French Language Blog

20 Questions With A Genie – Using Akinator To Practice French Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Vocabulary

After several months of studying une langue (a language) it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation to keep going. Actually applying all the new information sometimes feels futile if you only use la langue in the classroom. Heureusement (luckily), there are many ways to bring French to life and make studying fun!

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

Playing games and listening to la musique (music) are great ways to make French a part of your life. Hearing a catchy tune will have you singing les paroles (the lyrics) of une chanson française (a French song) and applying that French knowledge.

I also like to use les jeux vidéo (video games), like StarCraft, to help keep la langue (the language) alive and a part of my hobbies and not just a requirement for school or un job. Of course, building a fun environment to play with le français can be applied to all kinds of jeux and is in no way limited to les jeux vidéo!

Par exemple (for example), Akinator is a fun jeu that anyone can play. It’s an adaptation of 20 questions. Within 20 (or more) questions Akinator can guess who you are thinking of, starting with very basic ideas and working down to more and more specific details. It can often be surprising how quickly the genie guesses correctly nearly any character!

All you need to play is un navigateur (a browser) and le lien (the link), but make sure you play the game en français! In the top left corner there is a small box and if it does not look like the one below, cliquez-le (click it) and select Français 🇫🇷.

Then all you need to do is cliquer on the big JOUER (PLAY) button at the bottom of the screen and think of ton personage (your character)!

497 people are playing right now. 436765454 games played 47176 today.

Akinator will try to deviner (guess) your personnage as he narrows down the possible answers. Les questions start off very basic and are easy to understand:

Is your character a youtuber?

Some questions may include new or difficult vocabulary, but that makes learning les nouveaux mots (the new words) a fun activity rather than something you need to do in order to pass a test. After you understand la question, all you need to do is appropriately answer:

Oui, Non, Ne sais pas, Probablement, Probablement pas
Yes, No, I don’t know, Probably, Probably Not

You may think les questions are going nowhere, but Akinator will usually ask a question that makes it clear he is figuring out who ton personnage is:

Is your character related to music?

In this exemple, after a few more questions le génie (the genie) knew who I was thinking of and asked if he had guessed correctly:

I think of Joyce Jonathan, Singer. I’m right – I’m wrong

Akinator is a fun example of using un jeu to practice French. It’s a nice break from textbooks, but still puts your French to the test.

Try to stump le génie and see if you can think of un personnage he can’t guess!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Suzanne Waddell:

    That was fun! I very quickly did President Trump and Barbara Streisand and although I didn’t understand all the questions…akinator got them both correct.