Recommended free and paid resources
A selection of livres et ressources I recommend for learning and speaking French and other languages.
Unless otherwise stated in the description, I have read all books listed.
Language Hacking French by Benny Lewis
Starting French from scratch or restarting and want a new approach? This method from Benny Lewis focuses on getting you speaking from day 1 and only teaches you what you need to know for realistic situations you’re likely to face as a beginner.
Language Hacking Spanish by Benny Lewis
By the same author and one I’ve used personally to get confident in Spanish very quickly since Spanish’s grammar is so similar to French. If I started a language included in this series of books I’d almost certainly pick up one of these again since I know now how much of what we tend to learn isn’t actually needed to speak!
Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner
From an opera singer turned master polyglot, Gabriel Wyner’s language learning technique focuses on mastering the sound system first followed by the most common words, followed by grammar. A fascinating read if you are a logical thinker who enjoys learning as efficiently as possible.
Short Stories in French by Olly Richards
I really enjoyed this book when I was an intermediate learner. Rather than teach language through childrens’ books, this focuses on interest stories that adults can get into, targeted towards intermediate French learners.
Réussir le DELF B2 by Auréliane Baptiste & Roselyne Marty
The workbook I used to train for the DELF B2 level exam in 2016. With exercises for all 4 skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. To pass these exams to you need to learn to debate in French and I found this book to have all I needed as I worked with a teacher to practise for the speaking section.
How to Learn a Foreign Language by Paul Pimsleur
I love the experience- and data-driven approach by Pimsleur laid out in this guide. Very pragmatic and gives the learner a realistic grounding in what they should expect in terms of time invested in different languages before reaching a certain level of fluency. Speaks a lot of common sense.
Find your perfect teacher or tutor on italki
For either structured 1:1 classes or casual conversation practise, you can find the French teacher or tutor you need on italki.
Upon coming to France I used italki a lot over the following 4 years. It changed my life, really. Not the platform itself, but what it offers.
If you’re not yet ready for coaching with me, italki is a great option.
We both get $10 free when you sign up and spend $20 if you use my link below.
Amazingly useful translations by Reverso Context
Before I go anywhere near a machine translator (see below) I always check Reverso Context. Being able to search whole phrases in order to know if it works in everyday French gives me a lot of confidence.
I use it in both directions: English to French and French to English.
Put it on phone’s home screen and bookmark it on your computer!
For everything else translation, Deepl is there!
Deepl is always my backup translation option. I use it for more unusual phrases that I want to translate. As I get more advanced, so do the phrases I allow myself to make in French.
I like how you can click on the individual terms in the translation to get alternatives. I can then use my existing French knowledge to know whether one fits better than another.
Si tu vis en France here’s a selection of useful services and resources.
The most stress-free bank I’ve found in France
An online-only bank that I couldn’t wait to join after finding La Banque Populaire so slow and clunky, Boursorama have taken away any stress I had related to banking in the past.
They are always on the hunt for new customers and with my link we are both handsomely rewarded (usually around 80€ each but often over 100€).
Other tools I use and love and am ravi to share with you.
Need a website? I use Siteground.
When I was starting to get set up online a few years ago I kept hearing and reading that Blue Host was the best for beginners and people with not much of a budget. But you get what you pay for. Blue Host was slow, the interface was ugly and unintuitive, and even me with years of tech experience as a software developer was lost.
I switched to Siteground and haven’t looked back. Honestly, the pricing is great (but opt for 2 or 3 years if you can to extend the introductory price) and their support is fantastic. I love an instant chat box with a real human and I get that.
Oh and my site is very fast. I couldn’t recommend them more, so I became an official affiliate.