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Review: Learning French with Frantastique

I’m going to Paris at the end of May – just a short trip to do all of the usual tourist-y things (and, of course, visit as many patisseries and chocolatiers as humanly possible!). So when the lovely folks at Frantastique offered me a trial of their online french lessons, it provided the perfect opportunity to brush-up my very dodgy French skills to help me get around while I’m there.

What is Frantastique?

Frantastique’s online lessons are personalised to your own skills and only take 10-15 minutes a day to complete. You answer questions and complete exercises based around the adventures of a defrosted Victor Hugo and a couple of aliens. Your answers allow the system to tailor your next lessons your specific level. Once you have completed the exercises, you get an email with any corrections and your day’s vocabulary. You also get a daily dose of French culture, with snippets from famous French poems, songs, etc.

Frantastique

You pay for the services on a monthly-basis, with prices starting at £14 per month.

The company are experienced at online language learning – they also own Gymglish which is a similar system for English lessons, used by over one million people.

What is it like to use?

The system is really easy to use. I felt that the fact the lessons take only ten minutes meant that I was more likely to keep up with them – it also helped that the videos were actually pretty funny. There was a good mix of vocabulary and grammar, and the explanations of things like verb conjugation and articles were clear and easy to understand.

Frantastique cartoon
Yes, this is me when I’m in France!

Be warned though – Frantastique is not for complete beginners. Although it does do a good job of tailoring your lessons, some prior knowledge is needed. My French is really rather rusty, so I did struggle through the earlier sections where the system is still gathering information about my skill level (I also found out that I’m much better at deciphering written French than I am spoken!)

If I was to restart French lessons in earnest, I’d think that I’d definitely do some pre-study of the basics. However, once I was up to speed I think that I would seriously consider using Frantastique. £14 is a good price for lessons, and the system is structured well enough that you really do learn quite a bit in less than 15 minutes per day.

Free trial

If you are interested in giving Frantastique a go, head over to their website, where you can sign-up for a free seven day trial!

Frantastique
Victor Hugo and his alien friends!

 

 

Co-editor Emma is LWT's resident history lover and fact nerd. She loves travelling overland - especially by train. Her trips tend to be planned around good food and a little bit of adventure.

5 Comments

  • Ania

    This sounds like a good and fun way to polish up your French. I learned it for 9 years but have barely used it since, so could probably do with giving something like this a go!

  • Keri

    Emma’s over there now, so we look forward to her reporting back on her experiences soon! It sounds like a really good course actually!

  • Glauce

    I’m also giving it a try – day 4 of free trial – and wanted some feedback on the instructors’ comments for those using the paid version, were they helpful, does the course never end if you don’t cancel it? So far I’m loving it 🙂

    • Emma

      Hi Glauce,

      I didn’t speak to any real people when I was trying out Frantastique, but after the free trial the software continues to provide good feedback. In fact, it’s actually more useful after your trial because, by then, the system has properly analysed your level of French and has tailored the lessons to you.

      I’m not sure whether the course lasts forever – perhaps their customer service team will know, though!

      Emma

  • mary

    I am on lesson 5 and not sure if I want to pay for this program. I am not proficient in french so I spend lots of time looking things up on another site! I don’t actually get the jokes and am not sure of this process. Am I missing the point?

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