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French Vocabulary

edited February 2014 in French
Hi every one, Can any one tell me some tips for learning french vocabulary quickly.


  • Suggestion, pick 20 words a day you want to learn. Take some index cards or pieces of paper. On one side write the french meaning and on the reverse side the English meaning or whatever your native language is. Put them in a container and start drawing each flashcard. If you get the side with your native language on it try to guess the french translation before you turn the card over. And vice versa if you draw the french side first. If you donut get it right put the card back in the container and redraw. When you master the word take the card out. Repeat until the box is empty.
  • Thank you Scotty for the index cards idea.
    Also, check the forum Tips on learning French for more ideas.
  • Trying to learn 20 words a day is likely to frustrate most language-learners. Psycholinguistic and language acquisition research suggests that the average person can learn 2-5 words a day, but trying to push to 10 can undermine the memorization/learning of them all. In other words, you may be able to learn 7 words a day, but not 8 so by pushing yourself to learn 10 a day you're actually only learning maybe 2-3 new words and struggling with the rest.

    I would recommend learning words you need to or want to know. If your goal is fluency, start with high-frequency words and aim for 1-2 new verbs a day plus 1-2 high-frequency words (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) but pick ones that can work together so you can practice using them in context.

    If you learn 2 verbs and 2 nouns a day you can make 4 new sentences. If you can memorize 6 new words, add 2 adjectives and you now have a possible 8 sentences from just those 6 new words.

    If you're NOT using the Living Language French program, get it and use it. If you don't have it yet but you have an iPhone or iPad, the App is free and the full 3-level content is about $10. You don't get the books, but you get something to give your learning focus and sometimes that's all we need :-)
  • My husband and are learning for a trip.  There are many free apps to download with lots of vocabulary that we use in conjunction with living language.  After about 2 months going back and forth we bought the Berlitz flash cards at Barnes and Noble, $12.95.  1000 cards and whenever we're in the car we go through them and make 2 piles.  We were pleasantly shocked to find that we had absorbed a lot more vocab than we thought and ended up with 600 in the 'know' pile and 400 in the 'no idea' pile.  Now we plan to back through.  Point is that you need to use many different resources and methods.  I find the games here to be the most productive way to retain.  

    I'm halfway through intermediate here and started to mentally speak french every chance I get.  Very helpful.  Whenever I'm out purchasing something or in a restaurant, I speak English but mentally think "If I HAD to convey that in french, could I do it and how would I phrase it?"  At a nice restaurant recently I started to look around the room to see how many things I knew the french word for.  Now I do it everywhere to practice.

    I'm not an auditory learner, I'm visual.  So I was getting far on the apps, but really needed more auditory practice.  
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