Download PDF – French vocabulary : How to learn and memorize it ?

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To write the words

I suggest you to write the words you want to memorize, do it several times in the French  language and in the English language. After that, write the word in the English language and write in a proper way the words in the French language.

Take one word for each day

There is as well something fun you can do. If you do not want to, if you cannot learn the French language as much as you want, if you do need to study to get success for an exam,... I suggest you to choose between one and three words for everyday. And what you have to do is to remember these words at the end of the 7 days. Do not forget to put them in sentences, in a context. Making mental picture, and for example imagine yourself in the picture. Put them into sentences, put them in a context to remember them better, maybe put in the same sentence the words with similar meanings. Do not try to study all the words of a list, first find the most useful ones, learn them while putting them into sentences, in a context, use your imagination. Better than that, put them in a little story. When you have mastered them, study the other words. 

Illustrations and mental pictures

You can use a dictionary with pictures, flashcards or textbooks or workbooks that provide images with the vocab. Making an association between the image and the word. Maybe creating a mental picture which takes place in a context, for axample, the word is « house », and beside the word there is the picture of it, instead of just thinking the word and the picture, you can have the imagination of yourself going into the house. It will give to the mental picture an emotionnal load that makes the remembering better.

Use audio support to help you to learn the French lanugage

Some people have difficulties to remember the vocabulary, some French expressions when they study it with workbooks or with long French movies or videos. If you really want to study with movies I suggest you to take a short one. An effective way is to listening to music with the lyrics, it is easier. Then, you can listen to the songs without the lyrics. Another way is to listening to audiobooks, short ones are the best, or find play lists on the internet. Some textbooks (but not everytime) provide CDs so you can practice your oral comprehension and the accent. You can also find nice French videos on youtube.

Take the moment which is the best for you to memorize    

For some people it is easier to study in the morning, they learn better and faster, for some others the best time is during the evening, or before going to bed. We all have a different way to remember the information we have just learnt, so pay attention to that before beginning to learn something new. Use the better time to take advantage of it, to get more fluency.

Find an app that you like to use

It could be an application or a website : Memrise, Duolingo, Anki, Mosalingua are the famous ones. You can use them on your mobile phone or your computer. Some of them, maybe all ones (I am sure for Duolingo) use one of the best memory techniques which is the spaced repetition system, it is the well known method to put the informations you learn in your long terme memory. If you practice everyday you will get the vocab very quickly. You can use them to learn French writing, to practice the speaking and increasing your word-stock. For more fluency, to have like an immersion-like experience.

Study with cognates

Cognates are words that have the same sound and the same meanings in the two languages.

I suggest you to create a list of French words and another one with the transcript in the English language, in two columns, one column for the French language words and one for the English language words. To exercise you can hide one column and try to find the correct word in the other language.

Here are examples :

FrenchEnglish
Calculatrice
Débat
Edition
Festival
Génération
Horreur
Impression
Juin
Kilomètre
Liberté
Calculator
Debate
Edition
Festival
Generation
Horror
Impression
June
Kilometer
Liberty

You have to repeat the words

This is THE memory techniques to know to learn and memorize vocabulary fast. When you learn them for the first time, the words and expressions goes in your short term memory. With a daily repetition (several times a day but fort a short period of time) you are going to put them in your long-term memory. It is more efficient to study a few minutes a day than three hours in one time, in one day, in one week.

To memorize some specific words

Let us see an example with the word chanter (to sing) → chanteur/chanteuse (singer). The common partthat they have is chante. You can make links between them easily, so you can remember them easily. I suggest you look for that kind of words and to put them in your daily learning routine. 

Agricole
Poire (Pear)
Poterie (Pottery)
Jardin (Garden)
Maritime
Jour (Day)
Grand (Tall, big)
Rue (Street)
Douce (Soft)
Simple (Simple)
Agriculture (Agriculture)
Poirier
Potier
Jardinier
Marin (Marine)
Journée
Grandir
Ruelle
Doucement
Simplement

Here is a list of words in French related to the kitchen, with the translation in English

FrenchEnglish
Cuisinier
Ustensile
Gastronomie
Recette
Plat
Poêle
Evier
Repas
la Vaisselle
Casserole
Four
Restaurant
Aliment
Soupe
Pâtisserie
Table
Manger
Oignon
Légume
Cooker
Utensil
Gastronomy
Recipe
Dish
Pan
Sink
Meal
The dishes
Pot
Oven
Restaurant
Food
Soup
Pastry
Table
To eat
Onion
Vegetable

Have a look at others articles to find resources with lessons, flashcards, to be like in immersion, to be your own teacher, your own French teacher.

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Students, learners : learning french books for children for vocabulary
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Students : French learning whatsapp group for pronunciation, app
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How to learn French oral in one night while you sleep with mp3
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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