Today, the English language is the dominant lingua franca worldwide. However, this was not always the case.
Being able to speak French was essential in Europe between the 17th and 20th centuries and beyond that, for those who wanted to be regarded as well-educated. It was the language of politics, commerce, art, and literature.
French is, however, still an important language today. It is the official language in 31 countries and is spoken by around 300 million people as a native and second language in the following parts of the world:
French is a world language and has a growing number of native speakers.
Whether it’s for your next vacation, to upskill in your career, for love, or because of your love for French literature— there are plenty of reasons to learn French or to get your rusty French language skills back on track!
Here are a few tips on how to learn French for free!
You can find an infinite amount of native language level material on the internet for free— from recipes and French newspapers to song lyrics and films with subtitles and vocabulary trainers and even complete language courses!
In order to really learn how to speak French, it’s a good start to acquire a few new words and then apply them consistently to your everyday life.
There are many methods to learn French words and phrases. The classic way is by having a vocabulary notebook. You don't have to go out and purchase one specifically, you can create one yourself (which is way more fun and creative) or have a place on your laptop, in the cloud or on your phone for your new vocab.
You can find more tips on learning French vocabulary on our learn French online page and below in the section on learning French vocabulary: tips, tricks, and free apps!
The most effective way to improve your French language skills is to practice regularly with a native French speaker, which is also an easy and free method.
Known as language exchange, speaking with your tandem partner in English for half the time and French the other half is an efficient and effective learning method. Utilize that noticeboard at your university, in your city library, or in your local supermarket to find a tandem partner, or better yet, simply download our free Tandem app!
Below are four free apps for Android and iOS that will help you make great progress with your French!
The Tandem app is suitable for all learning levels. Tandem enables you to find French-speaking Tandem partners and to communicate with them via text, audio messages, and video calling. Tandem is the largest global language learning community where you can find like-minded language learners who share your interests and hobbies.
Tandem makes it quick and easy to find native French speakers, learning English and who fit your criteria of the ideal Tandem partner. Just download the app and get started!
The app is entirely in French, but don’t worry as it’s completely intuitive. It guides you step by step by using different visuals which helps you to learn fundamental French words and phrases.
Basic day-to-day situations are covered including introducing yourself, shopping, buying a train ticket, etc.. This app is perfect for an entry or re-entry into the French language or for preparation for your holiday abroad!
Everybody is talking about Duolingo these days when it comes to language learning apps. A sympathetic green owl accompanies you from the beginning and throughout your French language learning journey.
Solve different language problems, gradually unlock different language learning levels, and try not to break your precious language learning streak.
The app is suitable for everyone who wants to pick up a new language whether you are studying at school, a professional at work, or recently retired. Duolingo is a lot of fun and you don’t even notice how quickly you are learning French.
With language learning apps, you can learn French anywhere, anytime via your smartphone or tablet. Whether you’re on the subway, waiting on someone, traveling, or just in your pajamas at home!
Français Authentique is an app for those more advanced French language learners.
The app provides you with authentic videos, audio, as well as PDF transcriptions in French. It covers everything about the French language and Francophone culture, with important expressions and grammar being explained along the way.
The features of the app described above are free of charge, however, they do offer language courses that are available at a fee.
Learning French vocabulary for free is easier now than ever before thanks to the internet. Instead of drilling vocabulary into your brain, more and more engaging and genuinely fun online vocabulary trainers await you!
There is an abundance of vocabulary trainers in the world of apps. Below are three free apps with which you can quickly and easily build and expand your French vocabulary:
The Language course vocabulary trainer is equipped with 10,000 words and phrases. Each word is accompanied by a picture and audio for pronunciation. The vocabulary is conveniently divided into different subject areas and you can create your own vocab list.
Memorion is a classic flashcard app where you can acquire basic French vocabulary of around 1,000 words. Additionally, you can import your own vocabulary lists or download card stacks from the app.
Quizlet is a general flashcard app that works as a community. This means that you can create your own flashcards or choose from those created by other Quizlet users. There are many flashcards available in French on different topics and levels of difficulty. It also works on the browser!
For more ideas on how to learn French vocabulary effectively, check out our learn French online article.
Below are the most important French words and phrases needed to survive your French vacation:
Tip: “Merci” and “s’il vous plaît” are words that are always appropriate in every situation!
|I have a reservation.||J’ai réservé.||Do you have a room available?||Avez-vous une chambre de libre?|
|Can I pay with credit card?||Puis-je payer par carte de crédit?||How much does a night cost, please?||Combien coûte une nuit, s’il vous plaît?|
|When is breakfast served?||Quand le petit-déjeuner sera-t-il servi?||Does the room have…||Est-ce que la chambre a…|
|Could you recommend a restaurant?||Pouvez-vous recommander un restaurant?||… a shower?||… une douche?|
|Where are the toilets?||Où sont les toilettes?||… a toilet?||… des toilettes?|
|Backery||la boulangerie||I would like …||Je voudrais …|
|Butchers||la boucherie||… a room.||… une chambre.|
|Supermarket||le supermarché||… a blanket.||… une couverture.|
|Market||le marché||… a towel.||… une serviette de bain.|
|Meat||la viande||Beer||la bière|
|Fish||le poisson||Wine||le vin|
|I would like…||Je voudrais …||The menu, please!||La carte, s’il vous plaît!|
|Anything else?||Rien d’autre?||Enjoy your meal!||Bon appétit|
|How much is it?||C’est combien?||The bill, please!||L'addition, s'il vous plaît!|
YouTube is a great place to find compilations of more useful vocabulary and phrases for your holiday.
In the video above, the words and phrases are repeated with pauses in between, which makes it a great study aid and vocabulary trainer.
Language learning apps are great tools for language learning and there are so many of them to choose from.
Find an app that suits your learning method. Consider how you learn best. Whether it’s listening to audio, watching videos, reading texts or with visuals, etc.
Use apps suitable for your language level. If you are a beginner at learning French, for example, make sure that you use apps suitable beginners or with various learning levels available.
Feel free to use multiple apps. The important thing is to enjoy the process! This will keep you motivated in the long term.
The most effective way to learn French is to practice with native French speakers from the beginning! Fear not if you don’t happen to live in France or a French-speaking country, this is where a Tandem partner comes in.
Learning with a Tandem partner is most effective because…
Your mistakes can get corrected immediately.
You can directly apply what you have learned. This is incredibly motivating and can instill a great sense of achievement.
You acquire authentic phrases and idiomatic expressions without even realizing it.
Our free Tandem app makes it quick and easy to find native French speakers all over the world. Through language exchange, build your French language skills efficiently and effectively with your ideal Tandem partner.