Best Android apps for learning French

June 18, 2012
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Whether you’re learning French because it’s required of you in school or you’re trying to impress someone, you can’t deny that there’s something about the French language that attracts people. The language used to be the language of nobility and diplomacy all across Europe and in the Ottoman Empire, making it the world’s first international language right before English replaced it in the mid-20th century.

At present, the French language is spoken by 270 million people worldwide, of which 120 million are fluent or native. That may be why so many schools are including French for their foreign language courses. Thanks to Android devices and how everyone’s hell-bent on getting an app for everything, it’s now easy to learn French even when you’re on the go.

Leave your heavy French dictionaries and textbooks at home and load up on these apps that will have you speaking the language of love in no time.

French Translator / Dictionary

When you’re so used to speaking only one language, it can be hard to start learning a new one. Some of you might benefit from the French Translator / Dictionary app, developed by GreenLife Apps, which allows you to translate text in English to French and vice-versa.

Instead of just relying on learning from your translated texts, French Translator / Dictionary also gives you a new word each day so you can add something new to your growing French vocabulary. Each word of the day is in French, naturally, and comes with a sample of how it’s pronounced and a definition in English. You’re also provided a sample sentence using the word of the day, in both French and English.

Challenge yourself by granting the app permission to translate your SMS into French. You can also share translations with your friends on Facebook, via e-mail, or SMS.

Get French Translator / Dictionary to help you learn French today! It’s free to download from the Google Play Store.

Littre French Dictionary

Imagine that we’ve been learning how to speak since the day we were able to and we’ve accumulated thousands upon thousands of words in our brains to help us convey our messages. Now imagine that we have to accumulate even more words in French!

It’s no wonder that the bible of any student learning French is a French dictionary, with a huge preference given to the thicker and more complete volumes. Lugging that around all day can be tiring, not to mention a little embarrassing.

Do away with that thick and heavy French dictionary and travel with your dictionary on your Android device. The Littre French Dictionary is a great reference for classic and literary French from the 17th to the 19th century.

It’s great for beginners in French, able to provide you with supporting information on word definition and usage. The best part is, the Littre French Dictionary is free to download. The downside of the app, however, is that you need an Internet connection whenever you look up a word.

English<->French Dictionary

If you need a dictionary app that doesn’t require an Internet connection, the English<-> French Dictionary is the app for you. The app’s English-French dictionary contains 141,602 entries complete with pronunciation and the French-English dictionary has 8,1647 entries with pronunciation.

The app’s UI is simple and clean and offers you options to search for a word that you need and a history option. Search for a word in English and see its equivalent in French. If you’re reading a French article and you just want a certain word’s English meaning, simply enter it into the Search bar.

You can tap on a word to view how it should be pronounced and how it should be used. Once you find the word that you need, make sure you won’t forget it by adding it to your Favorites. The English<->French Dictionary supports Google Translate, so you can easily translate any messages you want to shower your loved one with from English to French and vice-versa. Unfortunately, translation requires a connection to the Internet.

Learn French with busuu.com!

Now it’s time to get more involved. Learn French with busuu.com! packs an extensive vocabulary of over 3,000 word and key phrases and contains levels from beginner to advanced intermediate (A1 – B2). Learning French will be easy when you can relate to 150 different topics using day to day situations.

Because learning a language isn’t all about reading words, you can easily hear them and visualize them with the app’s comprehensive audio-visual learning material, complete with photos and recordings by native speakers. If you’ve got an account with busuu.com, you can synchronize your learning progress with your profile.

To test your learning, you can take some of the app’s interactive tests and submit your writing exercises to be corrected by native French speakers. The app’s free version comes with 20 complete learning units, but if you want the full experience of the Learning French with busuu.com! app, you can purchase the app’s full content inside the app. No Internet connection is required for this app, but keep in mind that the app is about 14 MB in size.

http://youtu.be/CIyWvOOIOKA

Learn French with babbel.com

If you want another approach to learning French, download Learn French with babbel.com today. Babbel’s learning system is based on the latest technology and teaching methods so that learning a new language isn’t a chore but something you can enjoy.

You can study vocabulary with interactive exercises so you have a better idea of how to use the words in conversation, effectively and systematically deepening your knowledge. You can also practice your pronunciation with the app’s integrated speech recognition.

Access over 3,000 words with images, pronunciations and sentence examples. The first lesson of any category is already included in the app, and if you want to learn more, you can download the rest of the lessons through the app.

