When Pumpjack and I began learning French we quickly discovered that there were many words we already knew. Result! In fact there are many many words that are actually the same. Same spelling, same meaning, just different pronunciation. Yes, this is where you get to put on your best French accent and apply it to English words.
Let’s start with – anything that ends in -tion. Attention. Localisation. Familiarisation. Emotion. Completion. Navigation. You get the idea. These words are the same in both French and English, simply said differently.
Another ending -ant. Brilliant. Extravagant. Ignorant. Restaurant. Important. -ent too. Accent, Accident. Then there is -ture. Agriculture. Capture. Miniature. And -able. Habitable. Identifiable. Probable.
When words are spelled and mean the same in different languages they are called Cognates. There are over 1,700 ‘true cognates’. That means if you are learning French that you are starting with a base of almost 2,000 known words!
Additionally, it’s thought there are over 10,000 words in English that are borrowed from French. Many of these words we use all the time in English, such as ballet, encore, deja-vu.
It’s said to be able to speak a language at a basic level you need to know 500 words. So in effect, you are way ahead of the game in learning French.
Now we just need to learn a few connectors, pronouns and the odd verb. How hard can it be?
French Learning with (some more) Cognates
For more our own French Findings (found through our life in France)