French Week 4

Latest blog on my French learning:

Week 4 target: 3738 known words.
Week 4 result: 3760 known words.

(Week 4 is brought to you by cute dogs that I have known.) Not too much to report at the end of my fourth week learning French. I got a little bit off-track this week but caught up at the weekend. Mixing easy and harder content from the “beginner 2” material on LingQ, and gradually pushing ahead.

Couple of observations:

Word Acquisition. I have a final target of 50,000 words in 100 weeks. This averages out at 500 words a week so I am currently well on target. I am interested to see what happens to this over the whole adventure. Once my reading is good enough to start gobbling up whole books, my rate of word acquisition will sky rocket, but until that time it might gradually slow down as I hoover up all the common words. We will see.

Reading and Listening Comprehension. When I started out four weeks ago there was very little difference between my reading and listening comprehension. Now there is a considerable gap between the two, and I can only expect this gap to get wider in the coming weeks. I don’t think this is anything to worry about – listening takes a lot of time to get good at. But is interesting to see it happening.

Roll on week 5!

Week 5 target: 4260 known words.


Damn your acquisition of words is so quick! Do you do much listening to French outside of LingQ? If so, what? Also, when do you plan to start doing output activities such as speaking and writing? Bon Journée et Bravo! :slight_smile:


I don’t think it’s so quick. I recognise at least 2/3 of the vocabulary from English and Spanish. I also know that some people on LingQ have a very high level definition of what they consider a “known word” (knowing the full definition, what tense and gender the word is in etc, even be able to produce it). I don’t, because I think this is all to do with syntax, collocation and phrasal lingqing - which are learnt over a much longer time period and exposure to a large variety of content. A known word for me is just a word I feel fairly confident about when reading. And that’s really easy for most of French if you have English and Spanish.

I’m in no rush to do output, certainly not for the first few months. When I feel ready i think I’ll start writing, but my main objective this year is to get to a point where I am enjoying books in French and starting to get something out of podcasts. Mastering writing and speaking is for 2017 I reckon.


That’s a very neat, response much appreciated indeed! I agree in saying that being able to identify the gender of words/nouns and being able to produce it during output is going much too far to consider a word known. That will take way too much time and will come naturally with exposure. I personally consider a word known if i can identify the definition in the context that I’m reading it in and if I know the tense since this can change the meaning. But that’s just me. Your blog is a great read btw, I’m looking forward towards what’s- to-come.


Great progress on your french, if i may, i would suggest reading Le Petits Nicolas as the first book. I found it to be really hilarious and it’s always part of my lingq playlist. A pdf version can be found online and the audio is easily obtainable as well. I’d share but i don’t have the rights.

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Great, I’ll make a note. Book recommendations are very useful to me. I expect one of the first books I’ll read as well is Steve Kaufmann’s book Linguist. It was the first one I read in Spanish and is available on LingQ.