french word of the day

French Word of the Day: 6 Handy Sites

Imagine ordering a bowl of soup, only for the waiter to return with a slip of paper with a French word on one side and an English one on the other.

“Wait, I ordered the soupe du jour  (soup of the day)!”

The waiter responds, Ah, vous ne comprenez pas (You don’t understand), this is le mot du jour  (the word of the day)—use this to order soup, follow a recipe or collect enough to become fluent and attend the famous Cordon Bleu school in Paris!”

You tuck your napkin under your chin to enjoy this enticing French word of the day, then immediately check your phone and find this post with a list of six spots that serve mots du jour .


FrenchPod101’s French Word of the Day

frenchpod101-logoLearning level: Beginner to intermediate

Formats: Web-based and email

Plant a seed for steady vocabulary growth with FrenchPod101’s French word of the day program.

Each word of the day is illustrated with a small photo. Click on the speaker icon right below the image to hear the word pronounced.

If the word of the day is a noun, its gender will be displayed immediately below its English translation.

One or more phrases or sentences show you how to use the word of the day in context. The paired audio files provide pronunciations for both the French phrases and their English translations.

Never worry about missing a word! FrenchPod101 lets you travel through time—no DeLorean or TARDIS needed. Find offerings from weeks, months or even years ago simply by selecting the blue “Choose a different date” button (midway down the main French Word of the Day page).

Plus, FrenchPod101 offers a lot more than the word of the day. You can get their full video and audio French podcast lessons here—there are over a thousand and more being added all the time.

Transparent Language’s French Word of the Day


Learning level: Intermediate

Formats: Web-based, email and RSS feed

Are you a mid-level French learner looking for a simple, effective vocabulary-building strategy? Clearly, you should try the French Word of the Day from Transparent Language.

It highlights a French word or phrase and the English translation. Each entry identifies the word’s part of speech, rounding out the experience with an example sentence and MP3 files to aid pronunciation.

If you want to peek back at words you may have missed, just click on the calendar icon next to the current word, or use the arrows underneath it to navigate back and forth in time.

“365 Days of French Expressions”


Learning level: Intermediate

Formats: Paperback or audiobook

“365 Days of French Expressions” teaches you many colloquial phrases that are often not covered in formal courses. This is particularly good for the intermediate level learner, who has enough of a foundation in French to leave the shallow end of the pool and start swimming in deeper waters of everyday, idiomatic conversation.

To reveal the trains of thought that created these expressions, Bibard presents the literal translation of the French phrase, along with a more figurative rendering to help you better understand the meaning.

This book also includes weekly quizzes, so you can regularly test your retention of the phrases.

Mot du Jour


Learning level: Intermediate to advanced

Formats: iOS and Android

Put the word of the day in the palm of your hand with the Mot du Jour app. Each entry includes an example of the word in context, and also identifies its part of speech: nom  (noun), verbe  (verb), adjectif  (adjective), etc.

You can make a list of your favorite words—and share interesting words with your friends using popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Look at words from different dates or select au hasard  to get a random word. Hear the words pronounced by playing the accompanying audio files.

All the definitions are in French, which makes this app more challenging than those with English translations.

The Local France

the-local-france-logo Learning level: Beginner to advanced

Formats: Web-based

The Local France is an English-language website that covers the news in France. Not only can you access articles on its website, but you can also use it to learn French.

In the French word of the day section of their website, The Local France posts a word, idiom or expression in French that you can click on to find the meaning of the word and its origin.

However, it’s worth mentioning that while you’ll be able to access most news articles, this website does have a membership fee for the French language learning pages and some other content. This means that you may find that you’re only able to view a number of words or expressions for free before being shown the different subscription options available.



Learning level: Advanced

Formats: Blog

Dicoriginaux is designed for French native speakers. Word definitions are only given in French, and the words are definitely advanced-level vocabulary that would likely be used in a scholarly setting.

To deepen your understanding, Dicoriginaux provides etymologies and cites word history sources for those who wish to research further.

