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Along the lines of the same question on German Language & Usage, what are good, free online resources for an English speaker to learn French properly from scratch?

Ideally, important areas such as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation should be covered, to the point where a self-learner can start to read, write, listen and speak simple French, firstly for use in everyday life and work, and thereafter be able to advance to a higher level with a strong foundation.

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I have slowly over time been compiling a huge list of French resources here: plus.google.com/112883523226102191623/posts/2x97mxTS3Kd –  Bryan Denny Jun 7 '12 at 18:31

9 Answers 9

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would suggest you wikihow and frenchtutorial.com, which should at least help you for your first steps1. But as Brennan Vincent said, you probably won't reach a high level using nothing beside them.

1 I would say mettre le pied à l'étrier in French.

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Duolingo uses crowd sourcing of translations to teach French. There are also a series of lessons that gradually advance on French grammar and vocabulary.

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Memrise is very good for learning vocabulary. You can use other people's lists (including introductory French ones) or create your own. It's essentially a flash card system with sounds/graphics/videos/and mems to help you remember your vocab lists.

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Among the many others good suggestions mentioned here, I've found the French about.com site to incredibly useful, especially for learning specifics about grammar, usage, and idioms.

http://french.about.com/

But above all else, practicing in real-world situations is enormously important. Book learning is essential, but not the whole solution.

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The coffee break french podcast got me to the point where I was able to understand intermediate material. It is also a nice way to learn during your commute.

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+1 Great resource –  Gaʀʀʏ Jun 12 '12 at 17:01

Le Point du FLE has a very good database of resources listed according to topics and levels. All resources listed are free.

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Thanks for the website! Unfortunately it seems I cannot access it and this has been happening for months. Maybe it is my location or internet connection... –  user222 Apr 13 '12 at 7:37
    
@JasperLoy: Have you tried from another computer? Have tried to contact them via the contact page? lepointdufle.net/contact.htm –  Laure Apr 13 '12 at 10:42

An excellent free online resource is skype or MSN. You can find language exchange contacts free at

http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/

I have made some great French friends chatting face to face on skype (I recommend you use a camera). We've even holidayed with each other. It's a fantastic way to make new friends and improve your French and English (or whatever) at the same time.

During a chat we generally speak for an hour, half an hour in French and half an hour in English (i.e. everything is said in French during the first half hour and everything is said in English during the second half hour). Do not be afraid to start, you really only need the basics to hold a conversation and you will only get better.

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This answer will be a non-answer: there aren't any.

There are resources that will help you learn French, but it's impossible to learn it completely online to the level you described. If you really need or want to learn French, you absolutely must (in decreasing order of preference) move to a French-speaking country, make several French-speaking friends, or take some classes.

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