About Laura K Lawless

Laura K. Lawless

Bonjour ! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online French learning site. If this is your first visit, take a look at Welcome to Lawless French.

Life Story

Born and raised in Illinois, I happily escaped to California at the age of 20. I spent 2½ years going to school and working in Monterey and another 3½ working, going to school, and goofing off in San José. I lived in Morocco for two and a half years, then spent four years in Pennsylvania, nine months in Costa Rica, and five years in the South of France, before finally settling in Guadeloupe.


Language is the great love of my life, and computers are in my blood, so the two together are a match made in heaven. I also love traveling, trying new restaurants, cooking, and especially reading. I’m not a big sports person, but I enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, biking, and dancing.


I started studying French in 1987 and Spanish two years later. After graduating from high school, I started attending Knox College, but transferred to Monterey Institute of International Studies after two years, where I received a BA in International Studies, and then completed the first year of MIIS’ translation and interpretation MA program. I studied French in Rouen for 6 weeks, and later spent a year studying French linguistics and literature at San José State University. I also spent a month at the Alliance française in Toulouse.

Professional Experience

I worked as a freelance translator for several years and taught French and Spanish at an adult education center for over a year. I’ve been a virtual French teacher since 1999 and have authored five French books, including French Workbook for Dummies and Intermediate French for Dummies.


I speak fluent French, conversational Spanish and Italian, survival Greek, and a smattering of Darija (Moroccan Arabic). I’m an eagle-eyed proofreader (except when it comes to my own work) and have a knack for transforming complicated concepts into accessible articles.

Other Information

I love language, and I love being able to share it via this wonderful tool: the internet. I’m truly delighted to have the opportunity to share my knowledge of and love for the French language with you. My only goal is to create a comprehensive French language resource for students and teachers, and one of the ways I do this is by partnering with extraordinary sites.

I Guided the French language site at About from 1999 until 2014, when I decided to strike out on my own and started writing new and better French lessons than ever before here at Lawless French. I also do some freelance work as a translator (French –» English and Spanish –» English), proofreader, and webmaster, and write about other topics as well:

The vast majority of this site is free – the only exception is the Mot du jour. You are welcome to use Lawless French for free indefinitely, but I’d be very grateful if you would consider supporting this site. Or you can buy me a coffee:

Read more about me:


Please post your questions about French on the Progress with Lawless French Q+A Forum.

Contact Me

I’m available for interviews, guest articles, and quotations related to language learning in general and French in particular, as well as the ups and downs of a freelancing expatriate life. Interviews with LKL

I love meeting my readers IRL, so if you’re coming to Guadeloupe, drop me a line and we can grab a real coffee!  🙂

Stay up to date with Lawless French

Questions about French?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

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Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

45 Responses

  1. Maureen YB 4 December 2018 / 19:45

    I was referred to your site by a classmate. After not using, and then losing, my French skills after 20 years, I am back to studying. I just bought your book and look forward to using it. This site is fantastic!

  2. Eric 3 July 2018 / 9:37

    Hi Laura,

    You deserve recognition for your website! I’d like to thank you for all of this free language learning material. Learning new languages and being able to speak with as many people as possible is a gift that should be shared! Thank you for allowing those of us with an internet connection to learn with the help of concise information; your website is indispensable.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, the world needs more LKLs!

    You rock,

    Eric from Canada

  3. Aimes 4 June 2018 / 15:23

    I want to say thank you Laura for your amazing site – I can honestly say you have helped me immensely in getting through two university French courses. I think I used your website more than I ever used the actual textbooks of the course. The way you are able to teach and describe things in a way that is easily understandable is amazing. Every grammar lesson I went through on here just clicked!

    I am so thankful and appreciative that you have created this site and appreciate the hard work it took.

    – A very thankful Student

    • lkl 5 June 2018 / 2:01

      Bonjour Aimes,

      You’re very welcome, and thank you! I love hearing from my virtual students and I’m so happy to know that I’ve been able to help you. Bonne continuation! 🙂

  4. Dave Lawless 6 February 2018 / 21:14

    I need to learn French, so I am going to give it a try.
    After all with a name like Lawless I can’t go wrong.lol

    Dave Lawless
    Dartmouth, NS. Cda

  5. A'Doris Andrews 5 February 2018 / 5:45

    Hi Laura! Thank you for making this site available to everyone. I am learning French, but often feel discouraged by my progress. I don’t have the money, nor the opportunities for paid tutors or leaving the country for a short trip or a lengthy stay. I only have ME……well…..and your site. What can I do to step up my game?

  6. Ria Brillante 25 November 2017 / 5:28

    Hi Laura. You have no idea how pleased I was when I found your website as an excellent resource that can explain confusing grammar concepts in a simple manner. I have been looking for good grammar books but it was only your site that solved my grammar dilemmas. : )

    • lkl 25 November 2017 / 8:37

      Bonjour Ria,

      Thanks for the nice note, happy to help. Bonne continuation ! 🙂

  7. Susovan PAL 2 May 2016 / 15:23

    Merci Mme. Lawless pour le site, c’est très bon! Je utilise ce site pour ameliorer mon comprehension d’écoute. Bien sûr, mon français d’écrirer n’est pas bien, mais c’est plus de difficile pour comprender, parce que ils parlent très rapidement en Paris (ou j’habitais pour 2 ans).

