Will learning my TL get easier as I learn more words?

I’m at 7000 known words in French and 228000 words listened. Will it be easier to learn new words when I double those numbers?
Right now, I listen to podcasts and have a rough idea of what’s going on. It’s quite hard and I can’t listen to more than about 30 minutes at a time.


I think it will, I’m at around 17,000 and I started in August. listening to RFI got easier though I still need Lingq/ a transcript to catch it all. But I can almost listen without stopping now wheras when I first started listening to the Francais facile podcast, it took me maybe 1/2 hour to get through the 10 min.

I think each new level or bit of material as you go up sometimes seems a bit of a slog. I’m currently reading The Hungwr Games which is in the 10-15% unknown words for me. The first few lessons were hard because the vocabulary even that w level of words is hard to get through (though easier than 20-30% obviously) but I notice my fluency is becoming better as Im now around the 10th lesson. Maybe I am getting used to the author’s style and vocabulary. after about 10 lessons of a 45 lessons book, I see the the unknown words of the remaining lessons have decreased significantly.

what podcasts are you listening to? I like inner French. I think Little Talk in slow french is also good, but easier. Because they spoke pretty slow, it doesn’t feel super hard. you can also speed up and slow down the speed as needed (ie, play at 0.9 or 1.5)


Yes, it gets easier!
Language learning is really a rich-get-richer kind of situation.

  1. It gets easier to intuit the meaning of words the more words you know because you have developed a feeling for the language
  2. The more words you know, the easier it will be to isolate words in individual sentences (i.e. it will occur more frequently that you are only missing 1 or 2 words per sentence, in which case it is significantly easier to recall these new words)
  3. You get more bang for your buck during immersion because you understand more
  4. Obstacles such as pronunciation, grammar and idiomatic expressions become less of an issue as time goes on, allowing you to focus more on vocab acquisition, which in turn makes the process easier for the reasons above.

So keep on going, there will be various points along the journey where you notice significant gains in momentum and at other times it will be slower.


In my experience with French, it gets tremendously easier with more vocab and experience. I noticed major improvements when I got to about 20k known words. It only gets better :slight_smile:


I love Inner French but I set him to 1.25x speed. I’ve also started to listen to maprofdefrançais at .9 speed. She’s really good too. Then I try to find African French speakers because their accent is so easy to listen to. Lots of the French Tedx are Africans.


If you known word “froid”, you can guess meaning of
It’s the set of transformation from adjective to verb, to adverb or to a noun.

They are words as possible impossible.
pénétrable impénétrable.
intéressant inintéressant.

You can guess one word meaning if you know the other one.

Other families as
porter proche
apporter approche
rapporter rapprocher

voiler dévoiler
faire défaire
stocker déstocker
nature dénaturer
occuper désoccuper
pénaliser dépénaliser

Sometimes you can deduce a verd meaning from its prefix and its root.

So yes, if you are used to french langague, you will cerlainly be abble deduce meaning of lot of words and understanding will become easier.
Et après, ça sera que du plaisir !

Beware not to try to guess a word from a rule without checking its existence in the dictionary. Sometime here in France we hear

“vitement” people wrongly think “vite” is an adjective.
“carangle” as you have “triangle” and “rectangle”.

Those words “vitement” and “carangle” don’t exist.


The hardest words are the small words. “Telecharger” is easy. But small words like “On a eu” and “J’en” etc.
I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully those small words will stick.


without reading any other comments. I hope so too. (also it has gotten easier)

Yes. Your learning efficiency increases as you get better at the language. Check out Luca Lampariello’s video on it:


Yep, it does seem to follow the principle of ‘the rich get richer.’


No. 1 is absolutely true. I’ve been having some pretty big gains over the last 6 months or so. I was reading something the other day, that was actually rather challenging (for my level), and when I got to the end, I realised that I understood the whole thing by intuiting a lot of the words I didn’t know. I know for a fact that I’d have immediately looked each of them up only 6 months ago.

I think it was to do with just being better in general. The better you are, the clearer the overall picture of the content is, and little things like rare words don’t impede you as much as they once would have.

I guess it’s like in your native language, you so easily understand a text that a word you don’t know the meaning of doesn’t usually affected your overall understanding, and so you can very easily just read over it and not worry about it.

During the beginner/early intermediately stages In your TL you think every single word matters because you don’t have that overall picture.

That’s an excellent video that explains why I keep wanting to quit. It’s really difficult in the beginning. I just need to stay the course and it’ll become much easier. I’m going to watch more of his videos. Thank you.

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Small words are the worst!

Those words are grammatical words. There it’s faster to study the grammar about how to use them.

(1) First usage

J’ai envie de frites.

J’en ai envie.

Je rêve d’aller à la montagne.

J’en rêve.

“En” refers to the block of words from previous sentences.

(2) Second usage We have also
Je vais en voiture.
Je vais en train.

It’s confusing if you consider only en.

First usage it’s a pronoun.
Second usage it’s a prerosition.

So finally there are 2 different usages with no ambiguity if you consider their function.

To remove the ambiguity, you create a global link with several words.
J’en rêve. You add tag “pronom”.
en voiture. You add tag “préposition”.

Then you ends with lings to review usage of en as a préposition

Then you find another example
une table en verre

It’s also a preposition.
In Ukrainian when I see something like this I do a ling with “une table en verre”. I tag the link with en . I think It would be more explicit to add a tag “en (fait de)”.

To sum up, grammer helps identifying the usage. It’s a first step of grammitical analysis. Then we can create a lingq on several words to identify one usage and then be creative and add a tag for fast lookup of one usage of a small word.


I can confirm, it’ll get easier. But don’t overdo, just go at your pace. I know it could be boring, when it does, just change lesson but keep at your pace. Jump from one thing to another, it doesn’t matter, as long as you keep your interest up.

Sooner or later your perception of the language will change. It’s personal. The beginning is the biggest obstacle, just expand your timeline, be constant and patient. But keep going.


I honestly don’t think I’ve encountered any new words in French after passing the 12,000 word threshold that I couldn’t more or less figure out by context. They’re all versions of words you already know or they’re clear enough from context that you don’t need to dwell on it.
If you know 7000 words and enjoy Inner French, then really that’s enough. Just keep going. My known word count today is 17444, and there are supposedly still 7000 words I don’t know in the Inner French course (probably people’s names).

Well, think of how you “learn” English. You encounter new words all the time, even in your native language, but it’s never a problem because you can figure them out from context and/or look them up if needed.

The more vocabulary you have in your target language, the more it becomes like that. More and more words you don’t even need to think about, you just understand. The frequency of difficult words that take a moment to remember, or that you haven’t learned at all yet goes down, and you can devote more “brain space” to them.

Try looking for Extr@ french on youtube.
Also look for innerfrench podcast. If that is too hard, listen to TPRS french and once you’ve finish that ladder up.
You need to be doing comprehensible input. That means a smidgeon above your level not way above your level.
Not saying you’re doing that (I don’t know you). But if you are listening to material that is too difficult you will take way longer.