How to learn new words in French (1) : choosing a strategy that suits you

Mis à jour : 5 mars 2020


Last week, I started to read a book in English that I bought at Foyles in London. The book is Confessions of a bookseller by Shaun Bythell. This books is entertaining and it has the right level of English for me.


What does it have to do with French vocabulary?

Well, when you read a French book and I read an English book, you and I are in a the same situation. It’s not our language. When I read this book there are words that I don’t understand. I ask myself « should I leave my bed and look up for this word in the dictionnary? ». I’ve chosen not to because I’m tired and I’m in my bed. Then, should I write this word down and look up for it the day after? No, because I know I won’t do it. It has no sense.


This is my strategy

So, unless I’m very curious about a word that I don’t understand, I’ve chosen not to look up for it in the dictionnary when I read in bed.

Why? because I’m confident! This is my strategy. The words that are part of the vocabulary you can expect to know, you meet them several times. So I’m sure that if it’s a word that I need to know, I will meet it another time when it’s easier for me to look it up in the dictionary. For example, when I read a blog post in English, it’s easy to get the translation on the Internet. It’s easy, fast, and effective.


And I bet, you will soon meet that word in a French book! or in a French podcast ;-) La boucle est bouclée.


What do you think of this strategy?

There are other strategies about vocabulary that I’m eager to share with you in coming blog posts of One Thing In A French Day :

-- where to keep that vocabulary (in a notebook, in an app)?

-- what kind of French book to read? etc.

In the meantime, do not hesitate to send me your comments about my lazy strategy or to share yours!


#learningfrench #frenchvocabulary #advancedfrench #improvemyfrench #wordsinfrench

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