Think you’re too busy to learn French this year? Think again.
All of us are busy with work projects, friends, family events, and trying to find some time for ourselves. That’s why it’s vital that we’re careful when choosing what French app to use to learn French. With so many different French learning apps out there, how does one filter from the clutter?
Here are a few questions you should ask to determine which app to use:
- Can I learn on my smartphone? – Check if there is a mobile app or at least the ability to use it on your browser
- Is it something I can use from anywhere? – If you’re busy, restricting yourself to in-person learning only is a big ‘no-no’, unless it’s very nearby.
- Am I able to learn on my own time? – Whether it’s 2AM because you can’t sleep or at 11AM during lunch, you want to prioritize learning French using apps that are flexible with your schedule
- How effective is it to help me speak French? – For the majority of French learners, being able to hold a fluent conversation is a priority. While not all apps are optimized for this, we’ll share a few that are very effective to help you speak French with confidence.
Top 8 French Apps to Learn French For Busy People On-The-Go
Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here is our curated list of the top French apps you should be using.
Key features: Professional teachers, personalized lessons, flexible live learning
At Rype, we offer professional live 1-on-1 lessons to help you speak French, Spanish, German, and much more. Our membership gives you access to 10 languages at the same time, and lessons can be done anywhere, anytime. As long as you have a phone or a labtop, you can enjoy learning French at the office, on your bed, or while you’re taking your dog out for a walk.
We’ve handpicked each teacher that is on our platform to ensure top quality, and allow flexibility to reschedule or cancel lessons within a few hours notice.
Best of all, you’ll get 7 days for free if you’re a new member. Try it for free here.
Key features: Digital flashcards, pre-created templates, daily goals
For those of you just beginning in your French learning journey, memorizing vocabulary and phrases is key. It’s how you can begin to form sentences and have more elaborate conversations in French. You’ve likely used flash cards or mnemonics to help you learn faster. Well, Memrise is like that but on steroids.
Through the use of online community and digital flash cards, Memrise is one of the most flexible ways to memorize and learn new French words.
Key features: Gaming, multiple game options
Love playing games on your phone? Why not learn French while you game? MindSnacks combined the addictiveness of gaming with learning foreign languages, including French. It’s great for beginners who need that extra motivation and engagement to learn the basics.
It may seem like the game was designed for the younger demographics, but that shouldn’t deter you from playing!
Key features: Gamified, great UX, free
Duolingo is one of the most popular language apps out there because of its ease of use, gamified approach, and free price tag. It offers an innovative business model where they initially began giving away the app for free, but monetizing through translations.
With that said, like any language app, there are limitations to using Duolingo. It’s important to complement your lessons with a professional French teacher or verify what you’re learning with a grammar book.
Check out our review of Duolingo.
Key features: Online community, certified course
Similar to Duolingo, Busuu offers a comprehensive learning experience for beginners to intermediate level students. What sets it apart is their online community, where native speakers can correct your work. While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get the right answer from them, it can be useful.
Busuu has also partnered up with McGraw-Hill to offer certified courses when you complete their lessons.
Read our review of Busuu.
Key features: Audio learning
Do you start the morning off by listening or watching the news? Try switching it to slow French! News in Slow French is a podcast where they talk about the news in French at a speed slow enough for beginners to understand. Best of all, you’re able to listen to it on the go, which frees you up to make the most of your busy schedule.
Key features: Conversation lessons
Babbel is another similar comparison to Busuu and Duolingo, but more comparable to Busuu. Busuu and Babbel have the same business model, where they offer a few free lessons then upsell customers to their premium subscription. Where Babbel claims to differentiate from others is their focus on conversation lessons. From our experience, the key difference seems to be where you have to respond back to a simulated conversation on text.
Key features: Travel resources, travel phrases
A great and resourceful travel app that also offers language lessons inside. You can likely tell by the name alone ‘Trip – Lingo’ that the app comes with useful travel tools like ‘Culture tips’, ‘World Bank’, and ‘Travel Situations.’ This allows you to learn the most important facts about the country you’re visiting before or during your trip.
In terms of language learning, TripLingo offers voice translators, dictionaries, and basic lessons (including French) to help you survive. Keep in mind that it’s not designed to help you go much beyond that, as it is a travel app too. If you want an app that combines traveling and language learning, TripLingo is a great option. However, if you’re serious about learning French and getting to an advanced level, it may not be the best fit.
How will you use these apps to learn French?
We’ve mentioned the top French learning apps for you to choose from. However, we don’t want to limit how you decide to use these apps. Each has their pros and cons, with key features that differentiate them from others.
Our recommendation? Choose 2-3 apps that complement each other, and use each for what they’re best for. Similar to how you would get a gym membership (or trainer), a fitness health app, and a nutrition book, you can do the same for languages.
To help you improve your French speaking skills, you can use Rype to work with a professional teacher. Then use an app like Duolingo to learn basic vocabulary, while using Memrise to help you memorize those French words faster.
Best of luck on your journey and let us know how it goes!
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