    Donc, je serai reconnaisance si vous faire plus de “listening compréhension”.

  8. patricia richards 24 February 2016 / 12:09

    Hi Laura I have found you at last! I used to receive your regular newsletters until my computer was sto[en I changed my Internet provider too so was still out of touch when I bought a new one. I am 78 years old and still learning. I recently bought your excellent book for intermediate French learners and am delighted to find your new website.

    • lkl 24 February 2016 / 12:21

      Bonjour Patricia,

      Glad to have you back! 🙂

  9. mmenso 10 November 2015 / 23:08

    Hi, I would just like you to know that you’ve helped me so much! In french class we have a lot of verb quizzes and your site has been a great help. Thank you. You saved my grades.

  10. Aragon 17 November 2014 / 8:35

    Hi Laura. Thank you very much and congratulations with the new web page. I was already content in the way you presented the French to us at the old site: brief, precise and in equal connection to spheres of theory and practice. Now, on top of that, little images improve the speed and quality of learning. Merci beaucoup.

  11. [email protected] 11 October 2014 / 3:32

    Hi Laura,
    Best of luck with the new website. I used your previous French lessons and tests all the time and now I’ve subscribed to your new venture. Everthing seems to work just fine for me in Chrome. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into teaching. BTW, I tried to send a book from your Amazon list, but got a message that they will not send it to your address! Cash seems so impersonal, but I’m happy to show you some support. You really deserve it.

    • lkl 11 October 2014 / 5:32

      Bonjour John – merci bien! I live in Guadeloupe and have received many books. I think the trouble might be that you were trying to order from an Amazon vendor rather than the company itself.

      I agree about the impersonality of cash, but nonetheless I’m very grateful to accept it – this is my job, after all. 🙂 Merci encore et bonne continuation !

  12. Ian Seddon 16 September 2014 / 7:54

    Hi Laura,

    My wife and I have regular weekly meetings with a close friend, to better our basic knowledge of the French language. Your regular emails from About com formed the core of our studies which always culminated with a quiz.

    Thank you for all the hard work you did in freely providing such a wealth of knowledge …and now we look forward to supporting you in your new venture.

    Bon courage!
    Ian Seddon

  13. Jeau Reding 21 August 2014 / 16:07

    Something in my life was missing these past few months and I realized that I wasn’t receiving my Mot du Jours. I think I have subscribed to that the entirety of your previous tenure. But I, too, am relieved that I have found you here. The internet is a beautiful thing 🙂

  14. Bill Williams 18 August 2014 / 12:21

    Delighted to find this new website! I was really distressed to see the terse note from About saying you had not renewed your contract with them, but then I Googled your name and, voila! Looking forward to much more French here 🙂


  15. Nigel Cooper 6 August 2014 / 6:03

    I’m only now reconnected again since About days having moved to the digital remoteness of the Welsh border. Boy did I miss your regular emails and encouragements. You have a great ability to put explanatory points succinctly which makes for an efficient use of time. I can be found walking this gorgeous countryside muttering to myself in French.
    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for the language, it shows through and is very much appreciated.

  16. Rich Porter 29 June 2014 / 14:53

    Hi, Laura,

    One thing I like about your articles on about com was the fact that your sweet face was on every page, smiling and encouraging us through all of the lessons. I miss it on about com and especially on your new web site. Why not take a current casual photo of yourself and put it on your web site so we can say Bonjour Laura when we visit. You could even change it once a month with a different background so we can see where you are traveling or staying. I am not kidding, this is really important to me so that I can kind of connect and feel like I have a friend and tutor while I struggle with my French. I am sure many others feel the same way.

    Bien cordialement,


  17. Zahra Aran 22 June 2014 / 13:01

    hi, I’ve followed your lessons from Facebook and at the same time, I am learning French language but I wanted to know if you can help me to find an institute or university in Franc that I can learn Simultaneous translation (to be an interpreter)? I would be really grateful if you mail me. thanks

    • lkl 22 June 2014 / 17:08

      Bonjour, the only interpretation school that I have personally studied at is Monterey Institute of International Studies, in Monterey, California. I am not qualified to recommend any others.

      Please note that there’s no such thing as “simultaneous translation.” If you want to be an interpreter, you want to study simultaneous interpretation. 🙂

  18. Clare Barclay 20 June 2014 / 13:52

    Dear Laura
    I have been learning French for about 10 years since we decided to buy a house in France. With your help, I am now much more confident in all sorts of situations, to the extent that we now live in France! We’re in les Hautes-Pyrénées, where we love walking and skiing…
    Very best of luck with your new venture and I shall be following you all the way!
    Merci mille fois et bon courage
    Clare Barclay

  19. Chantelle Marshall 19 June 2014 / 4:35

    I have almost completed your beginners french lessons on about com and my question is where do i go from there? Your book on intermidiate french for dummies? Please advice and thank you for your fantastic lessons.

