Consequently, English has a much larger vocabulary than either the Germanic languages or the members of the Romance language family to which French belongs. In Word, my AutoCorrect is spell checking in French instead of English, even though all my language settings are set for English (United States). Or the ‘th’ sound in thin/shin. Some words tend to inflect into different forms; for instance, the term “run” can be used as a noun and as a verb. As a result, it is difficult to accurately state how many words exist within the French language. She speaks two languages: French and English. That’s why I recommend you to always learn sentences, not words. It’s important to learn the right words, though! The English language has inherited quite a few French cognates – which means that French words are used in English. The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use (and 47,156 obsolete words). How Many Words You Should Know for Every Language Level – Milestones . But, the number of words in the Oxford and Webster Dictionaries are not the same as the number of wor… And it’s far from being an isolated case. To start with, what do you consider a word? Typically native speakers know 15,000 to 20,000 word families - or lemmas - … Knowing many French words is useless if you don’t know how to use these words and create sentences. Many of the most frequently used words in English are Germanic (not German) in origin, but over half its vocabulary is derived from Latin (much through French). Is it true that in the 1860s only 20% of the French population regarded themselves as French, or spoke the French language? That said, it is important to understand the difference between “passive knowledge” and “active … The English language has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries, and many English speakers know that Latin and Germanic languages were two of the most important. But again, focusing on goals can lead a learner in the appropriate direction. We are bombarded with vocabulary flashcards, vocabulary builders, daily vocabulary and even shopping vocabulary. Thanks to the Norman Conquest, English speakers who have never studied French should recognise at least 10,000 French words. Spend hours a day drilling vocabulary and you can acquire 5,000 French words in a month. French pronunciation can be hard for non-native speakers, as this video proves. The French language is one of the most romantic languages in the world and its beauty lies in its words. Have you heard language experts say that English has more words than other languages? What many people don't realize is how much the French language has influenced English. On the other hand, these two words are actually from the same “root” word and in the same “word family.” That means that filles (girls) is just a variant (in this case, the plural form) of fille (girl). You should make it a priority to learn the most common French words because these are the words you will find in 80% of conversations. The average adult vocabulary in English is 20,000–35,000 words, and we can assume that this number is comparable to the average adult French vocabulary. Well, how many words are there in the English language? Nearly 30% of all English words come directly or indirectly from French. According to l’encyclopédie Incomplète , the same 600 French words represent 90% of words used in common French texts. French quickly became the language of law and government. How many words do you think you need to know to speak French fluently? The videos are organized by genre and learning level so it’s easy to find something that works for you, and FluentU also personalizes the experience by suggesting new videos based on your learning history. The French only keep some English words when they can say them in a French manner. It's virtually impossible (and non-useful) to keep an exact count as new words are constantly formed and some ancient ones resurface from time to time . The best lower-bound estimate I can find is 2000 words. Long answer: * The technical term for what you call “words” is “lemma”. There is no sense in learning the French word for “limited liability partnership” if you do not imagine yourself in a situation where you would need to say it. So, whether we count inflected forms will have a huge influence on final counts. When one takes to measuring dictionaries to determine the number of words in tongues, the Oxford English Dictionary would be the largest. These words are those that appear most in newspapers, novels, and even conversations. The simple reason that English has so many words is that it is very much a mongrel language, with influences from Celtic, Latin, Danish, German and French (among others). Steven Frank, the author of The Pen Commandments claims that English has 500,000 words with German having about 135,000 and French having fewer than 100,000. A “typical person” knows about 70,000 words. Do you plan to shop in a Francophone community? Bonjour! Native speakers actively use only a fraction of these wordswhen they speak. This can seem a really big and frightening number to someone wanting to start learning French, but here's the good news: you only need to know roughly 5% of the total words to be fluent in French. Your trip will be much more enjoyable if you have a basic French vocabulary and the locals will appreciate your efforts. Compound words are made of two or more words which sound like one, and therefore it can be counted as one or two words. Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist famous for the principle he formulated, also known as the 80-20 rule. Well, first of all, one should not aim to learn all the words in the French language—even French speakers do not know then all. A lemma is a word including all its variations. This makes it hard to quantify how many words a learner already knows as well as to figure out how many words they should know in a target language. Aim to learn the most common words in the language. How many words do you need to know to speak French fluently? What many people don't realize is how much the French language has influenced English. Usually somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 words. This carried on until about the end of the 14th century when English reasserted itself as the language of authority. Back to French, my first language is Portuguese (and this matters since I can pick up a lot of French words simply because there is a Latin equivalent in Portuguese), and with a 10k count on Lingq I can read technical books and scientific papers with ease, but with novels there are a number of words in each page that I need to look up. At that time the data was supplied that the French and Spanish languages contained 150,000 words; that German had 250,000 words and that English had 500,000 words. How many words do you think you need to know to understand 80% of French texts? Learners should work with advanced vocabulary lists. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spoken in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. The most important thing is not knowing how many words you need to speak a language, but which words to know. Read More. Luckily you don’t need to learn all these words and definitions to speak French fluently. But which words do you actually need to know? The English language has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries, and many English speakers know that Latin and Germanic languages were two of the most important. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe, Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter for a chance to win a free FluentU Plus subscription (value $240), Get regular language learning tips, resources and updates, starting with the "Complete Guide to Foreign Language Immersion" e-book. To the French, knowing English is a way to stay trendy and cool. Many words like le, la, les, de, etc. You can search for it and FluentU will show you videos that use it. This does not mean a learner should ignore common, everyday words that are heard often in media or while reading. A bountiful active French vocabulary is within your reach! Remember, a good active vocabulary consists of the most useful words for your purpose. 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