What is the best free site for learning french for a complete novice!

iam new in France iam living in a beautifull small town of Cremieu positively medievil

iam very intrerested in learning French !!!!Of course and wnated to know if anyone had great success using free websites


I learnt Dutch by buying a grammar book with exercises & working my way through it & obliging people to talk to me & correct me - but I already spoke English and German so it wasn't very hard. I also find it helpful reading newspapers & then novels in the target language, with a dictionary to hand. Whatever works for you.

Really interesting to see the many ways people learn a language - in the end it has a lot to do with individual motivation!

Yes, there are plenty of websites and ways out there to help you learning any language. Some are better than others, of course, but for many people the best way to learn is with a tutor (preferably a native speaker) who can taylor the lessons to your specific needs.

As an experienced (and qualified) tutor and a french native speaker, I do just that on Skype - and I am pleased to say my students tend to make rapid progress by working at their own pace. They also enjoy the lessons (so do I) and show motivation and commitment. Each lesson is based on what they know already (not matter how little that is to start with) and goes forward from there at a pace that suits each person. There is no competition, no pressure, no boredom because everything that is covered not only makes sense, but it is also relevant to that leaner’s needs with regards to learning French. I also teach about the french culture, customs, etc which form an integral part of learning a language. Skype is a fantastic way to learn too - immediate and very versatile too.

Please feel free to visit my website www.franglaisonline.com and to contact me if you need any further information.

Bonne chance à tous ... quoi que soit le moyen choisi pour apprendre le Français!

I subscribed (not free!) to French Accent Magazine which is an interesting up to date magazine. Easiest thing to say is Google the free download and have a look.

Subscribe Today and Save Big!!
Subscribe to French Accent Magazine for 1 year at a reduced price of only 24€ (£20; US$32)!! (6 issues for the price of 4!) by clicking on the link below:
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Keep improving your French comprehension by listening to our numerous audio links (scenarios, vocabulary, expressions, dictations..).

Also for vocab http://www.happychild.org.uk/freeway/french/indexoverview.htm

Get some second hand teach yourself French books and plough through them one after the other, that way you do not have to go through the same one again and again which is so boring!

Hi Rebekah,

Have you heard of livemocha.com?


One of the biggest websites promising conversational fluency - if we stick to their game plan. It's free, though they offer paid courses as well in advanced levels.

I personally tried it for learning Italian two years back, just before going for a summer break in Tuscany. It was an excellent way to learn simple phrases to communicate everyday things. The two months I stuck with the online free course helped me and our group of friends a whole lot.

I highly recommend this site.

Hi Elisabeth and welcome! Thanks for that, must read more!

Hi Tony

Yep - Dealing with FT is a whole new "stage"!!! The "encouraging" thing is that the French find them just as frustrating to deal with as non-French speakers! And even their employees/sub-contractors are driven mad by "the office"!! Roll on privatisation :-)

I will "review" your blog entry tomorrow - after a good night's sleep when the spirits will be at their strongest :-)

You were lucky he found the wall!

I must be the lucky one with FT when we first arrived no pnone line nothing at all it had been totally ripped out by a heavy handed builder on the second attempt got the English speaking help line the guy was perfect really helpful within a week new line pity the engineer could put the box on the wall straight

I know what you mean, Graham, my first attempts a few years ago at trying to communicate with France Télécom over the phone were a total failure. They kept hanging up on me after the first thirty seconds. I finally got through to a manager once who explained to me that my French wasn't good enough for them, to which I replied, as haughtily as I could in my meagre French, that my money was though! So, for me, talking to France Télécom has always been the milestone to which I have been aiming!

I have had some very bizarre experiences with France Télécom (haven't we all!) which, on occasion, have lead me to believe that they are barking mad! I wrote a blog about one of the more stupider, sillier incidents on my website. The link is http://tonycraig.org/Blog/Entries/2011/12/17_My_Telephone_Bundle_of_Joy!.html if you want to find out how daft they are, but I will not be responsible for your medical condition, if you read it!

AMAZING - being able to deal with France Telecom on the phone! 5 years ago I suffered my first heart attack, brought on almost exclusively by the difficulties of dealing with FT!!
But you are absolutely right about just letting the French "sink-in" - for my feeble brain, gentle "absorption" is by far the best method - and doesn't require such an effort!!!! I have also been playing with a "subliminal" - course isn't the right word, but a series of mp3's - in which one hears just the sound of the sea (very relaxing) - but apparently contains re-inforcing "messages" which just go on and on telling you what a brilliant linguist you are!!! Now, I *know* that isn't true - but I do think my confidence levels shoot up after I have been listening.......

Hi Rebekah, and welcome to France!