    • lkl 19 June 2014 / 6:44

      Bonjour Chantelle, I don’t have a set course after the beginning series – it’s basically independent study at that point. My book Intermediate French for Dummies might work, but I did not write it specifically as a follow up to those lessons so there will probably be some overlap.

  20. Terry Erdt 6 June 2014 / 11:13

    Laura, over the years I’ve studied a number of languages via various courses and teachers, and I’ve always found your online lessons in French to be superb. The amount of online material for learning French that you have put online has amazed me. Before long I hope to bring to you a proposal for translating some children’s stories for a new, and I think, quite creative venture, one using online technology as never used before.

  21. Steve 4 June 2014 / 19:31

    G’day Laura,

    As part of waking up each day, your daily e-mail has become part of my life! Thanks for all your work in sustaining this fantastic, professional and absolutely educational service :). You need also to be awarded the French Legion of Honour for your tireless promotion of the French Idiom. I wish you very much the best and will be eagerly following your continuing developments. again many thanks

  22. Barry 4 June 2014 / 9:44

    Thanks for the tidbits I gleaned from your About com …I am to much of a beginner, in French, to understand much. What makes it harder is that I wasn’t that great of a student in English so even the basics sometimes are hard for me to grasp. As a professional artist I have had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland twice and France just last year painting with a group of artists with whom we stay.I managed to get lost while walking the streets of Lyon and my very basic French with a very nice gentleman bailed me out and got me pointed in the right direction! Thanks much for all the work you do and I will follow you on your new website.

  23. Pashupati (poltu) 4 June 2014 / 9:26

    Hi Lawra, been following your site for years. Currently in France on a free vacation as I won a French sonwriting compitition (Chansons sans Frontieres). Taking this opportunity to visit the ‘les plus beaux villages’, which I first learnt of on your website, so remember you a lot on each of my beaux visits! Sorry to see you go on about com – will follow your new newsletter
    a bientot

  24. Carmen Mariani 4 June 2014 / 9:14

    Hola Laura,
    Llevo años recibiendo tu newsletter en mi dirección de mail del trabajo y fue una pena enterarme hoy que no la escribirías mas, pero espero seguirte leyendo por mucho tiempo en este nuevo sitio.
    Comencé a estudiar francés en el jardín de infantes, seguí luego en la escuela y en la Alliance Française, leo mucho en francés y lo que mas me gustaba de tus newsletters eran las expresiones idiomáticas que incluías en cada una, las explicaciones y su correlato en ingles (o sea que de paso yo practicaba también este idioma). Muchos éxitos en este nuevo emprendimiento.

  25. sharon 4 June 2014 / 9:10

    I will definitely miss your daily e-mail — it has taught me so much — I hope you will consider doing something similar with your new website — good luck and thank you

  26. Yvonne 4 June 2014 / 7:13

    Thank you, Laura, for all the French lessons on About com. Although I studied French at university, I have learnt so much from your site – grammar, colloquial expressions, and interesting bits about the French language. I’ll certainly be following your new website.

  27. Riaz Shah 4 June 2014 / 0:15

    Oh là là j’etais surprisé de recevoir mon dernier e-mail de about com aujourd’hui!
    Vous me manquerez là-bas! Mais vous avez encore mon soutien, j’ai même vous suivi sur votre Newsletter :). Je vous félicite sur votre nouveau site, et je vous souhaite une très bonne continuation!

  28. Susan Douglas 3 June 2014 / 23:40

    Good luck Laura with the new website. I’ve been an avid follower of you for a while now and will contine to be so. I notice that you now live in Guadaloupe. My French teacher Brigitte has just returned from there after a family get together to celebrate her grandmother’s 100th birthday. Obviously the climate is conducive to longevity! Maybe you were at the party!

    • lkl 3 June 2014 / 23:41

      Merci Susan. Haven’t been to any parties lately. 🙂

  29. Karen 3 June 2014 / 22:42

    Wishing you all the very best on your new venture! With your creativity, passion for teaching, and love for language, I know this will site will become even more of a valuable resource than that of your previous employer.

  30. Katrina Briggs 3 June 2014 / 21:53

    I have been receiving the French email from About com for about 5 years and I plan to follow you on your new site. It’s really funny that I totally missed that you are a Vegitarian, I am as well. I plan to check out your Vegitarian website also! Many blessings to you on your new venture!

  31. John F. 3 June 2014 / 21:40

    Laura, I’m glad to see you’re staying in the business, even if no longer at About com. I have subscribed to your posts through the Feedburner link at the top, so I hope to keep getting your posts. As I told you once before a few years ago, you have made a huge difference in my life, helping me to learn French sufficiently to become a professional translator and go from being deeply in debt to earning a 6 figure income. Many thanks and all the best!

  32. Judy McDonough 3 June 2014 / 21:23

    I will miss you on About com but look forward to tracking you on your new Lawless French! I look forward to more years of your very helpful aids for studying and reviewing French. I’m a retired French(and English) teacher and have used your information for all the years you have made it available. Thank you! I wish you well with the new endeavor and I have two sons and a daughter who benefit from your work also. All adults…all used About com with you. I have sent them your latest update. Take care. Be well. Au revoir~!!

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