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Free online tools, courses, dictionaries and applications to learn French on your own

Hi everyone !

I am a french native speaker and french teacher. Here are some useful links, along with Duolingo, I give to my students so they can learn french on their own:

• Busuu, a great and very comprehensive website and application for your phone to learn languages from beginner (A1) to advanced levels (B2) (both a free and a premium version): https://www.busuu.com/en

• Memrise, a good website and application for your phone to memorize words and languages (both a free and a premium version): https://www.memrise.com/

• Watch TV in French on France 24 (also on an application for your phone), with subtitles in French or English: http://www.france24.com/fr/

• RFI (Radio France Internationale) (also on an application for your phone), listen to the radio in French and learn the language with exercises and culture thanks to this website: https://savoirs.rfi.fr/en

Every day there is a 10-minute radio news in “easy French” (« Journal en français facile ») with the transcription (written text): https://savoirs.rfi.fr/en/apprendre-enseigner/langue-francaise/journal-en-francais-facile

• This is a great website to learn French with exercises from the TV channel TV5 Monde. You can learn from level A1 (beginner) to B2 (advanced) and select the language of the menu: http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/en

• TV5MONDE’s application to learn French with words from the news. Master current French using international French-speaking channel TV5MONDE’s “7 jours sur la planète” application for iOS and Android (both a free and a premium version): http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/en/learn-french/learn-french-7-jours-sur-la-planete-smartphone-and-tablet

• Another website from TV5 Monde for beginners (A1/A2) to learn French and discover the French culture with web documentaries and short videos: http://parlons-francais.tv5monde.com

• This is another website from TV5 Monde to learn how to write French properly with spelling exercises/dictations from level A1 to C2: http://dictee.tv5monde.com/

• This is a great website to learn French from level A1 to C1 with a lot of exercises and you can also prepare yourself for the DELF exams: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/

• This is a good website with 40 hours of exercises to practice your speaking, listening and pronunciation skills in French. It is for levels B1/B2: http://fad-fle.net/

• This website has a lot of exercises (mostly grammar and conjugation): http://www.lepointdufle.net/

• This is a good website to learn Canadian/Quebec French history, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions with videos: http://www.je-parle-quebecois.com/

• This is the French MOOC platform. Here, you can follow courses to learn French (for example a 7 weeks A2 French class to discover Paris and the French language and culture with the Alliance française or a course to prepare yourself to the DELF/DALF exams). Stay tuned to see when there are new courses online and when the next sessions begin: https://www.fun-mooc.fr/cours/#filter/subject/langues?page=1=50

Ebooks and audiobooks:

• 500 very famous books of the French literature available for free on the website of the TV5Monde channel: http://bibliothequenumerique.tv5monde.com/

• Thousands of free ebooks from classical French and world literature, all in French: https://www.ebooksgratuits.com/

• Thousands of free audiobooks from the classical French and world literature, all in French: http://www.litteratureaudio.com/

Multilingual dictionaries (translation):

• The most famous French dictionary “Larousse” to translate from and into English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Arabic: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/bilingues

• To translate complete sentences in context from and to 12 languages (also on an application for your phone “Reverso Context”): http://context.reverso.net

French unilingual dictionaries:

• The most famous French dictionary “Larousse”: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais

• The very complete “Wiktionnaire” from Wikipedia (also on an application for your phone): https://fr.wiktionary.org

• Another useful dictionary from Reverso: http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-definition/

• A very good website to learn French idiomatic expressions along with their etymology and story! Subscribe to the newsletter to receive one expression with its explanation on your email every day: http://www.expressio.fr/

• Some other really precise dictionaries from the « Trésor de la langue française » and « Académie française » (for advanced level C1/C2): - http://www.cnrtl.fr/ - http://atilf.atilf.fr/ - http://atilf.atilf.fr/academie.htm - http://atilf.atilf.fr/academie9.htm

• One good website from the Quebec government that explains common grammar mistakes in French and what is correct and incorrect: http://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/ressources/bdl.html

