If you are learning French, you will definitely require a French English dictionary. There are many options available in 2023, ranging from traditional print dictionaries to simple-to-use dictionary apps that you can download on your phone.

It may be tempting to simply use Google to look up unfamiliar French words, but a dependable dictionary that has undergone professional editing will provide you with better translations. Let’s explore some best French English dictionaries that can make your learning journey easier.

French-English print dictionaries

1.    Collins-Robert French Dictionary

Price: $65

Available on: Amazon

The Collins-Robert is an expensive but extremely thorough French-English dictionary. It is renowned for being dependable for even the most dedicated French learners and provides a tone of contextual information for each word.

The Collins-Robert has many sentences and phrases, which is an added benefit because you can be sure you’re getting the nuanced definition of a word rather than just one main idea (as you might find from Google Translate, for example).

2.    Oxford-Hachette Dictionary

Price: $28 to $55

Available on: Amazon

The Oxford-Hachette dictionary may be for you if you are an experienced French learner who plans to look up more difficult or specialized vocabulary. It contains an astounding 900,000 words, including abbreviations and slang that are mostly used in European French. In fact, it is advised for translators and university students.

Aside from the dictionary definitions, it also provides sample emails and resumes as well as crucial documents like bank statements and rent agreements, which are helpful if you reside in a French-speaking nation.

If you face difficulties in learning French, these dictionaries can minimize half of your problems. They can help you improve your French vocabulary and learn the contextual use of different French words.

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3.    Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary French

Price: $12

Available on: Amazon

You should carry the Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary with you if you are looking for a dictionary that focuses on common terms. With at least 50,000 entries and translations from both French and English into English, it is still manageably compact.

If your level of French is B2 or lower, you should be able to read a newspaper with it and it should cover the majority of the terms you are looking for. Being the lightest print dictionary on this list, you can even take it on a trip with you. In fact, this dictionary will make your trip to any French-speaking country way more convenient and easier.

4.    Merriam-Webster’s French-English Dictionary

Price: $5

Available on: Amazon

The French spoken in France as well as in Canada are both covered in this print dictionary, which makes it somewhat unusual.

Words marked with the symbol “Can,” which denotes Canadian French, can be found throughout the dictionary. Examples include the words “5b” (peanut) and “depanneur” (repairman). This dictionary should be at the top of your list if you reside in or intend to visit Quebec.

You can look up a French or English word to find its translation, and it has at least 80,000 vocabulary words and phrases. The dictionary also includes lessons on nouns and verb conjugation, as well as French abbreviations, for reference.

French dictionary apps

5.    Ascendo

Price: $8.99

Available on: iOS | Android

Ascendo is one 4bvdmnewxmnw the more recent French-English dictionaries available, despite the fact that there are many others. It includes some pretty cool features like a verb conjugator, a large phrasebook, and a translator. The Swiss Army Knife of French-English dictionaries, essentially.

Ascendo is ideal for beginners because it also lets you test yourself on vocabulary. Ascendo’s offline audio pronunciation guide will be helpful for travelers, especially.

6.    WordReference

Price: Free

Available on: iOS | Android | Web

This app uses the same instantly recognizable purple color scheme as the well-known WordReference website. It functions well as a straightforward dictionary translation app. It offers grammatical and cultural explanations, making it excellent for reading and writing. Another useful feature is a verb conjugation.

The WordReference app gives users access to their renowned forums, where students can post queries about word choice and sentence construction in specific contexts, and native French speakers can respond.

7.    Larousse French-English Dictionary

Price: $4.99

Available on: iOS | Android | Web

Larousse is a well-known brand in the French lexicon industry. Because it gives users access to a wealth of proverbs, sayings, and idiomatic expressions, this app is excellent for students of all levels, especially those who want to concentrate on their reading and writing.

Links are included in each entry, facilitating easy cross-referencing. You can view words you’ve already looked up thanks to the search history feature. The app also functions offline, with the exception of its pronunciation guide, which needs an internet connection.

8.    Collins French-English Dictionary

Price: $17.99

Available on: iOS

When it comes to the Collins app, the saying “You get what you pay for” comes to mind. The app is just as valuable as the print version. It’s excellent for students of all proficiency levels and covers a wide range of vocabulary from various fields, along with verb conjugations in both French and English.

The “Language in Use” supplement of this app offers hundreds of examples of how to use vocabulary in everyday situations, including phone and email conversations.

Some apps also include pronunciation of French words and they can serve as a great strategy to learn French pronunciation. Being a language learner of modern times, it is essential for you to take advantage of every resource available online.

How to use a dictionary to learn French

You must be aware of your intended use of a dictionary in order to get the most benefit from it:

– You can greatly increase your French vocabulary by reading and seeing the words in context. If you can’t determine a word’s meaning from context alone, try reading a sentence on your own before looking it up in a dictionary.

– When traveling, dictionaries come in handy for understanding various signs and checking words before speaking them out loud. Both pronunciation guides and phrasebooks are excellent travel companions.

– A dictionary is useful for looking up potentially perplexing terminology, such as abbreviations, if you are learning French for work. For instance, in French, a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is referred to as a PDG (président-directeur général).

Once you sort out your need for French English dictionary:

– Actively maintain a word list. It’s simple to look up a word once, but much harder to retain it over time. The words you learn should be recorded so you can review them frequently. Flashcards are a great way to do this instead of writing down words on scraps of paper.

– Pay attention to words that are frequently used. While you shouldn’t look up every word, keep an eye out for repetitions because they can be indicators of crucial words for the particular French content you are using. If a word appears several times and you are not sure what it means, you should look it up.

Print Dictionary or an App

Nowadays, French dictionaries are unquestionably the more popular option. All you need is a phone, and they are much more discrete than a print dictionary. The French language is also evolving constantly, and dictionary apps can keep up with these changes with a quick update.

Although print dictionaries may seem more antiquated, they do have one less obvious advantage: they can encourage you to learn more. Your brain will be more inclined to remember information since searching for a word requires more effort. As you turn the pages, you unavoidably come across additional words and expressions, which can result in you accidentally learning more new words.

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You will probably look up words too many times to count as you learn French, so having the right dictionary can make the process much easier.  You will be well on your way to expanding your vocabulary if you select one of the top French English dictionaries mentioned above.

Note down new words using flashcards. Try using them in your conversations. It will boost your confidence to speak French in front of people. Lastly, make mistakes that is how you actually learn. And if you want to practice your French speaking, you can also find an online French tutor at italki.

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