10 Best French Courses - Learn Online, Start for Free

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French Online

Are you preparing for a French exam, planning a trip to France, or just passionate about learning the language of love? Online French courses are a great option to reach your goal. You can take French classes on the internet with private or group sessions, when and where it suits you best. Some French teaching sites even offer free trials. If you can't travel to a French-speaking country, virtual classes are ideal to learn real French!

French is an official language in 29 countries across multiple continents. It is estimated to have about 76 million native speakers and about 235 million daily fluent speakers and another 77 to 110 million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language to varying degrees of proficiency, mainly in Africa. According to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, approximately 300 million people worldwide speak French.

In the USA, French is the fourth most spoken language. And the good news is English shares about 30% of its vocabulary with French. Did you know that the international distress call for pilots, Mayday, comes from the french word "m'aider which means help me? Other common words that come from french are "avant-garde", "fiancé" and "cul-de-sac". So in a way, you already speak French without knowing it!

Whether you are a complete beginner, a student preparing for an exam, a professional or a traveller willing to improve your French, we've found the best online French courses for you to learn the French language and improve your pronunciation. So you don't have to spend time looking and just have to start learning French. And learning a new language is a lot easier with a smart mobile app. So, before going online, download French Translator & Dictionary + for free from the App Store or Google Play. 📲

Table of Contents

1. French Uncovered
2. Rocket French
3. France Langue
4. Pimsleur French
5. Rosetta Stone
6. FrenchPod101
7. Mondly
8. Chatterbug
9. Duolingo
10. Babbel

1. French Uncovered

French Uncovered uses story-telling to make learning more fun. This innovative programme that helps you learn French with confidence, imagination and flair through the power of story, by putting French words in a real-life context.

This approach is based on the idea that traditional methods of learning French lead you to "think in rules" and translate in your head, so you end up tongue-tied when you come face-to-face with native speakers. While successful French learners start with the end in mind.

We like this natural method, teaching you grammar rules and vocabulary through a story so that you understand them from it. It gives you full immersion in French through the power of story, even as a complete beginner, with no previous knowledge of French.

This 3-month course is best for students who want a unique learning experience based on storytelling. It is designed to take you from beginner to intermediate in just three months. Each lesson lasts 20mn maximum so you can easily practice everyday.

Price: $297 one time purchase. 7 day free trial with credit card.

2. Rocket French

Rocket French is designed to cover all aspects of French language learning i.e. listen, speak, read and write.

Designed to take beginners through these different phases of learning through to proficiency, this course includes interactive audio lessons and voice recognition system to improve both your understanding and pronunciation skills. Flash cards round out the experience by providing a fun way to work on your vocabulary.

Rocket Language is one of the only vendors to provide lifetime access to courses and the number of hours of lesson time depends on how many course levels you purchase. They include bonus Survival Kits with each of their language packs and a 60-day money-back guarantees.

This course is best for students who want cultural and French language immersion. If you're not sure which course is right for your current level, Rocket French invites you to take a course finder quiz to find the perfect language course for you.

Price: $149.95 (Level 1) to $449.85 (Levels 1,2 & 3). Free trial with over four hours of content.

3. France Langue

France Langue is the French learning solution when you can't travel. With 6 to 20 lessons per week, you can find the right course for you and start learning Moliere language from your coach or living room turned into a French quality school.

France language offers 2 course intensities : the standard course (4h30 per week) to approach all the skills useful for good communication in French, such as oral and written comprehension and oral and written productions, and the intensive course (9h per week) which is made of a standard course to which they add complementary thematic workshops to enrich your knowledge more quickly, improve your language skills or develop your knowledge of French culture.

After a personalized assessment of your level and your needs, you will join a class and practice your French with students from around the world. Oral communication will be very present to allow you to improve your fluency in French. The teacher will suggest activities to facilitate contact between you. It will leave moments of natural exchange with everyone.

This approach is best for students who prefer a more structured learning as if they were in a classroom and like to meet students from all over the world.

Price: €199.00/week for 20 lessons

4. Pimsleur

The promise of Primsleur is to learn a foreign language effortlessly. The Pimsleur Method™, developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, an academic who received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, combines well-established research, most-useful vocabulary and a completely intuitive process to get you speaking right from the first day.

All Pimsleur courses feature real-world context and flexible vocabulary enabling you to learn your new language in a fluid, natural way to make learning French quick and easy.

Still only 30 minutes a day, Pimsleur Premium is completely portable, and audio lessons are hands-free; you can do them in the car, at the gym, or while out for a walk. Lessons sync across devices, so while you’re free to ramble, the app keeps your language learning firmly on track. In fact, 75% of their students learned the language on the go during their downtime.

Digital flash cards and the Quick Match interactive phrase game provide listening and reading practice and review, and Speak Easy conversations help you to engage with the language. They pull you into the culture, fixing rhythm and intonation in your mind, and help you to develop a near-native accent.

Price: $150.00 per course level. 7 day free trial.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is certainly amongst the most expensive French courses but it's also one of the most famous with over twenty-five years of experience in designing language learning programsand. And, it's highly ranked by users in the App Store.

Your French lessons start with the basics of common words and pronunciations and then scale naturally towards a more complex understanding of the language. Rosetta Stone’s French language learning program has an immersive approach that introduces words alongside visual and audio cues that help you learn vocabulary in the context of real-world conversations.

