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Learn French Online with Frantastique – Review and Contest

By adriana - April 15, 2014

Learn French online with Frantastique

Learn French online with Frantastique

Our regular contributor, Adriana, reviews Frantastique’s online French classes, which are humourous, quick, and highly personalized. 

“Est-ce que vous comprenez l’anglais?”

I am a Romanian-American, stay-at-home mom of two children, who has been living in Belgium for almost three years. I shamefully admit, in all this time, I asked this question, trying to get by the easy way, without learning French.

Looking for the best French language course is quite a hassle. Sifting the Internet, I found many courses are too expensive, while others clutter the house with books and discs that, quite frankly, I end up not touching.

It also doesn’t help that I cannot drive to save my life, so going to French classes, offered by different Belgian institutions, is out of the question.

I see myself as the perfect candidate for Frantastique’s online French classes. Below are the reasons I find this program better than others I saw on the market.

1. Price – An extremely important factor for me, and probably for many expats, is the price. I find the price very reasonable. For 6 months, you pay $49 / month for a maximum of 120 lessons.  The cost decreases to $36 / month for 1 year and drops as far as $22 / month if you sign up for 36 months (up to 720 lessons).

Meet Victor Hugo, your Frantastique guide.

Meet Victor Hugo, your Frantastique guide.

2. Humor – I liked the program from the very first lesson. The stories are cute and the graphics simplistic and fun, just like I like them. The little stories keep your interest and personally I always wait for the next episode, to see what they’ll do next.

The main character, Victor Hugo, is a great choice and I find the fact that he is naked hilarious. A little sense of humor is always welcome, as it makes the lessons fun instead of a chore. A creative team of actors, teachers and writers are behind the content and it shows.

3. Speed – An entire lesson doesn’t take more than 10-15 minutes of your time and the correction is sent back immediately.  I like how each lesson is diverse and you have vocabulary, dictation, conjugation, a little clip followed by questions, and, always at the end, a little bit culture, like quotes by Victor Hugo.

4. Customized Learning – Don’t worry if the lessons are too difficult or too easy. Your level is constantly being evaluated. One good thing is parts of the lesson are intuitive enough that, even if you speak no French at all, you will still manage to answer at least a few questions correctly. This is great for your self-esteem. If you constantly answer the questions incorrectly, you might be tempted to quit the course. (I did just that with a few language courses, while living in other countries.) By getting a decent score for your lesson, you will be motivated to do even better next time.

My favorite part of the program is how they keep up with the times and use artificial intelligence to determine how you are doing. Frantastique customizes the lessons, based on how well you do, and they constantly change the difficulty, based on your current level of knowledge.

5. Learn at Your Pace – Lessons are sent to the registered email address daily, up to five times per week, chosen by the user. Need to take a break? No problem. You can let them know about upcoming holidays or breaks you take from Frantastique.

Your participation rate won’t be affected by your absence if you schedule your days off correctly.

The Final Word – Do I feel like I am learning? Yes. I see it with every lesson. Even better, I feel a surge of confidence. When I go to my daughter’s school, in our town, all of a sudden, I am not afraid to try talking to the teacher or other parents. The awkward silence that used to be present every time a local would approach me has turned into brave attempts to a dialog. I even find myself in the position of initiator of a conversation, something that never happened before! For that, I say “Merci Frantastique!”

I encourage you to try this language course; the lessons will be waiting for you daily, in your inbox, so there is no reason to delay the learning process. If you are like me, you will not regret it. (You can test the service for free for 7 days)

We’d like to thank Frantastique for sponsoring Adriana’s 3 month French language course, and allowing us, as always, to write an unbiased review.

Win 3 Months of Online French

Win 3 Months of Online French from Frantastique

You can try Frantastique free for 7 days and enter below to win one of three 3 month subscriptions to Frantastique!

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Looking for more resources for living in Belgium? Check out our Expat Resources page.

Adriana
I live in Belgium with my husband and two children. I have a big passion for travel and photography. I am most happy when I travel, when I discover new cultures, see new places and try new foods. We have travelled to twenty-five countries and almost two hundred cities. See some of the photos taken during our adventures at Life in A Suitcase and follow on Google+.
Adriana
Visiting Cambrai and Nord-Pas-Calais, #France | Slow Travel in #Europe and Beyond | CheeseWeb http://t.co/ysVEyEpJee - 2 days ago

18 comments

  1. Comment by Jan O.

    Jan O. April 15, 2014 at 14:36

    This seems interesting a lot, I’m still in search for some new affordable ways to get to learn french! :)

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana April 15, 2014 at 15:24

      So far it’s the cheapest I have seen but not offering less. Language courses are so expensive in general and although I see their importance the wallet must not suffer either :).

      • Comment by Benjamin

        Benjamin April 27, 2014 at 12:40

        Assimil is pretty awesome if you are looking for a cheap method to learn French.

        But you need good motivation to study with it because nobody will tell you you should study.

  2. Comment by Katrina

    Katrina April 15, 2014 at 19:09

    I might actually get off my bum and learn it if it’s this fun! I have wanted to speak French for years, but somehow I just keep hoping I’ll pick it by osmosis. Hey, I have a French neighbor – that counts, right?

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana April 15, 2014 at 21:53

      I too am a procrastinator. This is why I need a program that comes to me and pulls my sleeve. Luckily my slight OCD is making me open the emails every day and do the lessons :))

  3. Comment by Susan Ashworth

    Susan Ashworth April 16, 2014 at 10:13

    Planing to learn French this year – spent year 1 on Dutch as I was living in Vlaams. But year 2 is all French. It seems cheaper than the regular CVO classes I have been looking at but I do like the short lessons. Concerned about the guessing part boosting your self esteem – nice concept but don’t want to put my learning down to guess. I am a terrible guesser. PS I feel like such a moron when someone speaks to me in French and I have no clue….. biggest motivation.

