Hello folks! Bonjour !
As a language learner, I am always on the lookout for some way to make my learning (and my life!) easier. And as a teacher, I want to help you improve your language learning habits. So today I'd like to recommend you a few apps, some focus on learning French, others are more general. I'll tell you which one I used personally and share my insight. If you want to add an app to the list, comment below and let us know all about your favorite tricks!
This post can contain affiliate links, they are marked with * . This means I will get a little compensation if you purchase an app through my channels, but the price will remain the same for you. I do not share links of products that I haven't or wouldn't use myself.
C'est parti !
Part 1: The obvious options:
I'd like to share with you a few free apps that you've certainly heard of before. Being mainstream is a GOOD thing when it comes to mobile apps, after all, it only means they are proven and used daily by millions, which guarantees their qualities, right?
A student of mine recommended MosaLingua to me a few weeks back and had me surprise a little. I don't usually do paying apps but my nice and bubbly student was starting to tell everyone about it and I felt compelled to try it out myself. I first did some research on the MosaLingua website (here) and I found rather impressive the amount of testimonies and the diversity of languages taught. Not just that, but a number of options simple don't compare with Duolinguo or Memrise.
Whether you are studying a particular area (work, travel...) or a to pass a specific diploma, you can easily pick your preferences. That was definitely a major bonus since I haven't found anything like that so far.
I then registered to try it out and I can say was impressed by the precision of the course. The testing of level is quite interesting with its way to judge not only what you need to learn but also controls how fast you do and what is typically a problem for you. A good algorithm that can tailor a class to your needs means guaranteeing the best results and I absolutely liked having such an option.
As a paying app, I believe that the service offered by Mosa Lingua is exceptional, complete and easily accessible to most users. Their softwares are constantly improving, making it a top app on the market, available on both Apple store and Google Play.
What a fun little app! The design, the practicality, and all the little bonuses (hit your daily objectives and get promo codes to buy the full course) are really a cool feature.. I use Memrise almost daily to improve and practice my Catalan and so far, not only does the app run smoothly but I also enjoy the variety of activities, checking if I can remember the words from a few days ago and keeping track of my improvements. The only thing I can say would be that some recodings are missing and that leaves the course uncomplete. That said, it might be becasue I am learning Catalan so it's easy to imagine that there are less Catalan users and tutors than French one.
I like the app, but I must admit I can rarely use it: Since I can't learn Catalan from French or English and my Spanish is not good enough, I haven't been able to fully enjoy it. But I do recommend it! It basically works like Memrise, by using the help of natives who can create exercises. It's proven really useful to some of my students since the French lessons have a lot of content. Just like Memrise, I enjoy the spelling and audio test but find missing the speaking practice which can limit the learning at a certain point.
Part two: the specialized apps
Some app developers want to highlight a particular feature or just one skill at a time ; here are my favorite apps:
4) Le / la:
When starting to learn French ,you'll most likely encounter that huge pain in the a*s that is to learn the gender of each noun. Even those who don't actually have a gender. (why is 'door' feminine, really?) Le / la helps you find the proper article for each noun. It might not seem like a lifesaver, but it'll definitely help you a great deal on the long run.
My husband's father was French but my husband's native language is English. Even now that he's been speaking French daily for half his life, le / la can still be a little problem at times. To sum up, I can't think of a single learner who wouldn't use it every now and then.
Not available on app store
5) Le Conjugueur:
Another big issue to tackle when learning French would be the conjugation. If you already speak Spanish, German, Italian... you'll get the concept quickly but if you only know English, then the French conjugation system can be off-putting at times.
Do not fear! Le Conjugueur will not only share with you the most common verbs and their conjugation, you can ask any verb you like, check their tense, mode and conjugation at each person singular or plural. What else could you want? Let me see:
The app loses points because I wish I'd be able to key in a verb (conjugated) to know its tense / mode / infinitive form. Maybe later?
Not available on app store
6) Zéro Faute:
Love it! Yes, I still use it regularly to check my grammar. There's just so much to cover when it comes to French grammar, you never have enough of it! I love all about this app, it's inviting, fun and playful.
Though I truly enjoy the Zero Fautes, I don't think it's a good fit for everyone, you'd need to have some A2 level at least to beneficiate from it. Which isn't so bad, after all most free app are only interested for beginners.
Not available on App store
7+) French Idioms, Epressions françaises...
There is a variety of apps that can help you learn some French idioms. The first one I metntionned is great to translate from English, while others are completely in French. Inboth cases, I recommend you check Google Play or the apps store suggestions, they will help you find many of the little apps that are always a good complement to the big courses.
You can always find a bunch of free apps, ready for download, either on the app store or Google Play.
The key to all these applications is to use them frequently. You have plenty of choices so if there's one or two you don't like (design, ads, functions...) you can always find something else!
Comment below to let us know your favorite French learning apps!