I work for Rosetta Stone, a company in the US that produces language software. And I've used it for many languages, and yes, it works. But it is pricey.

All of the advice given here is good, and I've used a variety of methods for learning, including many of the above. I'm married to a Frenchman (in France one year) and spending time with family and friends is truly one of the best ways to learn to speak.

But I've found for learning conjugation and building vocabulary, I really have needed to do some studying. Despite the fact that I work for a language company, I will offer that you visite DuoLingo.com. That has been the most helpful to me in learning basic conjugation and vocabulary. It's free. And it's very well organized and professional site. I also find it more fun that most of the other programs I've tried, so I don't mind doing it. It uses speech recognition technology, so you practice speaking, as well as writing and listening. It was designed as an experiment to help translate the Web. As you learn, your translations are being used to translate languages on the Web. So you are also doing the world a service!!

Best wishes to you.


I don't know if this scheme is universal, but Calais Municipality runs 'Calais Acceuil' to welcome overseas newcomers to the area and, as part of its activities, it runs French classes for beginners as well as other activities such as English/German courses too. I found it really useful as, although it concentrated on grammar etc, it was very informal and, with a small class size, it forced one to chat. I found it helped to learn with other people.

In the end, when our French teacher, a volunteer, retired, a group of us have ended up going around to her house Monday afternoons for tea and French conversation. The downside of this method is that this is a very fattening way to keep your French conversation up to scratch, as everyone brings cakes. Three hours of solid cake-eating! I am convinced that my bad French is tolerated because I make really good cakes and biscuits.

I also listen to FM French radio on my iPod when I am gardening and, I found that, after a while, I stopped trying to translate the French into English and that it just started to make sense in French alone. I think that is the key. You just have to keep plugging away at it on a consistent regular basis and, amazingly so, it does start to make sense. I can even deal with France Télécom over the phone now to sort out my internet problems, something I once thought would never be possible!

Love this! Great way of learning a language, too!

All the advice you've had so far, Rebekah, is great! Although some websites are much better than others, I do agree with the thought that the best is to immerse yourself in the language and culture, by meeting people, reading anything you can get your hands on basically, watch the news, etc. It won’t be easy at first but you’ll get there!

I have been teaching French (my native language) for quite a number of years now (in England), from complete beginners to advanced level, to adults, business people, etc as well as in schools - and I always find that exposing yourself to the language and culture is the best way!

If you want to learn the language properly, however, and get confidence quickly in using the basic structures correctly, etc you could consider taking lessons - ie on Skype. I do offer this at a reasonable fee. You can start with 30 mins lessons, move on to 1 hr lesson, etc. A good investment … These lessons would be tailored to your needs and level. I just feel that, sometimes the 'human touch' is needed ... websites are fine but languages are so complex that you need someone to steer you in the right direction, while being aware of alternatives. I do teach a lot on Skype and the customers usually come back for more and/or pass my contact details to others. You’d find it also saves a lot of time which you can then use to support what you have learned by going on a websites and talking to your neighbours, etc. If you want to talk about it or even try a free trial Skype lesson, feel free to contact me on martine@franglaisonline.com

In any case, enjoy living in Crémieu (I am from the Lyon area) and ‘take it all in’.

There are so many resources on the internet with different approaches. Based on my learning experience, what others say is true. You have to jump in, listen, converse, look around and read everything you can. I started out by listening to Michel Thomas on my ipod while I hiked with my dog in the woods. I chose this resource because it seemed to fit me best in terms of how I learn. Besides, I really liked his soothing voice. When I finally travelled to France, I found that I was able to pick up a lot after several months of listening, but conversing was another story. Learning a language is not a solitary experience. I had to learn to be less shy. Additionally, some of what I learned went out the window because the dialect was different. I found that both experiences were helpful. It was nice to learn in a stress free environment, but not so useful without the social interaction. Fundamentally, I believe it is essential to learn how you learn best and then mix and match, and, whatever the approach, it takes some discipline.

thanks all i have certainly got some leads

So does any one have a copy of Michael Thomas cd french lessons for sale ??

hi id like to try

my email is


Someone will be flogging a Trekkoid 'universal translator' soon - mark my wurds.

I found "Star Trek:TNG" very helpful - strange but true. It's not the only series and it may not be your cup of Earl Grey (Captain Jean Luc Picard's favourite replicated brew) BUT the DVDs let you pick which language you want to listen to and which one you want as subtitles, ie: English with french subs, french with English subs, french with french subs - and other languages. I think you'll find other DVDs that do this - BUT not ALL, by any means; check first.

So, boldly go and shove in your favourites and punch the menu button and have a look at subtitles/languages.

Warp factor six, Mister Data...![](upload://2czmWVUaq5JHUhvwg0QW5ApXXKS.jpg)