If you’re looking to access a word’s definition, you might only need access to the Internet.
There was a time in which the humble dictionary lay on library shelves, gathering dust over years, waiting for language learners to flip through its pages.
Nowadays, dictionaries have had a modern revival.
If you’re making a go of French, it really pays to source a good word reference. As it turns out, learning a new language properly is all about making use of a really great dictionary. What else can you do when you encounter strange new words and grammar patterns?
With new accents and pronunciation-related markings to deal with, however, sometimes it’s worth it to hear that new word before you actually make use of it.
So, If you really want to perfect your pronunciation skills—or at least ensure that you’re not fumbling with any of your newly-learned words—you might want to turn to an audio dictionary.
Why Use a French Audio Dictionary?
Here are some more reasons to utilize an audio dictionary, as opposed to a standard paperback, that may not have occurred to you yet.
- They’re great for pronunciation practice. Audio dictionaries have all of the benefits of normal, paper dictionaries with a few extra added bonuses. Enabling you to hear how a word is spoken as well as discover exactly what it means, the dictionaries make pronunciation practice a very easy task. If you want to learn new vocabulary and perfect your accent, they might be right up your street.
- They can help to boost your listening skills. There’s a big difference between reading a language and hearing it spoken aloud. It pays to get used to both types of language usage. Using an audio dictionary as a reading tool is a sensible idea, but if you want to really push yourself, you might consider using it for something more. Hearing words spoken out loud by watching authentic French content, such as FluentU videos, will get you used to understanding the language as spoken by natives, and make comprehension down the line much simpler.
- They’ll improve your French-speaking skills. As your French listening and pronunciation skills begin to improve, so will your ability to speak in French. Having access to an all-encompassing language tool will perfect your accent and improve your list of vocabulary in one fell swoop. As you grow more accustomed to hearing and speaking French out loud, holding a conversation will become easier and easier.
- They can be accessed anywhere! The great thing about audio dictionaries is that they can be found on digital platforms. As long as you have some sort of technological device with you, you can access your French dictionary wherever you might be. Gone are the days of lugging a heavy tome in your suitcase; now you can travel light and stay smart, too.
There’s a whole range of audio dictionaries out there which will help to improve your language skills no end. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your vocabulary, improve your listening skills or practice your accent, there’s something for you to use.
The 6 Best French Audio Dictionaries for Learners Who Want to Hear Vocabulary
This dictionary is loaded with additional learning tools. After all, sometimes you don’t need to look something up—sometimes you need a diverse collection of new vocabulary to learn, but don’t know quite where to start.
Having a varied arsenal of words on hand can improve your ability to hold a conversation massively. Audio French will not only help you to commit a whole range of different words to memory but will also run you through exactly how to pronounce them.
This is an excellent resource for review. Brushing up on your vocabulary regularly is an important part of learning and maintaining French skills.
Contains spoken vocabulary lists.
You can tackle a new list each week, taking on a whole set of words in the process.
Accompanies all recorded clips with written help.
While audio clips are a great way of getting on top of new words and spoken French, it can also be useful to understand how and when to use the new vocabulary. The audio dictionary combines all of the recorded clips with written explanations and details, giving you all of the information about how to use a word in a sentence.
Links to word videos to help you use the vocabulary.
Of course, if you’re taking on new vocabulary, it’s likely that you’ll want to hear it in action. Audio French contains a great deal of supplementary material which will really help you to use the vocabulary like a native. Watching the word videos, you can hear the language being spoken aloud and used correctly.
About Education: French
If you’re on the hunt for an audio dictionary with real gusto, then About has you well covered.
Over 2,000 entries with accompanying sound files.
The website’s archive has the details of more than 2,000 French words, all with accompanying audio files. If you want to run through the entire thing, taking on a new list each week, you’ll be well on the way to mastering the language!
Links to additional educational information.
When we learn, it’s common for us to want more information about the lessons we’re taking on. You don’t just want to know the rule, you want to know why exactly it works that way. The website’s dictionary links each entry to a supplementary page containing educational and technical information. If you really want to understand how French words are used in grammar, it can be a helpful tool to use.
