some focus on specific skills. They are convenient because you can take a book almost anywhere and skip around to the parts that you want to learn. The three books below have quality content. You can find even more options in our French book guide.

Commitment: Low
Price: Medium
Convenience: Medium

Complete French All-in-One: Practice Makes Perfect

Complete French All-in-One is a combination of 7 different books so you’re getting a little bit of everything from grammar to accents and pronunciation. With over 600 pages, there will definitely be something new for you to learn. It’s not the best choice for complete beginners, but is a good option for people looking to brush up on their French if they learned it in the past. See what you think about Complete French All-in-One here.

French All-in-One for Dummies

French All-in-One for Dummies is another resource that has multiple books packed into one. It’s useful for beginner learners because it explains topics in a clear and concise way. The book includes an audio CD with different tracks to hear correct pronunciation. There are other additional resources included like a French-English dictionary, verb tables, practice questions, and more. Read more about French All-in-One for Dummies here.

Fluent in French

Fluent in French is the first book of a 3-part series to help beginners learn French. It can be used as a standalone book, and it’s not necessary to purchase the other books in the series. In addition to covering the typical grammar and vocabulary topics, it also has useful tips and tricks to help with remembering the language and increasing fluency. It comes with an audio CD to help with pronunciation. It’s also very reasonably priced. Check out Fluent in French here.

5. Watch French YouTube Videos

Watching YouTube videos to learn a language is a bit unconventional, but can be one of the most entertaining ways. Some YouTube channels focus on teaching specific grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation points, much like you would see in a classroom, and others focus on entertainment and feature native French speakers, so you’re improving your listening comprehension and having fun at the same time!

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

Damon and Jo

damon and jo youtube

Damon and Jo are two best friends that decided to start a travel blog on YouTube. They post videos in 3 different languages: French, English, and Portuguese. Their videos are interesting and funny. You won’t learn textbook French by watching the videos, but it’s a great way to hear how a friend would talk to you. They post 3 new videos a week and you can check them out here.

Comme une Française

Géraldine is your modern French teacher. She has videos to help with pronunciation and common grammar mistakes, but she also has fun videos about words you should avoid and interesting facts about French culture. She speaks slowly and clearly so you can work on your listening and French pronunciation. There are already hundreds of videos to watch and she posts a new video every Tuesday.

Easy French

Easy French is part of the Easy Languages project to bring free, educational videos to everyone. Most videos have interviews with people they meet on the street so you can hear how French is spoken by a native speaker. They also have “super easy” videos where they explain different vocabulary and grammar topics in slow and understandable French. They post 4 new videos every month.

6. Listen to French Podcasts

Podcasts are another tool that is helpful for improving listening comprehension and understanding. They’re easy to study with because you can go hands-free and can listen to them anywhere. Podcasts are a great way to squeeze in some study time even if you have a busy schedule. FrenchPod101, Coffee Break French, and Daily French Pod are excellent options to learn something new. All you have to do is listen!

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

FrenchPod101

frenchpod101 homepage

FrenchPod101 is an online platform and app that has tons of material to learn French. The most important feature is the podcast lessons. There are hundreds of lessons that cover language learning topics as well as French culture. Each episode has a transcript and detailed lesson notes that help you practice what you hear. You can try FrenchPod101 for free or read more about it in this FrenchPod101 review.

Coffee Break French

Coffee Break French is great for beginners all the way to advanced learners. They have 4 levels so you can jump in where you think is right for you. Each level has 40 podcasts that teach the grammar and vocabulary necessary to communicate in common situations. All the podcasts are completely free, but you can buy the premium content which includes in-depth lesson notes as well as additional features.

Daily French Pod

Daily French Pod is an excellent way to improve your understanding and pronunciation. The host, Louis, reads and repeats a few short sentences about a current news topic, and then breaks them down to teach correct pronunciation and what they mean. There are over 1,000 episodes, so even though each lesson is only about 3 minutes, there’s a lot of content to go through!

How to Learn French Fast: Tips and Tricks

Learning French doesn’t have to be complicated. There are certain things you can do to make it easier. It’s important to find a way that you enjoy studying. For example, if you find textbooks boring, learning from podcasts might be a better choice. With French being a commonly spoken language, the resources are endless. 

Once you have a way or two that you like to study, it’s time to set a routine. Studying a little bit each day or at least a few times a week can help you make studying French a habit and you’ll see continuous improvement. 

How to Learn French: Final Thoughts

Learning French is a marathon, not a race. It’s important to enjoy the journey. The right tools can make your study time more enjoyable and effective. Using a variety of high-quality resources can help you improve all areas of language. A language app might help you learn vocabulary and grammar, but an online tutor can help you become conversational. If you stick with it, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can become conversational.

Want to learn more? Check out our French resource page.

How to Learn French: FAQ

How long does it take to learn French?

French is considered a category I language, or an easy language, for English speakers to learn. The US Department of State says that it will take 30 weeks, or 750 class hours to reach a proficient level. French has many similarities to English, including grammatical structures and similar vocabulary so it isn’t a difficult language to pick up.

To see how long it will take you to learn French, check out this fluency calculator.

How can I learn French quickly?

The best way to learn French quickly is to dedicate time every day to studying and practicing. Consistent practice is key to seeing improvement quickly. You can also use a variety of resources to practice and improve each language skill. For example, a podcast can help you improve your listening and understanding, but you might want an online tutor to help you understand difficult grammar points.

How do I learn French at home on my own?

There are many options available to learn French at home. One of the most popular and effective ways is to use a language app like Rocket French or Babbel. You can also take classes with an online French tutor to improve your conversation and listening skills. There are new options like listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos that can expose you to French culture and show you how French is actually spoken.

How hard is it to learn French?

French is considered an easy language for English speakers to learn. They share many linguistic similarities and vocabulary. That being said, there are still many differences that can only be learned with study. But with a language learning routine, you can reach a basic conversational level in a few months.

How do I learn French fluently?

You can reach a good level of French by self-study, but to become fluent, you will probably need to practice with native speakers to improve your speaking and understanding. If you don’t know any French speakers, you can take classes with an online tutor. This is a convenient option that allows you to learn from home but speak with someone from one of the many francophone countries.

How do I learn French for free?

There are a few options to learn French completely free. Some language apps, like Duolingo, FrenchPod101, and Memrise offer some of their content for free. There are also tons of YouTube channels that feature videos of people teaching the ins and outs of French. You can also listen to podcasts, some of which have all of their episodes available without charge.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is the Content Manager and Editor of Langoly. She is a TEFL-certified English teacher with more than eight years of classroom experience in three different countries. She’s an avid language learner with an advanced level of Spanish and is currently studying French. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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