19+ Best Apps to Learn French

Start learning one of Europe's most important languages using one, or perhaps a few, of the best apps to learn French. 

Rocket Languages, Busuu and FrenchPod101 are top of our list when it comes to the best apps to learn French. Closely, following behind is Brainscape, Tandem and SpeakEasy.

Best Apps to Learn French

1. Busuu: 4/5

Cost: Free or $5.83 a month for Premium

Busuu is a language learning app that offers 12 languages, one of them being French! Its French course includes content that covers all of the basics including reading, writing, speaking and listening. The reason why Busuu is one of the best apps to learn French is thanks to its conversation activities, and pronunciation course, which helps you to start speaking French from the offset. One of the best features of the app is its social feature, where you can connect with native French speakers from all over the world who can correct your writing or explain French nuances. Most of the features can only be accessed on the premium version, however, for an avid learner, the price is more than worth it.

What we like:

  • Includes a French travel course and pronunciation course. 
  • The premium subscription offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.
  • Offers personalised lesson plans.

What we don't like:

  • Some features can only be accessed by the premium version. 
  • The app is quite limited: you may need to use other resources to become fluent.

2. French Translator Dictionary +

Cost: Free

If you are a language student, you'll need access to a good dictionary companion. The French Translator Dictionary + by Vidalingua is a great tool for your French learning. It provides you with translations of any word in French (including slang or regional dialect words) along with the pronunciation of each word. You can select how quickly or slowly you want to hear the native speaker pronounce it along with which accent you want to hear it in – perhaps Quebecois? Aside from the translation aspect, the app also offers a verb conjugator with over 400,000 verbs, as well as quizzes and exercises to help you study. Although this app won't help you learn french, it does offer great support.

What we like:

  • Includes a verb conjugator with over 40,000 verb forms. 
  • Interactive and user-friendly interface.
  • Endless quizzes and flashcards to help you cement what you've just learnt.

What we don't like:

  • Doesn't teach any grammar.
  • Useful as a supplementary tool only.

3. Rocket Languages: 4/5

Cost: French Level 1 $149.95 for lifetime access.

Rocket French is a very comprehensive course and one of the best apps to learn French. With Rocket French you have access to an audio course, a culture course, as well as a language course (including writing and reading comprehension). Within the audio course, you follow the adventures of two hosts in France. Each lesson includes conversation practice, exercises, and a transcript as well as games and tests to help you to reinforce your learning. These games include all aspects of language learning: listening comprehension, reading and writing comprehension, translation and even speaking. Finally, within the lessons, there are also cultural elements (hence, the culture course). These are interesting facts about France, French society, history and more. With Rocket Languages, you can also track your progress, and use the voice recognition tool to practice pronunciation.

What we like:

  • It gets you speaking and understanding real French very early on. 
  • The price is very reasonable for such a comprehensive course. 
  • Price includes lifetime access. 

What we don't like:

  • Only available through the Rocket Languages website. 
  • The voice recognition software isn't the best.

4. TV5Monde Learn French

Cost: Free

If you are already familiar with French media then you might recognise this name. TV5Monde is a French television channel that broadcasts news in France. The team behind TV5Monde have now created one of the best apps to learn French by using the power of native speakers. The app follows the Common European Framework of Reference for its language levels, which means you'll be able to track your progress through a widely recognised ability level. Each level includes a number of videos on different topics including news stories, cooking, fashion, culture, history and everyday life. Each video also has subtitles, and you can also translate the transcript into your native language. After each video, you'll be given exercises to practice what you’ve learnt.

What we like:

  • There are native French speakers in the videos. 
  • The videos are very high quality. 
  • Over 3,000 exercises across all of the levels.

What we don't like:

  • Doesn't teach you any grammar. 
  • It doesn’t use enough English to help beginner learners so you will need a basic understanding of French.

5. Babbel: 4/5

Cost: $12.95/month

Babbel is a very popular app amongst today's language learners. It has a similar approach to the likes of Rosetta Stone, however, if you are a student on a budget, Babbel's prices are a lot more appealing. Babbel is a conversation-based app that starts by introducing you to vocabulary to help you start conversations about everyday topics. After each lesson, there is a selection of activities and some grammar explanations. With short 10-15 minute lessons, Babbel is one of the best apps to learn French if you have a busy life. Babbel can also track your learning so you can see how much progress you're making after each lesson.