Example sentences are often drawn from literary sources, with quotes from luminaries like Honoré de Balzac, Émile Zola, Romain Rolland and François-Auguste-René de Chateaubriand.

While this website hasn’t been updated since 2020, it’s still a useful resource as you can access their posts from the past.

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. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Why Are French Word of the Day Tools so Useful?

You’ll establish a daily learning habit.

Getting yourself rolling with a word-of-the-day program will make learning new French words a daily habit. You’ll become used to learning a new French word every day and even look forward to it.

Soon, if you skip a day, it’ll seem like something’s missing.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of habit. It can be hard to see how tiny actions can build up to a big result. Yet daily habit is one of the secrets behind successful language learning, and something that language education professionals recommend.

If you can manage to practice your French word of the day at the same time daily, so much the better. This way, you’ll be training your brain to anticipate and be ready for the learning session.

You’ll keep learning even when you’re short on time or patience.

A word-of-the-day program is a great way to ease yourself into learning French, even if you’re feeling stressed or you don’t have a lot of time to devote to it.

Reading a chapter of a French book or completing a series of vocabulary and grammar exercises may seem intimidating if you’re on a time crunch. But studying a single word of the day takes about five minutes or less… and almost everyone can sneak in a quick learning task every day.

You’ll develop a conversational vocabulary faster.

By learning just one new French word every day, you’ll have learned 365 new words in a year.

Your proficiency in French can be gauged by roughly how many words you know. If you’re just starting out learning French, you could reach the “functional beginner” level of 200 to 500 words in a little over six months.

Or, if you’re already a bit beyond “conversational” level (over 3,500 words, for example), learning just one new word per day for a year could bump you nearly to the “advanced” level (which starts around 4,000 words mastered).

How to Actually Use Your French Words of the Day

Notice your word of the day in different contexts.

As a kid, did you ever play “Punch Buggy” on long car trips? You had to look for a Volkswagen Beetle on the road, and your keen sense of observation would be rewarded with the privilege of punching your sibling or friend in the arm whenever you were the first to spot one.

Now you can make a game out of looking for new vocabulary—minus the physical violence you may have enjoyed as a child.

As you read, listen to music or watch videos in French, keep your eyes and ears peeled for your latest words of the day.

By listening to or watching French-language content, your reward will be an opportunity to practice your vocabulary words in a new context, which means you’ll have a much easier time remembering them.

Keep a running word list.

Maintain a list of your words of the day in a paper notebook or make a list in Evernote or a similar app.

Write an example sentence, however simple, for each word you learn.

Skim through your list when you have an odd moment, testing yourself on the words and using them in different contexts.

Review with flashcards.

Make a flashcard for each new word of the day. You could use paper or an app.

Pull out your flashcards for quick review whenever you have an idle moment. Try some of these bilingual flashcard games for children to keep your learning activities varied.

Jot your words of the day on your calendar.

Remember those boxed desk calendars with the tear-off pages? Cute cats, adorable puppies, jokes and obscure trivia all grace the pages of these popular year-end gifts.

The downside is that once you tear a page off of the calendar pad, it gets tossed into the recycling bin (or repurposed as scrap paper) and promptly forgotten, along with whatever little piece of information was on it.

Take a page from the boxed calendar concept, but make it memorable. Write each new word of the day in your regular paper or electronic calendar or agenda.

As you check your calendar for appointments during the course of the week, pick a word of the day at random and try to use it in a sentence. Challenge yourself more by combining several words of the day in your example sentences.

Periodically re-evaluate your learning level.

Whether you’re a beginner, nearly fluent or somewhere in between, there are word-of-the-day sources to suit your needs.

As you progress from one level to the next, make sure your word-of-the-day resources continue to match your level of learning. If you recognize your daily word after, say, five days in a row, it’s probably time to choose something more advanced.


If your French learning routine needs a little shaking up, stir the pot with these resources for finding a new French word of the day every day. Soon, you’ll be bubbling over with tasty and satisfying French vocabulary.

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 the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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