You can access the courses from any kind of device, from computers to mobile phones and tablets. With an immersive approach that focuses on contextualizing learning, Rosetta Stone uses an award-winning mobile app and language learning software to deliver bite-sized lessons to learn French anytime and anywhere.

We like Rosetta Stone's patented speech recognition engine called TruAccent. TruAccent compares your pronunciation to that of native French speaker and provides feedback, helping you hone in on understanding and being understood in French.

Rosetta Stone is best for people who can ask their employer to pay for the course and are looking for a visual way to learn French while on the go.

Price: $11.99 per month, up to $299 one-time purchase. 3 day free trial.

6. FrenchPod101

FrenchPod101 is a comprehensive learning tool with short audio and video lessons based on your goals and needs.

You have access to several study tools that allow you get the word lists, with slideshows and flashcards that re-quiz you on words so you don't forget them, slowed down audio and line-by-line breakdowns, so you pick up every word, and practice and compare yourself with natives with voice-recording tools.

You can also use a personal teacher to get personal feedback, corrections and answers to any questions you may have via private messenger. Your teacher will also give you a personalized program to follow and weekly assignments.

This course is best for beginners who want to start from the basics and need some guidance and support.

Price: $4.00/month for the Basic plan, $10.00/month for Premium and $23.00/month for the PremiumPLUS for a two-year subscription.

7. Mondly

Mondly use interactive exercises such as dragging a vocabulary word to the correct picture to learn words based on real world situations such as family, romance, seasons and weather. Or, you can create a sentence by ordering jumbled words into a sentence.

Unlike most language courses that require you to learn from English, Mondly localizes their lessons so you can learn from your native language, which makes learning more effective for most students.

Mondly has developed virtual reality content that some are calling 'the next best thing to the real world'. People into video games will probably love the avatar approach that steps you through a series of questions and responses.

Mondly also offers content specially made for kids which is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Mondy is best for students or people familiar with video games and prefer short and interactive lessons.

Price: $9.99/month or 12 months for $47.99

8. Chatterbug

Chatterbug's method centers on private video lessons with hand-picked tutors from around the world. The comprehensive language tool help you learn French from A1 to C2 level.

The tool is very intuitive and gives you access to 45-minute live lessons to learn to speak English with the help of qualified tutors and through exercises developed by language didactics. You can also improve your reading, writing and listening skills at your own pace thanks to an unlimited access to interactive multimedia learning material.

You then receive a certificate for every completed level. This confirms your linguistic knowledge according to the standard of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Chatterbug is best for people looking for a more acandemic approach and willing to take a certificate.

Price: from €20.00 to €400.00 per month. 14-day trial subscription including one Live Lesson.

9. Duolinguo

Duolinguo claims that its learning method is fun and addictive. You earn points by answering correctly, practice in time trial mode, and level up. The lessons are both short and effective and they state they've got proof that it works, but don't say where they took their stats from.

Duolinguo also auto-declares itself as the world’s most popular online language learning platform and claims to be 100% free. Well, as for the 1st point, we're not sure what this is based on, and for the second point, it is not exactly true as they changed to a freemium model a while back.

The learning experience is like a game, with several levels that you unlock by completing fun, bite-sized lessons. With as little as 5 minutes a day, Duolingo helps you improve your French skills. And a cute owl encourages you to soldier on and reminds you that failure is part of the learning process.

But, if you miss a question, your health level drops and you can even virtually die if you miss too many questions. You will then need to wait a day to be healthy again and get back in the game. If you don't want to wait a day, then you just have to pay.

Duolingo is best for students or gamers wishing to play while learning French and wanting a course based on fun and interactvie bite-sized lessons.

Price: Ad-supported. $12.99 per month up to $79.99 per year.

10. Babbel

Babbel is also auto-declaring itself to be the no. 1 language learning selling app and is designed to learn French for real people in the real world. In any case, they certainly do a lot of advertising.

The Babbel didactic method is based on the observation of experts over the best academic practices. They picked the best proven, time-tested strategies to teach languages.

Their app combines communicative didactics, cognitivism, behaviorism and constructivism. Progressive lessons are connected together as an interlinking framework, with each step building towards the next. They say this guarantees learners the shortest path to real-life conversations.

Babbel invites you to fill out a short survey in order to teach you in a way that fits your needs. Their programmes cover all the aspects of language learning through multimedia content. You will also learn to read and write at your own path through audio and video supports.

Babble is best for students who seek a didactic approach to learning French and want to be able to get into simple conversations quickly.

Price: $12.95 per month up to $83.40 per year. No free trial. 20-day money back guarantee.

Eager to discover more French vocabulary or expressions you won't learn at school nor in any of these resources? Here are some articles you might find interesting!
- French False Friends
- French Swear Words
- French Medical Terms
- French Numbers
- Funny French idioms
- Songs to Help you Learn French

Have you developed a French language course that deserves a spot on our list? Send us an email to outreach@vidalingua.com and tell us why.

If you're looking for an app offering lessons with interactive exercises to practice French words and sayings, download Learn French + for free on your iPhone or iPad.

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Christine Ducos-Restagno
Lead French linguist

© vidalingua