A babbel.com account is necessary, however, and if you don’t have one, you can easily sign up through the app. Learn French with babbel.com also sports an offline mode, a vocabulary trainer for beginners and advanced learners.

French Verbs

Browse and search the conjugations of the most common French verbs with this app. French Verbs, developed by Robert Muth, is ideal for French students and can be used as a travel companion for trips to Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Quebec, and other French-speaking locations.

If you’re worried about having to be connected to the internet all the time, worry no more for French Verbs works offline. This app is surprisingly lightweight and has a very clean and simple UI.

Don’t let its small size fool you; French Verbs packs a grammar section and composite tenses. Search for a word and view all its conjugations. You can also check a word’s English meaning.

Optimize your learning experience by choosing from French Verbs’ number of color themes. Some users may complain that French Verbs isn’t equipped with enough verbs but if you want to learn more, upgrade to French Verbs’ pro version. Download French Verbs for free from the Google Play Store today.

Learn French Phrasebook

Now that you’re familiar with some words and their pronunciation, you won’t need to lug around a physical phrasebook anymore when you can have the Lean French Phrasebook on your Android device.

This app contains more than 800 common words and 200 essential phrases, such as those for greetings, general conversation, numbers, directions, transportation, and eating out.

Practice French on the go with Learn French Phrasebook. Learn French was recorded with a native speaker, which means that you can learn not just authentic but easy-to-understand pronunciation.

No Internet connection is required. You can store your frequently used phrases in your favorites and search the app’s database using keywords. If you’re planning to go to France or any French speaking area soon, the app also includes helpful tips for travelers.

If you want to learn more, upgrading to the pro version for a small fee lets you access over 800 phrases for accommodation, time and date, shopping, colors, tongue twisters, and more.

French in a Month Free

Language isn’t just a collection of words we have to arrange in certain patterns to communicate our messages. It’s also an “audio-visual dynamic environment of images” that adheres to a system of rules. Of course, to learn something, you have to learn the basics before you start learning the technicalities.

French in a Month Free is an app that promises users that they will be able to learn basic phrases and vocabulary, as well as hear and understand native speakers. The app works best if you already have a basic grasp of French, as it will show you images to relate to, before it quizzes you.

The app keeps reusing words, but don’t be fooled. It’s also slowly inserting new ones in, steadily making sentences complex. If you’re someone who speaks more than one language, you’ll know that not everything can translate well from one language to another, so being able to relate to words visually is certainly helpful. You can test yourself using the app’s typing quiz and visual quiz.

BabelFish Voice: French

It’s one thing to read French and another to actually hear it. If you’re planning to go to France, you’re really going to need to get used to accents and pronunciation.

BabelFish Voice: French developed by Vandroid can help you out. It gives you voice translation from English to French. Speak slowly and clearly in English into the mic to get a French translation of your speech.  Users have reported that the app can pick up whatever you’re saying even with a lot of noise in the background and can translate it perfectly.

If you’re studying French with a friend or a family member, BabelFish Voice: French also lets you send our translations easily using e-mail. There are three speed settings available and also supports speech translation from French to English.

The pronunciation that the app provides isn’t accurate, however, so be careful using it around native French speakers. Get BabelFish Voice: French for free from the Google Play Store.

French for GO Keyboard

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of the language, it’s time to sink or swim. We’re talking about practicing your French with friends who are fluent or native speakers, of course. You can’t just practice by yourself all day if you’re actually planning to go to a French-speaking country.

To make sure that you’re typing all the right words, install French for GO Keyboard. Of course, you will need GO Keyboard installed on your Android device to be able to use this plugin.

If you aren’t familiar with GO Keyboard, it’s one of the most popular keyboards on the Google Play Store, being able to predict in multiple languages and keyboard layouts and packing accurate dictionaries.

After you’ve installed French for GO Keyboard, don’t try to open it; instead, access GO Keyboard’s Settings > Input Settings > Input language settings and you’re set.

Use the phrases you’ve learned from other apps and work on polishing your vocabulary. GO Keyboard and French for GO Keyboard are both available on the Google Play Store for free.

With all those apps for learning French, you’ll be learning the language in no time. Of course, keep in mind that simply learning the language won’t automatically make you fluent. Try to practice with native speakers or else all that time you spent learning will go to waste. If your favorite app for learning French didn’t make it to our list, let us know what it is in a comment below.

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