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8 Best Places to Find Free French Lessons Online

Where can any French learner find high-quality French lessons, totally for free? The internet!

Even if you don’t have internet access at your home, you can walk to your local public library and use their Wi-Fi to learn French for free.

In this post, I’ll share eight of the best resources for free French lessons online, so you can improve your skills at the click of a button.

Let’s hop online and learn Frenchc’est gratuit! (It’s free!)


1. Best for Vocabulary Building: Loecsen

Level: Beginner

Loecsen logo

Loecsen’s free online French lessons are split into 17 categories, starting with the most basic: “Essentials.” This section covers phrases from bonjour (hello) to à plus tard (see you later).

The website also includes several fun categories, such as French for the beach or the bar.

My favorites are the practical categories, such as “In case of trouble.” This section teaches you terms such as je suis perdu (I’m lost) and pouvez-vous appeler un médecin, s’il vous plaît? (Can you call a doctor, please?) If you’re planning to travel to a French-speaking region, you’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself with these terms!

How It Works:

When you choose a category, you’ll see a list of phrases in English. Click on the phrase, and the French words appear in a larger font. At the same time, you’ll see an image corresponding to the words and hear a speaker say the term in French.

Once you’ve studied that lesson, switch from the “player” tab to the “quiz” tab and see how much you’ve learned!

2. Best for Reading Practice: The French Experiment

Levels: Beginner and Intermediate

The French Experiment logo

The French Experiment has numerous free French lessons for beginner and intermediate students.

For those who are just starting out, you can learn, say, vocabulary related to the days of the week or counting to a million. Intermediate learners can move on to French idioms or conversation filler words.

If you need a break from studying vocabulary, The French Experiment also covers multiple grammar rules, such as how to make sentences negative and how to make nouns possessive.

Not only are there pages related to vocabulary and grammar, but to spice things up, The French Experiment also has children’s stories you can read in French.

How It Works:

It’s pretty simple, really.

Choose your category. Then you’ll find a list of translated words and expressions. You can also click on each phrase to hear the words spoken aloud. Try repeating after the audio cue to practice your pronunciation and accent!

3. Best for Classroom-Style Lessons: elearningfrench

Levels: Beginner and Intermediate

eLearning French

This website has two free online French courses, one for beginners and one for intermediate learners. Each course is composed of 12 lessons.

How It Works:

Of the websites on this list, elearningfrench’s courses most resemble typical classroom-style French lessons. Except I think they’re even better, because you can finish them on your own time, in the comfort of your living room—and, of course, they’re free!

Each individual lesson includes audio files for listening exercises, as well as new vocabulary lists and grammar explanations. The website also provides practice drills so that by the end of the lesson, you’ll be confident enough to move on to the next one.

These courses also include quizzes and tests so even though you don’t have a teacher or classmates, you can still assess your skills and progress.

4. Best for Video Lessons: French in Action

Levels: All

Annenberg learner logo

Yes, here are free French lessons that are valuable even for advanced French students!

This website contains 52 videos, each around a half-hour in length. You can go through each video or skip ahead, depending on your skill level.

These free online French lessons were developed at Yale University, so you can count on their quality.

If you like methodical, cognitive lessons, French in Action is for you. These videos are instructional, while also mixing things up with short skits and dialogues.

How It Works:

While French in Action is a free instructional video series, it does have corresponding materials you can purchase online. Sorry, only the videos are free! Still, over 25 hours of free video lessons ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

The 52 videos are split into 17 categories like “Geography and Tourism” and “Entertainment.”

5. Best for Bite-sized Learning: ielanguages

Levels: All

ielanguages logo

ielanguages stands for “Indo-European languages,” and as its name suggests, it offers tutorials on multiple Indo-European languages such as Italian, Spanish and, of course, French.

What started off as a smaller idea from a single writer has grown into a multitude of tutorial-style language courses, spanning all major Indo-European languages as well as minor ones such as Icelandic and Afrikaans.

How It Works:

ielanguages is divided into bite-sized tutorials that offer quick and easy-to-follow lessons on grammar and vocabulary topics. The lessons follow a chronological order, meaning that each lesson builds on the skill of the previous one.

