Vocabulary of French

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized


The Vocabulary of French
Being largely derived from Latin (with the addition of modern vocabulary from English) the French language has a lot less words than the English language (which is derived from both Old French and old forms of German).

Here are some examples to illustrate how French is derived from Latin:
English Latin French
A window Fenestra FenĂȘtre
To love Amare Aimer
To see Videre Voir
A dog Canis Un chien
A son Filius Un fils
A sister Soror Une soeur
It is impossible to say just how many words a language has, as it depends on how one defines what constitutes a word. For example, are nation, national, nationalize, nationalism four words, or one word with four forms? Is foot one word or three ? A thing with five toes, twelve inches, and the bottom ?
For this reason, it is unwise to say how many words the French language has; however, by consensus, and using the same yardsticks of measurement, it is generally suggested that French has between 30% and 45% less words than English.