What we like:

  • Speech recognition technology helps you with pronunciation. 
  • Babbel tracks your progress so you can see how much you've learned. 
  • You will learn the basics of French very quickly if you are committed.
  • Affordable for such a comprehensive course.

What we don't like:

  • The activities can get quite tedious after some time. 
  • Limited lessons and activities are available.

6. Brainscape French

Cost: Free

Brainscape's flashcard app will help you learn French quickly and effectively. After extensive scientific research, the creators of Brainscape concluded that spaced repetition is the key to foreign language retention. It is the only app on the market with a custom algorithm, and custom learning technology to help you drill thousands of French words. Brainscape also includes flashcards for verb conjugations and other grammar concepts. This is very handy as grammar can be quite tricky for language learners. Most recently, the team behind the app added a flashcard deck for listening comprehension, French history and pop culture. For this reason, it is one of the best apps to learn French, not only to learn the language but also to understand French society and culture. 

What we like:

  • One of a kind app on the market, following a unique algorithm. 
  • Learning with the flashcard method is quick and easy. 
  • Includes flashcards on French history and culture too.

What we don't like:

  • Quite expensive monthly payments. 
  • Not a full course, only beneficial as a supplement to your studies

7. Duolingo: 3.5/5

Cost: Free

If you are sick of school-like teaching, and you want a game-like approach to learning languages, then this is the app for you. Duolingo has been ranked as the best apps to learn French on both the Apple and Play store and for a good reason! You can learn vocabulary, reading and writing skills, pronunciation and listening skills all in one handy app. Duolingo even focuses on simple elements of grammar, like verb conjugations. This app is determined to make learning fun and treats it a bit like a competition. You can win badges, compete over high scores with your friends, and more. It's ideal for a casual learner who doesn't know how much time they want to commit to language learning, those with a busy lifestyle or a short attention span.

What we like:

  • The app is free (no payments required at any time) 
  • Great for casual learners. 
  • User forum where you can chat with other Duolingo learners.

What we don't like:

  • You will need to supplement your learning with other resources. 
  • The Duolingo Owl can be a little annoying (especially if you download the app on your phone) 
  • It may feel a tad childish for more mature students.

8. Le Conjuguer

Cost: Free

If there is anything students hate, it's grammar. Especially, verb conjugations. We know that French verb conjugations can be tricky, but with Le Conjugueur they're made simple, fun and less daunting. Although this app is not used to teach you French, it's a fantastic reference tool, and one you will need for sure. You can look up a verb and its conjugations, and there are also example sentences informing you how to use them and in what scenario. You can also practice translating and conjugating the verbs on the app.

What we like:

  • Completely free! 
  • Not as overwhelming and difficult as learning conjugations from a book. 
  • Great tool for language learning.

What we don't like:

  • Doesn't teach you, French. 
  • Only available online and on Android (at the time of writing).

9. Memrise: 3/5

Cost: Free or $8.99 / month for the pro version

Memrise offers 16 carefully curated language courses, and lucky for us one of them is French! It encourages learning through flashcard-like activities that focus on different elements of language learning, like vocabulary retention and sentence structure. Memrise helps you to learn new concepts by making connections and associations between them. For instance, you may upload your photo, or select a photo from the library to help you connect a new concept or word with a photo. One of the features that we recommend (that, unfortunately, is only available on the Pro version) is Lear with Locals video clips. Here, you can watch and listen to real native French speakers pronouncing common words, or discussing common topics. You can also record your pronunciation and compare it to that of native speakers.

What we like:

  • Hundreds of courses available. 
  • Completely free!
  • The pronunciation is recorded by real native speakers.

What we don't like:

  • The games can get repetitive and boring after a while.
  • Some of the best features are only available in the Pro version.

