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French Resources

Anki
Price: Free
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It is the go-to app for free (except on iOS) Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcards. It has a simple user interface with various features that more hard-core users can dive into if they choose.

Your flashcards will appear according to your natural forgetting curve; the app will test you in increasingly spaced out intervals, with more difficult cards appearing more than once in a session, while easier cards spacing out over weeks — or even months and years. An SRS system is the most effective way to drive information into your long-term memory.

The cards can sync between the web, desktop app, and mobile versions to keep your flashcards updated and with you at all times. You can add images and audio clips to your cards and change the text formatting (if you use it on your computer). One feature unique to Anki, as opposed to other SRS flashcard apps, is the “Cloze deletion” function, which allows you to block out parts of your card and create a “fill-in-the-blanks” type card format.

If you want a resource for how to make effective flashcards, check out the book, FluentForever. The author leaves a whole section dedicated to understanding how to use your Anki deck to advance your skills quickly.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

LangCorrect
Price: Free
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LangCorrect is a free community-driven writing site where users can both contribute to editing others’ work and receive feedback on their own writing.

After writing your piece, you may submit it to receive feedback from other site users. In order to ensure accurate feedback, multiple users can cross-check the corrections that were made and add comments.

Volunteers and Patrons have access to writing in up to 10 languages, but typical users can write in a maximum of two languages at a time. Everyone is encouraged to both write and correct others’ work on the site.

If you are looking to improve your writing skills in one of the over 100 languages available, trying out this resource is a must! However, if you’re studying a less common language and not finding many users to give you corrections, consider trying the exercise section in italki’s community features.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Forvo
4.8 
Price: Free
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Forvo’s mission is to improve spoken communication across cultures. Anyone can explore pronunciations of millions of words in over 390 languages with maps displaying where each speaker is from. The site also organizes popular categories and essential phrases for when you don’t have a specific word in mind.

As a registered user, you can contribute to the site by pronouncing words or phrases in your native language or by requesting pronunciations in a specific language. You are also encouraged to vote on audio files in your native language to help others identify the best pronunciation. For those of you who enjoy using Anki, Forvo allows you to download mp3 files to use in your learning endeavours.

Forvo also has an e-learning course for French, Spanish, and English; you will find three levels and a group of topics with sets of the most common words in your target language. Using an SRS flashcard system, you will be able to learn the pronunciation of these words and view an example of how to use them in a sentence.

If you are looking for a pronunciation reference guide, look no further than Forvo’s extensive database!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Tandem
4.7 
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Tandem is a popular language exchange app with over one million active users. It’s available for iOS and Android and aims to bring language learners from all over the world together. It’s largely centered around its chat capabilities and language tools that facilitate communication, but there is also a tutoring service offered in the app.

innerFrench
4.6 
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In his podcasts and videos, innerFrench’s founder, Hugo, articulates clearly and speaks at a slightly slower than natural speed to ensure maximum comprehension and learning. He also speaks exclusively in French, including when he introduces new words, so that viewers can have the full immersion experience.

His material addresses a variety of topics that focus on French culture and sometimes dabble in relationships and health. He films high-quality videos for intermediate learners and includes funny interactions, personal insights, and supporting videos and images. The podcasts are about half an hour long, and if you sign up for a free account, you can read the full transcription on his website.

Hugo’s online course, Build a Strong Core, will help you overcome the intermediate plateau with a detailed roadmap of daily lessons. Every lesson of the 30-day series contains a series of activities that highlight specific skills. You will listen to stories, address common grammar mistakes, and learn to differentiate between formal and informal French. Hugo designed the course to bring you closer to the advanced (B2) level, so you will find that it goes more in-depth than the free content.

If you are at a B1/B2 level, you can also check out the Raconte Ton Histoire course, which will train you to tell your own story. There are interviews with French speakers conversing at a natural speed, with quizzes and exercises to help you answer the same questions posed in the interviews.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

French in Action
4.6 
Price: Free
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From the producers of the Spanish video series, Destinos, French in Action is an award-winning beginner French video course from the late 1980s that will train your listening comprehension and speaking abilities.