• This is a good participative Quebec French dictionnary: http://www.wikebec.org/

• This is a good website to learn Quebec French idiomatic expressions and vocabulary: http://www.dufrancaisaufrancais.com/

French unilingual dictionaries to learn colloquial French, verlan, slang and argot:

• Colloquial French, slang and argot from the 19th century to nowadays: http://www.languefrancaise.net/Bob/Introduction

• French slang, argot and verlan as it is spoken in French ghettos: http://www.dictionnairedelazone.fr/

• Rap is a good way to learn the French slang, and here is a good website to understand the colloquial French of the French rap songs. Each sentence of a song has an explanation to explain its hidden meaning and vocabulary: https://genius.com/artists/Rap-genius-france

Enjoy !

July 12, 2017


  • 2368

To add to that excellent list, here is another resource some may find useful.

The France Info news radio station is available via streaming. It is great to listen to, probably for those slightly more advanced in French because (in its most recent incarnation) many of the presenters tend to speak more quickly at 'street speed' using modern French - or so it seems to me. Although for many years I used to listen to it in my car on 711KHz in the UK, until they sadly closed all the MW transmitters. I found it useful for getting used to the ryhthm of the language, even when I could only pick up a few words and just follow the gist of what was being talked about.

It is now tied to the (recently launched) corresponding France Info TV channel. It can be accessed via the website: http://www.francetvinfo.fr or the (iOS) app: https://appsto.re/gb/zgiYu.i which combines live streaming and clips of both the TV channel and radio station with a news site. Neither TV or radio is geo-blocked.

In addition to using the website or app, if you are using mobile data, and so wished to just listen to the audio without all the associated images and other data, it can be heard directly via this link: http://direct.franceinfo.fr/live/franceinfo-midfi.mp3 which will simply play the streamed audio in Safari.

I imagine there is a corresponding Android app.

The app also allows watching the full main France 2 and France 3 news programmes after broadcast - not live. Look for 'JT' on the left panel. Again not geo-blocked. These are also accessible via the website, but you are now required to register, so I don't know if this has added restrictions.

  • 2368

Another is the BFMTV news channel, which is apparently the most-watched news channel in France: http://www.bfmtv.com/mediaplayer/live-video/ or there is also an app: https://appsto.re/gb/aFsAt.i


I really hope that I can become better when it comes to understanding french reading as well as speech. Any tips teacher?


Yes : practise ! The links I published should help you with that alongside with Duolingo ;)


Do you know any tips for irregular verbs?


Always try to learn them in context/complete sentences. Read and listen to a lot of french with the links I published. Train with the exercises on the websites. Learning lists of vocabulary or irregular verbs by heart won't be of any help if you cannot use them in context.


Bonjour Basiloprof: très agréable à vos ajouts et à vos conseils. Mais pourquoi votre niveau est-il seulement de 11? Vous devriez être 25. Quoi qu'il en soit, voici 2 lingots pour votre coeur ouvert.


Salut !

Quand on complète l'arbre Duolingo dans sa totalité en prenant tous les raccourcis et les tests pour valider les unités rapidement, on atteint plus ou moins le niveau 10/11. J'ai complété l'arbre depuis l'anglais vers le français pour avoir accès à l'intégralité du cours, voir son fonctionnement et son type de pédagogie pour mes élèves.

Pour atteindre le niveau 25, il faut s’entraîner régulièrement, même une fois l'arbre complété, ce que, étant natif, je n'ai pas besoin de faire ;)

À plus !

  • 1634

A lingot for you to say Thank you!


Merci ;) Hope it helps !


Merci! Wonderfully helpful! If this is copy/pasted from a list you give your students, you might want to change the description on expressio.fr from "idiotic" to "idiomatic". :)


Oh yeah thank you ! I was not sure of the right word to use here ;)


Thank you for the outstanding list of resources! I signed up for this free resource. I get a daily email from Johan and listen to his videos each day! https://www.francaisauthentique.com/

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.