10. Rosetta Stone

Cost: $11.99/month for a 3-month subscription

Rosetta Stone is one of the oldest and most popular learning courses on the market. It has been teaching languages for over 25 years the same way a child would learn; through immersion, repetition and association. Rosetta Stone teaches you French purely in French, there isn't a word in English at any point throughout the course. Throughout the course, you are exposed to words, and later on, you begin to create simple sentences and phrases to build on what you have already learnt. The downside of Rosetta Stone is that it is quite expensive, and there are a number of more affordable alternatives.

What we like:

  • One of the most famous names in the industry. 
  • A very in-depth and comprehensive course. 
  • For one price, the course is yours forever.

What we don't like:

  • Very expensive compared to other courses. 
  • The method may not be suitable for everyone.

11. Tandem: 5/5

Cost: Free

Tandem has been described as the “Tinder of Language Learning apps”. Whether that label may convince you or deter you, don't let it completely make up your mind as we think it's one of the best apps to learn French out there! Tandem is a conversation app that helps you practice your French skills with other French speakers. The concept is simple: build long-term language relationships (or tandems!) with people from all over the world. First, you complete your profile with a short description of yourself and your language goals. Then you can scroll through to the app to find others with similar language goals, or interests and hobbies. You can find a French native speaker who will help you with French, in exchange for you helping them with your native language. You can stick to messaging, leave voice notes, or make audio and video calls.

What we like:

  • Ideal for those who are extroverts. 
  • The translation feature and the editing feature is effective.
  • Takes advantage of one of the best ways to learn French: through chatting, or talking to native.

What we don't like:

  • You need a basic knowledge of French. 
  • Not an actual course, only a supplementary tool.

12. 500 French Conversations

Cost: Free

The idea behind 500 French Conversations is simple: you learn how to conduct 500 authentic French conversations. It's one of the best apps to learn French if you're looking for a quick fix solution. The conversations are short, easy and to the point. They are recorded by real native speakers too, which is great for pronunciation. The topics focus on everyday conversations that everyone can relate to like school, work, daily life, hobbies and family life. The transcript is available in French and English, and afterwards, you can see what you learned with some basic exercises to test your listening and comprehension skills.

What we like:

  • Completely free!
  • 500 conversations are enough to keep you going for a while.
  • Exercises available after each conversation help cement what you’ve just learnt.

What we don't like:

  • Doesn't include any grammar help.
  • Occasional ads appear in the app and can interrupt your learning.

13. Learn French by MindSnacks

Cost: Free

MindSnacks is a free app available only on IOS. The app was originally designed for French students at school, however, we think that you will find the game highly enjoyable even if you are a professional! The app follows a similar concept to other popular apps on the market. It teaches you French through games and by revising words. For instance, in one of the games, you have to match the picture to the word. Simple and fun! You can also track your points and try to beat your high score. The app focuses on common everyday topics like food, transport, sports and more.  There are over 50 vocabulary sets available – that's tons of content!

What we like:

  • Game oriented learning. 
  • This app is completely free (includes in-app purchases). 
  • 50 vocabulary sets available.

What we don't like:

  • Originally geared towards students. 
  • Limited learning available.

14. MosaLingua

Cost: Free

MosaLingua is a free app ideal for vocabulary practice, learning phrases and using flashcards for repetition learning. One of the things that makes MosaLingua unique is its use of the Spaced Repetition System (SRS). SRS helps calculate what words should be popping up in your flashcards before you forget them. This way the words will go right into your long-term memory. There are over 14 categories and over 100 sub-categories, along with conversations, audio files and a phrasebook. That's a lot of content for a free app! The app has received tons of praise on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store. It's worth checking out.

What we like:

  • Interactive French app. 
  • Unique Spaced Repetition System (SRS) 
  • Tons of vocabulary and topic categories.

What we don't like:

  • Hard to practice speaking. 
  • Includes in-app purchases.

15. Anki

Cost: Free

Anki is a flashcard app available on IOS or Android. It is very similar to the likes of Memrise, however, unlike Memrise, it offers courses on anything and everything. With Anki, you can learn French vocabulary, phrases, some elements of grammar, while also learning about French history, society and culture. The app aims to help you retain as much vocabulary in your long-term memory by making you repeat them over and over again. The decks have the French word, or phrase, on one side and the English translation on the back. What is great is that you can also create your flashcards to customise your learning. This is a great feature if you're planning to study some unique or niche aspects of French.

