The Perfect French with Dylane


Learn French by Yourself

How to Learn French by Yourself

How often did I get asked, “How can I learn French by myself?” I haven’t counted, but I would probably have a lot of money if I got a dollar every time someone asked me that. In this post, I am going to explain to you how you can learn French by yourself.

I have taught French as a second language to kids and adults for almost eight years now, so trust me, I have seen a lot of different learners and methods. I also taught myself English as an adult. I think I was 25 years old at that time. I am now almost 35. Time flies! 

Quick disclaimer, if you are looking for a guru to teach you how to learn French in an hour, unfortunately, it won’t be me. But if you are serious about learning French, keep watching, and I will give you all the tools to make it happen on your own. I also want to say that I don’t sell courses. I don’t have a 500 dollars course of selling you. I write books, I have written 13 so far, and all my books have free videos to watch on YouTube. Everything I suggest in this post can be done without your credit card. I didn’t grow up rich, and without free education, I would be nowhere today. 

So, let’s start 🙂 Let’s see 10 steps to help you learn French by yourself, and they won’t cost you a penny if you don’t have money to spare or don’t want to. 

Learn French by yourself

What type of learner are you?

Learning a language isn’t a one fits all type of deal. So, for the first step of this video, you will have to ask yourself what type of learner you are. Don’t think too far. Think of when you were at school. How did you learn the best? Do you have a photographic memory? Or were you the type to only listen to the teacher to know everything? Maybe you had to write everything down in pretty notes to remember them. 
There is a good chance that what worked in school will still work today. Apply your learning method to your language journey.

If I look at myself, I have a photographic memory, so the pretty notes worked for me as I would have to write them and read them. Time-consuming but very effective. 

Let me know in the comments section how you used to learn, as it might help others too. 

Start with French pronunciation

I know what you think. Oh god, not French pronunciation. But yes, French pronunciation. It would be best if you started every language with pronunciation, but especially French. Pronunciation is not to get you speaking on day one. Pronunciation is about rules, sounds, and how words are built. Written French and spoken French are like 2 different languages. Look at this sentence:
“Je mange une pomme” 

How do you read this? 

It’s pronounced:

Why? Because in French, we speak by sounds, and we don’t read all the letters. Learning the rules will teach you how words are built and pronounced, and it will help you to understand French better. 

How can you understand spoken French if you don’t make the connection between written and spoken French?

I have a full French pronunciation course. The videos are free to watch, but you can buy the book and the audio. 

How to Learn French by Yourself - Listen Listen Listen

If you follow or have followed my French pronunciation course, you already know it:

If you can’t hear a sound, you can’t pronounce it.

It is a very simple principle that many skip over. It would be best if you listen listen listen before being able to speak. I still have a few sounds I can’t pronounce in English because I can’t hear very well. Therefore, I might never be able to get them right. And that’s ok. 

Read and listen

From listen listen listen, we are going to see, read and listen. This one can be applied anytime in your French learning process after learning French pronunciation rules.

To make the connection between written French and spoken French in your brain, you are going to read and listen at the same time.

You can read a physical book, for example, and listen to the audiobook. But it can get costly!

To do this for free, check out my second channel, French chit-chat with Dylane, where I speak slow French. You can download the free PDF, read it, and listen to me speak. Or you can also read the subtitles. That works too.

Follow a structured approach

If you decide to learn French by yourself. it can be overwhelming. You don’t know where to start, well you know now, French pronunciation.

But what to do next? 

I won’t be able to give you a step-by-step in this post because it would be too long, but I have a French self-study guide that you can download, and all you have to do is follow the lessons. 

You will start with French pronunciation, then a mix of French grammar and French conjugation. You also have French vocabulary and French expressions that you can integrate whenever you want. 

Feeling overwhelmed with French grammar? Learn some vocabulary. Want a fun lesson? Follow a lesson about expressions about food. 

Everything you learn is worth it, so don’t feel bad if you don’t learn the rules one day.

Study a bit every day

I will never stress that enough. Consistency is key when if you learn French by yourself or any language.

It’s better to learn 10 minutes a day than to learn 2 hours every Sunday. I still do this even though I have been learning for 10 years. 

Back in the days when I didn’t have time to learn actively, I used to at least study 10 words of vocabulary, so I didn’t feel that I wasted a day of learning.

Learn what you are going to use

Is your hobby cooking? Maybe don’t learn about knitting, then. It seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many people learn what they will never use. 

How to Learn French by Yourself - Speak Speak Speak

Please wait for me to explain. I know many don’t have the money to get a conversation teacher, so here are a few ways to practice speaking.

The first one, and the one you should start with, is the imitation method. It has been a big subject on social media recently, but it’s something that people have been using for years, and you used it too at one point in your life. When you were little and learned to speak, you used this exact method. You repeated a word, then a group of words, and finally, a sentence. 

I have six videos with this method that you can watch on my YouTube channel. I post a new one every month. 

I also have a 30-day French Speaking Practice workshop if you want to practice more. It’s very efficient, trust me.

The second is to talk to others if you have the finances to travel or hire a tutor. 

You don’t? Just speak to yourself. 

Yes, you heard me right. Have a conversation out loud with yourself. What you are looking to do is to be comfortable speaking, to have words flowing instead of blocking. The number of times I said something and it came out completely wrong but was fine in my head, you have no idea. By speaking out loud, you will get better at speaking. Easy peasy. You might look crazy, but it works.

And even if you have the finances to hire a tutor, speaking every day is better than once a week. So, speak to yourself or watch one of my videos when you don’t see your tutor.

Move on if you don't understand

Chances that, when learning French by yourself, there will be something that you won’t understand in French. Maybe French conjugation, maybe French pronunciation. 

Don’t stay stuck there. Move on. Sometimes, your brain needs time to understand something. One day you will get it, but today might not be the day.

It's ok to make mistakes

Mistakes don’t mean that you are doing something wrong. Mistakes mean that you are learning. It’s a part of the process. Don’t overthink it.


Feel free to leave me a comment if you have a question. I answer them every day. Don’t forget to subscribe.

Improve Your French at Home

Video: How to Learn French by Yourself

If you prefer to watch a video lesson, you can watch this video.

11 Responses

  1. Thanks for these steps Dylane, they are very helpful as I have been feeling overwhelmed at times. One day at a time is what I need to remember!

  2. Hello Dylane, your study guide and all of your French courses are amazing! I just started to learn French a month ago, after learning some basic words and sentences I found I have to learn some grammar to better understand this language, and fortunately I found your videos on YouTube and then this website. Now I have already bought your grammar book and ready for this in-depth learning journey! Merci beaucoup!

    P.S. The sentence “If you can hear a sound, you can’t pronounce it.” right below the “listen listen listen” paragraph makes me a little bit confused. I am wondering if you would say “If you can’t hear a sound, you can’t pronounce it.”?

  3. Hello Dylane,
    For a complete beginner , what would you recommend as a starting point and the flow? Would it be pronunciation -> Grammer -> vocabulary or any other sequence?
    Thank you

  4. You are just so perfect teacher of french, that I enjoy everything I read about your instructions and directions to learn French by yourself or about every rules everything.
    Thanks a lot really .

Leave a Reply


About Dylane

Dylane is the owner & founder of “The perfect French with Dylane”, a YouTube channel and website where she teaches students from all around the world all the aspects of the French language.

Get Perfect French in your Inbox