Pierre J. Carpretz is both the narrator of the series and the originator of the Carpretz Theory. The idea is that French is French; it’s not coded English. So, understanding French is not about making direct translations into your native language; you have to learn meaning through observation and deduction. Consequently, beginners may be overwhelmed when they first engage with the French-immersion series, but gradually they will pick up basic vocabulary as they follow along and respond to Carpretz’s prompts to repeat after different characters.

Each of the fifty-two 30-minute episodes starts with a brief English explanation that gives context for the lesson. Then, you will hear a dialogue that follows the story from the previous lesson, followed by a series of interviews, movie clips, and images that illustrate keywords. Throughout the lesson, you will hear the new words pronounced before you see them written. This way you will be less likely to associate French writing with English sounds, as they have very similar scripts.

For more French immersion material, you can check out Easy French and Alice Ayel on YouTube; intermediate learners can try innerFrench and Frantastique (which is expensive, but 100% worth the free trial).

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Daily French Pod
4.5 
Price: Free
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Daily French Podcast is a series of short 4-5 minute podcasts developed by a team of educators — all with a Master’s Degree in French as a foreign language.

The narrator will read a short fact about current events, history, or culture. He will then repeat it, then deconstruct the new words. You will hear examples of how to use the words in different contexts, and also an explanation of the tenses of various verbs. Whether or not he translates words into English varies, but even with the translations it would seem that 98% of each episode is in French. He speaks relatively slowly, but some of the vocabulary is more advanced; intermediate learners would benefit from the new vocabulary, while the content would probably help upper-beginner learners advance their listening comprehension.

The creators also have a series of other podcasts for more advanced learners and native speakers. You can learn about culture, science, health, history, travel, tech, and more in 1 to 3 minute segments. Check them out here.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Wordreference
4.5 
Price: Free
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WordReference is one of the best websites for single-word translations. It uses a combination of its own dictionaries and Collins’, depending on the language, and relies on professional translations rather than machine-translations. With each word you look up, you will receive multiple examples of how to use it, nuances of each meaning, and a list of how to incorporate it into multiple phrases. Whereas sites like Bab.la seem to have machine-translated examples that sound quite random at times, WordReference’s examples can be applied directly to your everyday conversation.

You can also find conjugation tables and the Collins COBUILD English Usage dictionary, which shows you how to use individual English words correctly — through its explanations, English learners will be able to differentiate between words that are easily confused (such as ‘current’ and ‘currant’). If the explanations don’t make sense, you can ask questions in the WordReference Language Forum — there you will find an active community of language learners discussing language learning topics.

Unfortunately, not all words have audio pronunciation, but those that do can be played back at different speeds and with different accents (depending on the language).

Although WordReference is a thorough resource, SpanishDict is probably a better option for Spanish learners, and Pleco is the only dictionary you will ever need for Chinese. Linguee is also similar to WordReference but specializes in formal language, and Forvo has millions of words pronounced by native speakers in hundreds of languages.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

italki
4.5 
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italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.

Podcast Francais Facile
4.5 
Price: Free
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The goal of Podcast Français Facile is to support learners in passing from level A1 to A2 of the DELF. Beginners who use this resource can probably develop a solid foundation of basic French and confidently move on to A2 without worrying about gaps in their knowledge. At the same time, the website and beginner podcasts may be difficult to navigate for an absolute beginner, as everything is 100% in French. It can also be confusing seeing the introductory videos introduce the most basic vocabulary words, but use more complicated words to describe the concept. Nevertheless, with the help of a dictionary (maybe Readlang for the text) you can have access to tons of free content.

Although some of the pages are just lists of verb conjugations, most of them are interactive. There are multiple explanations and exercises in the lessons to help solidify your understanding. The Intermediate section has transcripts with links to specific grammar or vocabulary exercises, and you can organize the dialogue section by grammar topic. Some of the exercises support translations into other languages, such as English, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and Arabic.

Besides the basic lessons and dialogues, there are also reading comprehension activities, videos on phonetics, dictations, and a free A1 and A2 DELF test.

Overall, Podcast Français Facile is an excellent resource for beginners, and it’s 100% free!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.