Most Frequently Used French Words

Published on Sunday, August 30, 2009


I'm currently studying French with my partner, and if you've read any of this site, you'll notice I'm a bit of a techie. Often several of my interests collide, which is what happened today. I was searching for the "most frequent french words," and while I found some lists, nothing was exactly what I wanted.
My desire was to have a PDF of the top few thousand most used French words. With the English translation next to it. In order. I've found some great resources, which I'll list now
I've also found 100s of sites with 50 words or so - not exactly what I wanted. This spawned a question for me: if I were to search a popular French newspaper website, what words would be the most frequent? I would want to learn those first. A few hours later, and I've compiled that list. I'll write the details of how I did it at the end, but just know I collected over 16,000 unique words, and "read" over 80,000 words from a variety of articles. Below is a PDF of the most popular words, ranked in order, with (maybe crappy) English translations.

The 3216 Most Unofficially Frequent French Words (or download as ODS format)

More to come...! I'm going to continue building the database to make sure the ranking is correct, and will make some pretty graphs when I have time. I will also likely modify things to include what type of word it is, and an example in a sentence.

Please feel free to use this list as you see fit in accordance with CC by 4.0