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana April 16, 2014 at 12:29

      Hi Susan, it’s great if it’s a little intuitive. You will see at the conjugation of the verbs. They always give you 2-3 words to conjugate but they will not have to conjugate the whole thing as some of the answers are there so then based on those answers you can deduct how the rest of the conjugation goes. I love that as it makes me think rather than cheat and look online.

  4. Comment by Amber Phegley

    Amber Phegley April 16, 2014 at 19:36

    I have been here 6 months and it is frustrating not being able to learn quickly! So I would love to have all the extra help :)

  5. Comment by Cristina

    Cristina April 17, 2014 at 06:18

    French is the language I have always wanted to perfect and become fluent in. I do well with everyday conversation but it’s so hard to converse more formally. And those darn conjugations! They get me mixed up every time! I’m finally planning to move to France to work on it more consistently. These online classes could really give me that extra push!

  6. Comment by Crina

    Crina April 18, 2014 at 20:57

    I used to speak French fluently until English became the lingua franca and I started to work in English pretty much throughout my whole career. I have been living in Belgium for 5 years now but I managed to gracefully avoid using French other than for bare necessities like renting an apartment, doing your groceries, going to the doctor, calling the plumber and ordering in a restaurant. I’d like to cross this barrier and be able to use French as main language, even if professionally I am not forced to use it that often.

  7. Comment by Roxana

    Roxana April 18, 2014 at 23:51

    Every time I go to Brussel I’m feeling like a dog : I understand most of the conversation but I can’t talk so I realy need to see how can I reactivate the old lessons of french

  8. Comment by Diana F.

    Diana F. April 23, 2014 at 10:39

    It’s a really cool idea to learn it online. I’ve tried the physical classes but they take so much of my time, just going to the other side of the city to take them takes me a good 1:30 hours of commute. :( Kills my motivation a bit.

  9. Comment by Adriana

    Adriana April 23, 2014 at 23:29

    It’s a buzz kill for me too. And the books and CDs I end up not touching. This is so much better.

    • Comment by Chiara Deeb

      Chiara Deeb April 25, 2014 at 00:20

      Thanks for sharing Adriana.
      Your online program sounds good, but from my personal experience as an expat who has lived in different places due to my husband’s job, i can say one thing: in the four years we’ve been here in Brussels, the best thing that ever happened to me and two of my friends (who actually
      recommended it) was the dynamic, fun and highly interactive French program we’ve followed at Tip Top Linguas. Of all the online language programs that i’ve tried, or the language classes I’ve taken privately and in different places around Brussels,nothing could really match Tip Top Linguas.
      That was seriously the most engaging and best program ever.

      I can actually speakFrench, do my shopping, talk to my local pharmacist, talk about myself, my family, talk to my children’s teachers and other parents, order food in restaurants, arrange for holiday reservations, call B&Bs in France, read Le Soir (a Belgian daily) and sing songs in French.
      The founder and creator of TTL is phenomenal. She is a world citizen,very well-travelled, multilingual. She speaks 8 languages fluently and has been awarded numerous prizes. Check their website and testimonials.

  10. Comment by Chiara Deeb

    Chiara Deeb April 25, 2014 at 00:16

    Thanks for sharing Adriana.
    Your online program sounds good, but from my personal experience as an expat who has lived in different places due to my husband’s job, i can say one thing: in the four years we’ve been here in Brussels, the best thing that ever happened to me and two of my friends (who actually
    recommended it) was the dynamic, fun and highly interactive French program we’ve followed at Tip Top Linguas. Of all the online language programs that i’ve tried, or the language classes I’ve taken privately and in different places around Brussels,nothing could really match Tip Top Linguas.
    That was seriously the most engaging and best program ever.

    I can actually speakFrench, do my shopping, talk to my local pharmacist, talk about myself, my family, talk to my children’s teachers and other parents, order food in restaurants, arrange for holiday reservations, call B&Bs in France, read Le Soir (a Belgian daily) and sing songs in French.
    The founder and creator of TTL is phenomenal. She is a world citizen,very well-travelled, multilingual. She speaks 8 languages fluently and has been awarded numerous prizes. Check their website and testimonials.

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana April 25, 2014 at 15:45

      This language school looks interesting. However for people like me, who do not live in Brussels and do not drive it’s nearly impossible to attend. Sure I could take the train to Brussels but I also have kids and their schedules to follow so that, for me, is not a good deal. Following an online language course combined with interacting with people is achievable for anyone, anywhere.

  11. Comment by Chiara Deeb

    Chiara Deeb April 28, 2014 at 11:01

    Hi Adriana,

    Sorry for my late reply ( I was away) and for assuming that you live in Brussels.

    There are surly other competent language schools similar to Tip Top Linguas in Belgium.

    The point I was trying to make is that online language classes could only work as a support. If you really want to speak a language and truly dare to engage in a conversation on all level, nothing can beat a good quality conversational and interactive language program. Add to that the whole experience of interacting, conversing and tasting the culture in the process with other expats like you and me. No computer screen and software could give you that pleasure! After all the definition of language or its original Greek etymology ‘Logo’ has all to do with direct speech and interaction.

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana April 30, 2014 at 16:54

      Absolutely, the classes and the interaction go hand in hand. Just don’t dismiss the online classes because the physical ones are so much better as many people cannot get inside a class or just don’t feel like it. Like everything else in life, what works for one person might not work for another so having options is surely best.

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