Best products from r/learnfrench

We found 39 comments on r/learnfrench discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 38 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/learnfrench:

u/abarron87 · 3 pointsr/learnfrench

It's great you are getting such a great headstart. By the time you reach 4 years you're going to have tried so many things! You should totally come back to this thread and see how much progress you'll have made :D.


I started with Duolingo, and loved it. It's what brought me joy when I was first learning a language and had no clue what to do when learning a language! As others have mentioned, it's not enough, and to use other tools.

I would suggest that you stop using Duolingo and find a tool that is more efficient and that teaches you material that is RELEVANT to your life. Duolingo doesn't teach you to speak and that's the one of the 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) that people often put off for a long time.

Next, accept and be prepared for your interest to come and go. You can start with a bundle of energy and intend to do it an hour a day, and 5 hours on weekends. That PROBABLY won't last. Building a habit takes time (of which thankfully you have a lot!), and being consistent is the MOST IMPORTANT THING. So, when your motivation wanes (it's inevitable) in a few weeks, months, whatever, don't stop completely. Reduce it down. Half an hour a day, but keep it every day, for example. Keep it going until it's just something you naturally do. Mix it up too: make sure you're keeping time for speaking practice, and don't keep yourself on apps learning vocab for example.


Personally, having taught myself French to C1 level over the last few YEARS, I've tried a lot of techniques (Duolingo, Memrise, Anki, Quizlet, italki, in person language exchanges...), and I would now recommend you follow something like Benny Lewis' Language Hacking method for a good starting point. I'm not an extrovert like him, but I've realised the importance of getting over a fear of speaking ASAP. It teaches you to speak from the start, and only learn the grammar and vocab YOU need, that is relevant to YOUR life. Most importantly, it shows you you can have a conversation with only a few words. Duolingo teaches you a bunch of useless vocab that you're not gonna use for ages or ever. Why put that in your brain?

Look into the book Fluent Forever, for which an app is in the process of being made. It's a wonderful language learning method based on the science of how the memory works. HOWEVER, it might only be right for you in a few months when you've tried a few things as it's for serious learners.

Drops is the latest craze that is fun and colourful like Duolingo and Memrise but allows you to dismiss words you don't want to learn right now. Again, this is great because you only learn what's relevant to you.

Taking classes on italki changed my life. Often cheaper than a 1 on 1 class in person, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. I've used it for both structured classes and conversation practice. Now I just do it for fun! to find language exchange meetups in your area.


Language Hacking book:

Fluent Forever:

Fluent Forever Creator's TED Talk which is basically the first chapter of the book:

Here's hyperpolyglot Luca Lampariello's guide to how to learn a language from scratch:




It probably won't be relevant to you yet but I have a YouTube channel where I talk about the real language that the French use. Once you have a good foundation from your studies my videos could be interesting for you. Plugging myself


Good luck and don't worry if this is a lot. You will try a few things and find some that work for you and some that don't. Good idea to reach out to those more experienced. Don't hesitate to ask me any more questions you have. I love this topic.

u/DeliciousEnergyDrink · 4 pointsr/learnfrench

The best thing you could possibly do would be to read the book "Fluent Forever" by Gabriel Wyner. It is a short read - but get it and finish it within the next week.

Then, go ahead and buy the French textbook you will be using next semester. You can usually look this up on your university website. If you really can't find it, I suggest buying a used copy of this for like 5 dollars on Amazon:

It is what my university uses and is pretty popular. I thought it was a decent intro level book.

Next, download Anki. Usually textbooks have vocab blocks or lists in each chapter. Input ALL of that vocab, starting with chapter 1 and moving forward, into Anki using the cards that Gabe talks about in his book. Continue to do this (even if the semester starts) until you input every chapter of the book.

If you start now, you will find that by the time the first test rolls around you won't be wrestling with vocab. This will free you to focus on the grammar, as well as speaking and writing.

The people who do poorly at a foreign language in college are the ones cramming the vocab lists the night before the test - you need to have that stuff down before the test is even on the horizon.

Once the semester starts, input the example sentences of the book into Anki (also as Gabe suggests) to start memorizing that grammar too. Anything you struggle with in class, go home that night and input 5 different examples of it in to Anki.

Do Anki every single day. Don't skip one. This alone will put you at the head of your class - and you will have a month head start!

