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French Frequency Dictionary courses on Memrise

Update! Worth reading this first! alek_d shared a link to a single course with all 5,000 words. http://www.memrise.com/course/131111/5000-most-common-french-words-2/

I just checked out that course, and it really is more complete in some important ways than the series I have created. For example, the course above appears to include both audio and sample sentences for each and every one of the 5,000 words. That is more content than I have added so far.

The only things missing from that course are the "Thematic lists" from the book which I have added as the last two courses of my series. (Also my courses give the frequency number of each word, but that might not matter to most people.) For those of you who want to use the Memrise mobile app, you will probably find my series of courses easier to download and easier to load when the app opens off-line.

Also, now that all the bulk uploading has been completed, I am taking care of instances where definitions are not precise enough to help in watering sessions. So when you need to type the French for "when," I make it clear what is being tested by making the definition either "when (not lorsque)" or "when (not quand)." That is something I picked up from the team that runs the 5,000 word Arabic course, and I think it is worth continuing.

Finally, some of you may want to skip the easier words in the first 500 or first 1000.

So for all these reasons, I will leave my series of 12 courses on-line at Memrise.

In summary for users who do not use the Memrise app, and do not need to study off-line, including myself, it might make more sense to use the 5,000 word course, and to supplement that course with the two Bonus List courses I created at the end of my series.

I have tried to share news of this development with everyone who previously left a comment on this thread. I also posted a similar update in the forum of the first course in the series. But please share the information with anyone else who might benefit.

End Update

Salut! I have created a set of French-vocabulary-building courses on Memrise using a "frequency dictionary," literally a dictionary of words ordered by how often the words are used in French.

To keep the size of each course manageable, they are limited to 500 words each drawn from the entire Routledge Frequency Dictionary of French -- 5,000 words as well as bonus lists included in the book.

You can easily find all twelve courses simply by following this link: http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/?q=french+frequency+dictionary

(Or visit Memrise.com and search for "French Frequency Dictionary," I hope these courses help all of you who are learning French, especially those seeking to expand your vocabulary beyond the 1800 or so words on Duolingo.

Update 2 There are Frequency Dictionary courses on Memrise for plenty of other languages, too, including Spanish and Portuguese. Not all of the lists are from books published by Routledge, but you can inspect them individually to decide which lists you most like and trust for that language. Here's a link for the search: http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/?q=5000 This search pulls in some courses beyond language learning, too.

October 14, 2014



Thank you for being awesome!!!


Made me blush redder than a lingot.


Well done! :) I use memrise everyday, so I guess I will try your course too! :)


thanks, this'll definitely help alot


Volontiers! My pleasure.


Thank you. I have been using that book to clean up the gaps in my vocabulary.

Two questions:

Are you planning on adding bonus lessons from material in the thematic vocabulary lists?

Might you do courses based on Routledge's other frequency lists in the future?


You're most welcome!

The thematic lists such as colors, animals, etc.? Yes! I am hoping to add all of those as one course, making levels out of each list. Will have to see if that is manageable.

Definitely, unless someone adds them first. :) I found out about Routledge frequency dictionaries from a team of Memrise users who built this course: http://www.memrise.com/course/66669/1-5000-arabic-frequency-audio/ One of those users also has another frequency course just for Arabic أفعال (verbs) http://www.memrise.com/course/110178/1500-arabic-verbs-by-frequency/

I looked for a French equivalent on Memrise but did not find one. That led me to create these courses. After I finish the French series, I plan to move on to Urdu, Spanish, and German, not necessarily in that order. But in any case I will check first to see if other people have already added that material.


I wonder if you intend to add audio to any of the levels? I guess if your french was already really good you might not need it, but I find the audio playing along with the words really helps stuff stick in my memory.

Otherwise, it's a pretty mammoth task you have accomplished getting that much vocab up on memrise, wow!


Memrise tried to automatically locate audio files for many of the words, but there were a great many words for which it found no audio. And I was not impressed with many of the matches.

So I stopped adding those files, but I did leave an audio column in place. At some point it would be nice to have a few native speakers join the project as collaborators to record words.


I started the first one yesterday, I love it! Thanks :)


Awesome, I will try this tomorrow. Thanks :)


That's great! I never found it while I was searching before creating this course series.

And I just looked at that course -- besides using the same book, it seems like they added the sample sentences and audio, too!


Je suis essayer votre course maintenant :)


Bien! Comment ça va?


Ça va bien! J’écoute la radio Français, j’espère pour amélioré mon comprendre :) Et vous?


That is a great idea. Lately I am spending a lot of time in Memrise on vocabulary building in French and Arabic, as well as creating new courses there for Urdu vocabulary.

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