I am (re-)learning French and would like to grow my vocabulary and contextual grammar by reading the same texts in parallel.

I know there is a couple of books that do English and French stories side by side, but I like doing it on the computer (or better yet iPad) with easy access to dictionary and maybe even memorization software.

I've tried doing it with printed books, one in each language, but that was just too annoying to navigate back and forth. Plus, I still had to retype the word for dictionary lookup. Not a particularly portable setup.

Has anybody found useful resources like that, Free or Paid. Ideally, it would an iPad app with side-by-side English/French (or Russian/French) with embedded dictionary lookup and some sort of spaced-repetition Word memorization component or interface.


9 Answers 9


It looks like Frendees offers a collection of dual language e-books available as kindle editions. You can use the free kindle apps to read them on your PC or you Ipad. Amazon has other books in dual language kindle edition available.

  • Thanks, this looks like a good start. Frendlees themselves don't seem to show exactly what they offer and Amazon preview does not explain it either. From what I can tell, it seems like a hyperlinked English version where each sentence or so links to corresponding French version so you can just navigate back and forth. Not side by side, but might be ok. I'll spend a buck to test it anyway. Aug 24, 2011 at 17:40

You may find my bilingual educational blog useful. It aims to help people keep up-to-date with what’s in the news in France whilst gaining insights into French language and culture.

  • You blog seems wonderful; thank you :) May 6, 2014 at 6:10
  • A site à la Assimil with graduated lessons: http://www.frenchbyfrench.com
  • euronews is offered in many languages, often with the same articles translated to each.
  • A less updated news site meant for learners of French; comes with audio: http://www.frenglishnews.com/heart.html
  • A bilingual blog written by some sort of French fashionista living in NYC; may not be your thing, but her blog posts are a great way to see how 20-somethings really talk and how idiomatic phrases translate: http://www.garancedore.fr

I have been using this website http://www.bilingualtext.com/ They provide entertaining parallel texts about various topics (travel, cooking) to learn new words in their context. It works for me!


Please take a look at DuoReader: https://duoreader.cn/index_en.html

It aligns classical novels at paragraph & sentence levels. It reads out the text for the language you are learning.

French and English are among the languages supported.

It uses texts in the public domain, making it possible to be free and ads-free.

You can view it from the web, and also from Android and iOS apps.

(I'm the author, please let me know your feedback!)


You can make your own parallel texts, its really easy.Best of all you can use topics/texts that interest you not having to rely on what is prepared by somebody else. Here is a nice explanation video here: http://www.supernova-soft.com/wpsite/products/text-aligner/create-parallel-text-for-language-lerning/

And here is "declaration of human rights" in English - French: http://www.supernova-soft.com/text_aligner/parallel_texts/declaration/ch6.html


I looked for the same kind of resources when i was learning french. There are bilingual books available but mostly for classic short stories which were not always the easiest to follow at the time. The translations were kind of liberal and so if i was stuck on a word i couldnt be sure that the words direct translation would appear on the opposite page. What i wanted was the ability to click on each word where i was confused and see appear a good dictionary definition of this word or even a conjugation table if it was a verb. Unfortunately this still does not exist! The nearest thing to it is probably lingq (google this and you will find it) unfortunately the translations of the words clicked onto are user contributed and therefore are pretty unreliable. Also the list of stories rest quite limited but growing none the less. Still, its free so why complain. Recently i had an hernia operation and so i couldnt work for a while so i kinda did my own version of what you seem to be looking for. I took a french short story and typed it up putting a translation in english in square brackets after each word and then put it online. Thought it might help others that were in the same position as me a few years back. Here's an example:

Il[he] entrait[was.entering] et[and] moi[me] je[i] sortais[was.exiting], et[and] nous[we] étions[were] aussi[as] pressé[pressed] l’[the] un[one] que[as (much.as)] l’[the] autre[other]. Il[he] m’[to.me] a[has] dit[said], “oh![oh] Kergain[kergain(name)], je[I] te[you] croyais[was.believing] mort[dead] et[and] enterré[buried] depuis[since] un[a] bout[piece] de[of] temps[time].” C’[he] était[was] le[the] premier[first] employé[employee] de[of] la[the] concession[concession] que[that] je[I] rencontrais[was.encountering] depuis[since] mon[my] arrive[arrival] en[in] France[France].

I also put some grammar footnotes up for complete beginners. My site's called: learn-french-free-with-stories.weebly.com

  • 1
    Ça semble à moi un terrible moyen pour apprendre Français. (Just sayin') May 13, 2013 at 9:01
  • I'm not against translation of the vocabulary, but I'm pretty sure that translation of grammar word for word isn't a good idea. May 13, 2013 at 9:04
  • It depends. Readlang was excellent.
    – Quidam
    Nov 24, 2019 at 4:21

Try the "read the world" app. It's an ipad browser that has inbuilt translation functions. I don't know if it's available on other platforms or iphone.


read François-René de Chateaubriand (not all the page) son style est harmonieux. for more information, Antoine Albalat, comment il ne faut pas écrire. You find this book (free) at : gallica.bnf.fr and also, the same autor : écrire en vingt leçon....and also : http://obvil.sorbonne-universite.site/corpus/critique/albalat_formation

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to FSE ! Your answer is a bit difficult to read, can you try to format it a bit more? For example, using italic and bold, line breaks, avoiding mixing French and English in a sentence, separating your sentences...
    – Reyedy
    Jul 3, 2020 at 16:49

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