How to Memorize French Vocabulary

Reference & EducationLanguage

  • Author Caroline Neak
  • Published December 5, 2014
  • Word count 509

Learning a foreign language does not have to be difficult. The techniques you used when learning your native language as a child can be translated to learn a foreign language as a student; especially when it comes to learning French vocabulary. By following a few simple tips and tricks you can easily memorize and remember French writings and words.

Probably the easiest thing to do is make a list and post it somewhere you will see it more than once a day. You should list things based on themes such as in the house, at the park, and at work. When writing your list it is important to add the gender article to the word (nouns). Knowing the gender will help you when the time comes to use the word later. Do not overwhelm yourself with your list. Keep it short and simple; about 10 to 15 words is a good number. Change your list or theme weekly. Label the items in your house that are also on your vocabulary list. This will help you learn the new French words and review any old ones. Keep your labels up even if you update your list.

Flash cards are the best way to memorize. If your cards are not illustrated write the French vocabulary on one side and the translation on the other; then practice, practice, practice. Say them aloud. Have friends and family quiz you on them. Write them down or spell them orally. This will help you when you are reading and writing your new language at a later time.

You can always add the words and study habits to music. Learn the alphabet song in French and get a head start on some of the tricky pronunciations involved in the language. Then pick a favourite song of yours and translate it or change the words so that you’re using words off of your list. Sing it to yourself whenever you can to help you practice saying and hearing the word. You can even study while you sleep. Listening to your language audio at night can help you as well.

Do not forget technology; many electronic devices can help you study as they are made specifically for learning a new language. There are several websites and phone apps that can help you use and remember French. From Mot du jour which helps you learn five new French words a week to a dictionary of French expressions, the digital age can be a great tool when it comes to learning. Watching television programs and movies in French is a good way to build on your conversational skills. If a word is used that you do not recognize then be sure to write it down to look up later.

Whatever technique you choose the best way to learn a new language is to use it every day. Consistency is the key. French is a fun and enjoyable language and can be used in many places in the world. Before you know it you’ll be conversing with the best of them.

Caroline is a French tutor for children 8 to 16. She has a blog which she updates regularly with French verbs, grammar points, vocabulary and tips on learning the French language. She makes French learning resources and adds a free quiz every week on her site.

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