Words are ordered according to category.
When you’re setting yourself up with new vocabulary lists, it can be hard to know where to start. Particularly if you’re a beginner, categorizing your lessons can help you to understand how everything is related and to stay motivated. On About, vocabulary lists are ordered according to category, meaning that if you’re focusing on a particular subject during the week, you can make the dictionary a part of your lesson.
Of course, dictionaries are ideal for getting French translations. The website Dictionarist is a particularly useful audio tool to use for this purpose, enabling you to easily search for the French equivalent of any English word.
As soon as you find what you’re looking for, you can listen to how it sounds and begin to incorporate it into conversations!
Links to audio clip for pronunciation practice.
The website is a brilliant tool to use for pronunciation practice. New French words are presented alongside audio clips by native speakers. If your focus is pronunciation, you can try playing the clip a few times and repeating it aloud. Running through a list of new words in this way will help to boost your conversational confidence.
Lists variations and differences in the French vocabulary.
French is one of the richest and most varied languages out there and as a result, there are a number of interesting vocabulary differences to look out for. Dictionarist accompanies all of its entries with details on how the word might used in different scenarios. The website also lists information on multiple translations, showing you all of the different ways we might interpret that word in English.
Audio dictionaries can be a great way of improving your French in general and if you’re on the hunt for something more technical, then Larousse is the way to go.
Links to written examples in sentences.
As well as listing French vocabulary alongside audio files, the site connects to written examples of how to use new vocabulary. You can practice your French pronunciation and writing skills at the same time, and even try out the new word in conversation.
Lists the type and gender of the word.
Understanding the technicalities of the French language is a great way in which to know how to use it in both speech and writing. Depending on its gender, a French word might be spoken and presented in a written sentence in completely different ways. While teaching you how a word should sound, Larousse will also help you to define its gender, and how it should be accurately used in a sentence.
Shows you how to conjugate the word correctly.
Getting on top of French grammar is equally important and luckily, the audio dictionary has you covered in this area, too. After getting to grips with the pronunciation and meaning, you can also learn how to accurately conjugate and use the new word in a conversation. What better way to master the art of French speaking?
The best way in which to get used to new terms is to see how they might be used in real conversations or written passages. Audio dictionary BabLa connects all of its audio explanations to written examples of the words.
After having spoken the word out loud a few times, you can have a go at memorizing longer expressions, too!
Links to native French audio files.
If you want to really perfect your accent and get used to listening in French, there’s nothing better than hearing a French person speaking out loud. The audio dictionary has you well covered in this department, backing up all of its written entries with native audio clips.
Lists differences in translation and methods of use.
How a word might be used can vary depending on the context and understanding the subtle differences that might take place can serve you well down the line. BabLa will provide you with a word’s multiple meanings and how they might be used in a sentence. Once you’ve understood them, you can really start to practice how you might use the words in conversation.
French English Dictionary
With everyone living and working on the move, having access to apps is more important than ever. Lucky, then, that there are plenty of French audio dictionaries available for download! This French English Dictionary app is one of the best out there and can be downloaded onto any portable device. Better yet, it’s completely free!
Contains an offline pronunciation tool.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can still practice your language skills. The audio app comes equipped with an offline feature, enabling you to hear the pronunciation of any French words whether you have access to Wi-Fi or not. You can take your lessons with you wherever you might be going!
Automatic updates include all of the latest vocabulary.
With culture moving forwards at an ever-increasing rate, getting on top of all the new vocabulary can be a tiring task. French English Dictionary has a particularly good list of new words and with each update, the app refreshes itself to add any new points of vocabulary that might have been added to the dictionary. You can always be at the top of your language game!
As you can see, using an audio dictionary can really set you apart from the rest.
Not only do they enable you to practice how you might say a word out loud, but they will also show you the different ways any word might be used in a conversation.
Adding an extra element to your word reference guides can help you to advance in leaps and bounds, and pretty soon you might have mastered more French words than you ever realized was possible!
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.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.