What we like:

  • You can use the flashcards available or create your own! 
  • The app is completely free to use. 
  • You can also learn about French history and culture.

What we don't like:

  • No opportunities to practice speaking.

16. Francais Authentique

Cost: $5.83 a month

Francais Authentique is based on a successful Youtube Channel of the same name, which has over one million subscribers, as of March 2021. That speaks for itself! Johan, the host, has created hundreds of free videos and podcasts to help people across the world improve their French. The app, similarly to the channel, is available completely in French. All of the content revolves around audio (like podcasts), or video content (vlogs, grammar videos, French vocabulary videos, and more). Topics can include anything from elements of French culture and society, lifestyle content or Johan's favourite topics of self-improvement and productivity. As we mentioned before, the app is designed in French, which is why we'd recommend Francais Authentique to those with a good understanding of French first.

What we like:

  • Native French audio. 
  • There are audio transcripts available. 
  • Free Youtube content is also available.

What we don't like:

  • The content revolves around podcasts. 
  • Lacks grammar lessons. 
  • You need to have a solid basis in French before you begin.

17. SpeakEasy

Cost: One-time purchase of $3.99

SpeakEasy is a simple app that teaches you basic phrases and vocabulary in the form of a phrasebook. It is available on IOS or Android, and it's a perfect travel companion. SpeakEasy is full of recordings by actual native speakers of French. This is great for practising your pronunciation, while also being a handy tool to use if you can't speak French, but you want to get something across to the natives. However, if you are practising your speaking and pronunciation, there is also a playback feature available. Aside from a phrasebook, the app also offers some flashcards to help you learn the most important phrases and vocab. We'd say that this is one of the best apps to learn French for students who are living in a French-speaking country (but have not yet mustered the courage to learn French) or for those travelling.

What we like:

  • Great for beginners. 
  • The app is very simple and easy to use. 
  • Includes a playback feature to help with your pronunciation and speaking.

What we don't like:

  • Limited: it is an advanced phrasebook. 
  • There's a one-time fee included.

18. French by Nemo

Cost: Free or upgrade for $11.99

French by Nemo is a free app made for casual learners. While there is a structure to the app, its flexibility allows you to learn French at your own pace. Whenever you have some spare time: perhaps during a coffee break, or your commute just reach for the app. French by Nemo focuses on teaching the most essential phrases and words to learn. Some of the other features available include an interactive phrasebook, interactive audio, and a voice recognition element. This allows you to record your voice and compare your pronunciation to that of a native speaker. The app can be downloaded for free, however, you will have to upgrade the app to unlock more content.

What we like:

  • No lessons: study at your own pace. 
  • Record your voice and see how your pronunciation sounds. 
  • Interactive phrasebook available

What we don't like:

  • There is more content available, however, you have to pay to access it. 
  • The Nemo program offers a lot of languages, but the quality of content varies.
frenchpod101 review

19. FrenchPod101: 4/5

Cost: Free

FrenchPod101 is an audio-visual tool produced by Innovative Languages who also offer 33 other languages, including Spanish. It offers high-quality audio and video lessons, plus a lot of bonus features such as flashcards. While it’s free version is helpful, you’ll need to invest in the premium FrenchPod101 to really benefit from this app. It’s monthly subscription may seem on the pricier side of things, but you have more than 850 lessons to make your way through, a well-structured course offering thorough grammar explanations, and you can even download the lessons for when you’re heading off grid.

What we like:

  • Great value for money with more than 800 lessons included in Premium membership.
  • Well-structured lessons that cover grammar too.
  • Portable and downloadable.
  • Continually updated with new videos and resources.

What we don't like:

  • Free version is very limited.
  • Too much English is used and not enough French!
  • Marketing emails can get very annoying.

A Round-Up of the Best Apps to Learn French

That's all from the team at Actual Fluency on the best apps to learn French! We hope that with this comprehensive list of our favourite and most recommended language learning apps, you will be able to find something that best suits your wants and needs.