Tout le monde écrit en français mais je voudrais être précis et totalement clair donc …
What I am seeking is a frequency list of “multi-word expressions” in French, ordered by frequency.
The classic example is probably “Il y a” but I am sure you can think of a dozen more, and there are a bunch of them in the conjuctions or linking phrases, but they appear as all sorts of prepositional phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.
I am not looking for common tourist phrases like “Comment ca va” or “s’il vous plait” nor for oddball expressions trying to show how weird French, or English, can become.
I am currently building lists myself (using LingQs primarily) especially of conjunctions and what I call utility phrases – stock phrases that can have different nouns or verbs etc dropped into them.
The closest I have found is French Wictionairre “Category: Locutions verbales en français” which lists 7,322 pages with no indication of frequency.
I am a programmer and could presumably download and digest all 7000+ pages into an Anki deck (or I just found out that LingQ has an developer API) but this still would give no help for ordering.
I might also hit some large corpus and just process through it 2-5 words at a time but this really stinks when you run into inflected forms or “empty slots” where a phrase can be adjusted using many alternatives.
(If my math estimate is close then it would be about 35 times as many items to index as the original if we assume each sentences has 10 words.)
Please help if you can and please ignore this message if you don’t have any real leads (or interest in helping me build something eventually.)
The main purposes of this are probably obvious, but I don’t think it is given enough attention:
If you have a stock of phrases you can plug in the details.
Typing tutors frequently mention that to really become proficient and increase speed one much “stop typing individual letters” and start typing whole words (in one though) and even whole phrases there too.
Translating from one’s language to the target is something we all want leave behind and phrases help us do this.
Phrases cut down on thinking (what to say)
It helps prevent blocking – as a public speaker (in English) I have a number of phrases I can say to temporize and restart my brain into the next thought without having to hem and haw and er and mmm.
Also: I am deeply in love with Lingq after only a week here. Thanks.
Then I found out they have a Developer API and almost swooned.
Thanks for reading and thanks for helping.