Eurotalk’s Talk Now! French is simple learn French software based around matching and memory games, audio lessons, and a printable picture dictionary. While this program does build your French vocabulary, it lacks writing, grammar or conversational lessons. Talk Now is best if you already have some experience with the French language and just need to brush up on common words and phrases for traveling.
While vocabulary is a necessary component of learning French, Talk Now doesn’t teach you how to assemble the words you learn into complete thoughts. You may learn the French words for blue or car, but you don’t learn how to explain which blue car is yours. For a more complete program, we recommend Rosetta Stone French because it has the most complete learning program and you can even pay to speak with native-speaking tutors.
Each Talk Now lesson follows the same format, so you can start anywhere in the program. The main menu takes you to the lesson menu or a download link for the standalone MP3 audio lessons. There are nine topics in the main lessons covering basics like greetings, phrases, food and telling time. If you need to learn business-specific vocab, we recommend that you study with our top pick for business-related learning, Instant Immersion French.
In the lessons, you encounter word practice, speaking practice, two games and a printable picture dictionary. Word practice introduces the words you’ll work with through the lesson. There’s only one section in this program that covers full phrases.
The speaking practice quizzes you in rounds of four, eight or 10 words at a time. You can opt to hear a prompt before recording yourself or challenge yourself without a prompt. There’s no accuracy meter to indicate how close your French is to a native speaker, so you have to compare your recording to the one provided on your own.
There are two games in each section, a hard one and an easy one. Both are generally matching or memory games that ask you to identify the right picture based on the spoken word. The game doesn’t change between the two, but the difficulty does depending on how many clues you get from the virtual tutor at the bottom of the screen.
During each activity, your virtual tutors at the bottom of the screen read your answers or prompt you during speaking practice. It’s helpful to see how French speakers form words, but unfortunately, the tutors are on a looped animation, so their mouths don’t sync with what they’re saying. Just like the virtual tutors, the Talk Now interface could use an update. Some of the audio and images are grainy, making it hard to identify what the program’s trying to convey.
Talk Now is a simple way to learn French vocabulary fast. Between audio lessons, games of varying difficulties and speaking practice, you can absorb basic French words quickly. However, there is little grammar, writing or conversational instruction in this program, so you may not know how to use the words you learn in context.