David Issokson Biography

David Maurice Issokson (born February 5, 1975) is a French teacher the owner of FrenchLearner. Issokson is best known for his language abilities. Issokson speaks native level French and is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Issokson is proficient in Hebrew and Portuguese and has extensive knowledge of Italian, Thai, German and Taiwanese Hokkien.

Early Life

Issokson was born in Dover, New Hampshire on on February 5, 1975 to Jay and Roberta Issokson. Issokson’s father is retired dentist and his mother is a retired speech therapist. His family is Jewish and emigrated from Poland, Russia, Lithuania and Hungary. Issokson’s paternal great-grandfather, Israel Issokson (formally Israel Midzuk) immigrated to the United States around 1915 from Vidzy, Lithuania. His maternal grandparents owned the Holland Bakery in Lynn, MA. David’s maternal grandfather, Yale Issokson, owned Issokson’s Clearner’s in Vineyard Haven, MA.

Issokson spent his entire childhood in Durham, NH and attended the schools of the Oyster River School District. In middle school and high school Issokson was known for acting and had leading roles in the plays Blazing Guns at Roaring Gultch, Nicholas Nickleby and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Issokson started skiing at eight years-old at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, New Hampshire. He spent his entire youth skiing at visited Loon Mountain Ski Resort and Sunday River regularly.

Issokson at summer camp with sister and friend.
Issokson at summer camp in New Hampshire with twin sister Michele and friend Clancy in 1982.

Issokson spent ever summer growing up from the 1982-1991 at Bear Hill Pond 4-H, part of the New Hampshire 4-H camps, in Camp in Suncook, NH. There Issokson developed his passion for hiking and the outdoors and entertaining friends.

Issokson spent his junior year of high school in 1991-1992 as an exchange student Douai, France. While in Douai, he attended classes at Lycée Albert Châtelet.

Issokson attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997 with a major in East Asian Studies and minor in economics.

Issokson spent the summer of 1996 in Taipei, Taiwan and attended Mandarin Chinese classes at National Taiwan Normal University or Shīdà 師大.


Early 2000s

Issokson stockbroking in Taiwan
Issokson working as a stockbroker in Taiwan around 2006.

After graduating from university in 1997, Issokson moved to Taipei, Taiwan. There he worked in financial industry for ten years. Issokson worked as a research assistant, editor and in equity sales for the QFII (Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) departments of several local and non-Taiwanese stock brokerages including Bank SinoPac (formally National Securities), CLSA, Capital Securities and KGI Securies.

Always fond of skiing, Issokson returned to the United States in 2002-2003 and worked in the Human Resources department of Copper Mountain in Frisco, Colorado.

2008 – present

Staring in 2008, Issokon set out on his own. He learned to create websites using WordPress. In 2012, he launched Frenchlearner.com, which became one of the world’s leading websites about French language and culture. From 2014 through the present, Issokson has taught hundreds of students French online via Skype and Zoom, and has provide face-to-face lessons. In 2024, Issokson launched a Podcast for his French word-of-the-day lessons. In 2023, Issokson launched davidspanish.com, a website dedicated to helping students learn the fundamentals of the Spanish language.

Personal life

Issokson on Martha's Vineyard
Issokson on Martha’s Vineyard in 2017.

In 2016, after spending almost two decades in Asia (Taiwan and Thailand), Issokson returned to the United States. He spent three years from 2016-2019 living in his father’s childhood home on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. During Issokson’s time on the island, his twin sister, Michele Issokson Sbrega sadly passed away in 2017.

Inspired by the Jewish organization Chabad, Issokson learned to speak conversational Hebrew and traveled twice to Israel in 2017 and 2018. There he developed a deep appreciation for his Jewishness. In 2024, he completed a reading of the entire Torah.

In 2017, Issokson began playing the violin and continues to play. In 2022, he began playing the guitar has focused on the fingerstyle method of playing.

Issokson mountain biking in the Teton Mountains.
Issokson mountain biking in the Teton Mountains, Wyoming in 2021.

In 2019, Issokson moved to Victor, Idaho. Attracted by the Teton Mountains on the Idaho-Wyoming state line, Issokson enjoys hiking and mountain biking during the summer and skiing during the winter. Issokson is a season pass holder at Grand Targhee ski resort. In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, he also enjoys Telemark skiing and cross-country skiing.

Issokson in Courmayeur, Italy.
Issokson enjoying a pizza while skiing in Courmayeur, Italy in 2023

During the winter of 2022-2023, Issokson fulfilled his lifelong dream of skiing in France. In addition to skiing in Chamonix France, Issokson also skied in Verbier, Switzerland, Kühtai Ski Resort (Austria) and Courmayeur, Italy.

In 2023, Issokson spent two seperate months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he improved his Spanish language abilities and deepened his appreciation of Mexican culture.