In fact, the tutorials cover basically all the topics in the French language, so you could logically start using ielanguages as a beginner and continue to use it when you become an intermediate and advanced learner of French.

The tutorial lessons are pretty short, generally introducing a new list of vocabulary or a short grammar explanation. This is followed by French audio as well as loads of example sentences to see the new vocabulary or grammar topic in context.

There are six levels of French tutorials that span more than 100 topics.

6. Best for On-the-go Learning: Memrise

Levels: All

Memrise logo

Memrise is a wildly successful website and smartphone application that teaches languages at a variety of levels. In fact, it’s an established idea in the language learning community that Duolingo and Memrise compete for the top spot as the best app for learning a new language.

While the competition is mostly lighthearted—and the companies themselves hold no animosity between each other—Memrise is a natural competitor to Duolingo because of its quality, scope and reputation.

Memrise is free to use, but if you want more features you can pay for Memrise Pro at $14.99 a month (depending on the payment plan you choose).

How It Works:

The idea behind Memrise is simple yet highly effective: flashcards.

But these aren’t your grandpa’s flashcards. Memrise’s digital French flashcards include authentic French words and phrases and English translations as well as real French audio and videos.

As you master new words and phrases in French, the flashcard transforms from a “seed” to a full “flower,” indicating how well you’ve mastered a word. But like any good flower, you need to water it from time to time to keep it alive.

Enter Spaced Repetition System (SRS) technology.

SRS is an algorithm that taps into the natural memory processes of our brains to help us remember new French words. Once a flower flashcard blooms, the SRS algorithm will have you review the flashcard at strategic intervals to help you always remember the word or phrase.

7. Best for Intermediate & Advanced Learners: Français Authentique (Authentic French)

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced

Français authentique is a YouTube channel that’s run by native French speaker Johan. Johan is a French teacher but he’s also studied and mastered a few languages in his own right.

As such, this channel is aimed at helping people master the French language the way Johan believes we learn best: by being immersed!

How It Works:

Being a YouTube channel, the structure of Français authentique isn’t as linear as some other courses on this list. However, that’s what makes this course so accessible!

Learners can choose any video they please and begin learning. All the videos are in French with French and English subtitles. Because of this, I recommend having a basis in the French language before tuning into a Français authentique video.

The videos focus on topics related to vocabulary and grammar, often explaining a grammar topic in-depth with examples or giving a list of common vocabulary related to a specific topic.

Many of the videos are sorted into playlists, grouping together certain topics such as French expressions, learning tips and even personal development. While a personal development course may not be what you’re after, this playlist course is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the French language.

8. Best for Immersive French Lessons: Français avec Pierre (French with Pierre)

Levels: All

Like Français authentiqueFrançais avec Pierre is a YouTube channel that teaches the French language to intermediate and advanced learners.

Unlike Français authentique, the content is organized into more easy-to-follow playlists, making it simple to choose what content to study next.

How It Works:

As previously mentioned, this channel has playlists focused on specific levels of French. These include two video courses for beginners, a course for intermediate and advanced learners, a course on French expressions and a video course on French grammar.

Each course has various lessons on different topics. Each starts with an explanation of the topic as well as authentic French examples of the French in the video. Pierre, the teacher, is a native French teacher, and his accent is perfect for listening to real French.

Even the beginner videos are conducted in French, so you’re immersed in French right away. Each video comes with English and French subtitles.

Can You Really Learn French for Free Online?

I know, it almost seems too good to be true. Can you really learn French from your own home without spending a penny?

Oui, bien sûr! (Yes, of course!)

But it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Learning a language, no matter how you do it, requires time and hard work.

The good news is that as you develop your routine and build up some momentum and confidence, it’ll be easier and easier to find time and energy for your French studies every day.

You may even find that you get hooked on online French learning and want to graduate from beyond just free French lessons. When you’re ready to increase your budget and start investing in your language learning, you could try taking advantage of free trials.

For example, FluentU offers a free trial that lets you use the full program.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Which one of these free websites best suits your needs and preferences? Do you thrive in the classroom? Do you like playing language games?

Regardless of your learning style, there are numerous ways to learn French for free, thanks to the internet. Even more importantly, regardless of your budget, you can learn French online!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.

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