EDIT: There are other resources to use if you want more, but since you will have classes available, I think it is best to do as I say above and focus on the class materials. Doing Anki alone with a university class will make French seem easy since you will have everything memorized so quickly. Enjoy it. Have some fun. Seek out other reading materials to get ahead - the /r/languagelearning sidebar has plenty, or browse my comment history for a lot of suggestions.

u/Saaseend · 2 pointsr/learnfrench

Hey there,

To quickly gain conversational fluency, I recommend investing in:

  1. An audio course. Personally I like Michel Thomas, but friends of mine use Pimsleur. Pimsleur is a bit more "boring" imo.

  2. A frequency dictionary with phonetic pronunciation (preferably) and example sentences. I like this one.

    In my opinion, an audio couse and a frequency dictionary are the essential two tools to rapidly gain a base in any language. You won't be able to write an official letter, or speak 100% without error.. but if your goal is fluency for day-to-day activities you're golden.

    Hope this helps!
u/imawat · 1 pointr/learnfrench

The best thing for me has been this grammar book, and a few books for conversation. and yes duolingo is bad at vocabulary and can be really frustrating a lot. It's also really bad at the order in which it teaches things. I never really got into memrise because it's a bit boring for me but to get started you need to learn the things that are the most common. I am also teaching myself french (and other languages), and believe me, there are a lot of shitty and useless learning resources. In my experience, the best pocket phrasebooks are langenscheidt, the best slang material is Hide This (french) Book, the best grammar books are Dover series, and when you are at the level, any easyreader should be good. I also strongly recommend listening to french being spoken, or else you will not understand anybody. Good luck!

u/jbotluckyluc · 2 pointsr/learnfrench
Check this book out:
It has one page in French and the other side in English so you can quickly look up what a sentence means along the way. This is helpful but note that the grammar and such might be a bit complicated if you are beginner-intermediate. My first French book was Le Petit Prince, so if you haven't picked that up, I would recommend it also!
Have fun!
u/ttchoubs · 2 pointsr/learnfrench

Buy a copy of Essential French Grammar.

This book always gets recommended and for good reason. It has been such a fantastic reference for me while learning. Everything is simple and very to the point.

Plus this shit is only like $2. Well worth it.

u/kxu · 4 pointsr/learnfrench

I think "Le Petit Nicolas" (Sempé-Goscini) is pretty cool to start reading French (I'm French BTW). Easy to read, quite fun too :)

My advice for practising is to read the kind of stories you like, even manga or comics (BD) if you prefer (many of them are well written in French). Let me know if I can help on a specific book category to avoid too difficult books. For example, I love Jules Verne stories but it's way too difficult to start reading in French :)

u/mechazirra · 1 pointr/learnfrench

There's a lot of free french readers on Amazon for kindle that are free if you have kindle unlimited as well.


Here are a few I have.


Disclaimer: I get nothing for these links, there's no referral links or anything like that.

u/Californie_cramoisie · 1 pointr/learnfrench

There's actually a 4th level! It's perfectionnement.

I, too, highly recommend these books. You can also buy the answer keys.

If you were to finish this series of books, you could work through La Grammaire à l'œuvre, which would give you a Bachelor's degree level mastery of French grammar, but this book is not for the faint of heart. The one /u/Cottonade recommended is much more learner-friendly.

u/iamxmai · 2 pointsr/learnfrench

Many people like trying Le petit Nicolas

But I think it's not exactly easy even for A2 either. There are quite a bit of passé simple that can throw you off. You can read some sample text of it and see if it suits your level.

Some of my friend teachers like bringing up bande dessinée, which is, imo, a pretty culturally unique way of 'literary' creation (Though one can argue that manga is similar). Unfortunately I haven't really tried any to be able to recommend.

u/againstagamemnon · 1 pointr/learnfrench

I'm very fond of this textbook:

I used it in 2008 when I studied French in college, and I've recently started using it again along with Duolingo, Memrise, and Rosetta Stone. It's a great resource.

u/mitouyou8 · 1 pointr/learnfrench

You can find on Amazon, it's the 33rd version (I've got the 32nd), the index at the end of the book is really useful.

But if you want to use the Exercices book, the references to the paragraphs number are based on the 32nd version of the PG. I am not sure that the order of the exercices was made for foreign learners, some exercices are really easy (well, from a French's perspective, but they are focused on the grammatical concepts), and some are really tricky. An example page.

u/Sirupsen · 1 pointr/learnfrench

The author of the book Fluent Forever found some research that pointed at minimal pairs as an excellent way to train your ear. Minimal pairs are pairs of words that sound similar to an untrained ear, e.g. ces/sais, vos/vo and deux/du in French. You can find the words and their correct pronunciation yourself and create an immediate feedback system to learn to distinguish the sounds, or you can buy the English->French pronunciation trainers the author created for Anki (spaced repetition/flash card software). (I'm not affiliated in any way)