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Cover Art: Le Petit Nicholas

iPad French Reading

Supercharge Your French Learning


The iPad (and iPhone) is a powerful tool for French students because of its extremely convenient French dictionary. Readers have French definitions and other resources literally right at their fingertips. To look up words, no longer must readers set down their books and pick up their separate dictionary or device. The entire experience of reading and looking up words all takes place on one surface, within the one Books app. What is more, readers may download French language books in seconds within this very same app. The iPad is a French student's best friend. (See more information about the Apple Books app below.)

French iPad Book Suggestions

Click the links to download free book samples.

Le Petit Nicholas

Le Petit Nicholas is a great starting place for early French readers.

Marcel Pagnol

For more advanced French language learners.

Powerful Learning

Reading French is a great way to progress in french language learning. Beyond studying just simple vocabulary, reading also allows the student to encounter phrases, idioms and French's quirky sentence structures. Importantly, all of these concepts are learned in context.

One Caveat

Beginning French students will quickly bump in to a frustrating verb tense that very likely they have not studied, the passé simple. When you encounter it, don't fret. Read a little about it in your grammar book or look it up online. If you know the passé composé, you will quickly learn to recognize the words in the passé simple. The most important thing is to not get bogged down on these two common irregular verbs and their passé simple forms: être = fus/fut/fûmes/fûtes/furent and avoir = eus/eut/eûmes/eûtes,eurent. Don't let this pesky non-spoken tense deter you from the very powerful learning tool of reading.

Free to Sample, Easy to Buy

Apple's Books store offers book samples for free. Unfortunately, for those located in the United States, the Books app store will not present a comprehensive French-language selection, as such. But, one may search for books by title or author, locate the French language version, and then purchase them, all just as easily as English language books. (Not all titles are available; international distribution is spotty. For example, as of this writing, I am very disappointed to not be able to buy the French language editions of the Harry Potter books in the U.S. Apple Books store.)

Apple Books App

This article focuses on the iPad French language reading experience. Know that the Books app is able to synchronize your books and even your bookmarks across devices. You can set down your iPad and pick your reading back up later on your phone, perhaps while riding the bus or at the doctor's office. What is more, the Books app synchronizes across not only iOS devices; it works on modern versions of Mac OS (desktop) as well.

Dictionary Configuration

In order to look up French words it may be necessary to configure one's devices:

Contact Me With Questions

Please contact me with questions about buying books or setting up your devices. (And with book suggestions, please.)