Is it better to learn words from English to French or from French to English?
I believe it doesn’t matter.
Learning English, I learn words first from English to Russian and then from Russian to English.
Using both opportunities, I am able to learn words better.
Since you don’t clarify, I’ll assume you are talking about L2 (English) and L3 (French) here, and that you know L2 very well (C1/C2), but are still struggling with L3.
My answer - it depends. If you want to learn words merely by exposure, then by definition you are learning from L3 to L1. This would be, for example, learning from reading and listening, and never reviewing words in flashcards, lists, etc.
But since you didn’t even mention L1, I’m guessing you meant review exercises like flashcards, lists etc. I find that L1 to L2 is much more useful than L2 to L1 in my case, so I will assume that L2 to L3 will be much more effective than L3 to L2 in your case. However, I admit to doing both directions, just to make sure.
I believe one of the reasons L2 to L1 flashcards are so easy for me is that I do a lot of reading and listening, which is always L2 to L1, so I already have a lot of practice. L1 to L2, on the other hand, is hard work.
Ok thanks for the replies. To clarify my mother tongue is Finnish and I know English quite well and I’m trying to learn French.