Tag Archives: vocabulary

French vocabulary: Job

French vocabulary post dedicated to words in one or another way related with job.

travail  [tʀavaj] (noun, m) – job/work

travailler [tʀavaje] (verb) – to work

boulot [bulo] (informal) – job/work

il prend son boulot à 7 heures du matin – he start toiling at 7 hours in the morning

Je suis au boulot – I am at work

Aller au travail – Go to work

avoir/cherche travail – to have/look for job

bureau [byʀo] – office

employé [ɑ̃plwaje] (noun, m/f) – employe

chef/directeur [diʀɛktœʀ, -ʀis] – boss/director

chef d’etat – head of state

entreprise [ɑ̃tʀəpʀiz] – enterprise

travail régulier – regular/permanent job

faire la navette – to commute

profession [pʀɔfesjɔ̃] – profession

gagner sa/la vie – to make a living

qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie? – What do you do for a living?

formation – education

stage [staʒ] – internship

CV – the same thing as in English bur pronounced differently [seve]

lettre de motivation – letter of application

entretien d’embauche – job interview

entretien [ɑ̃tʀətjɛ̃] – interview/conversation

embauche [ɑ̃boʃ] (v) – to hire

embauché (n) – hired person

RH (ressources humaines) – HR (human resources)

travailleur qualifié/ouvrier qualifié [uvʀije, -jɛʀ] – skilled worker

être en/au chômage – to be on the dole/to be unemployed

chômage [ʃomaʒ] – unemployment

cmômeur/chômeuse [ʃomœʀ, -øz] – unemployed

virer [viʀe] / licencier [lisɑ̃sje] – to sack/fire someone

un emploi à plein temps – full time job

un emploi à temps partiel – part time job

salaire [salɛʀ] – salary

heures supplémentaires – overtime

coupe – salary cut

grève [gʀɛv] – strike

Does a broader vocabulary allow you to think faster?

Answer by Marc Ettlinger:

Language has been called a Cognitive or Cultural Tool, a description that succinctly summarizes the research on the effects of language on cognition and the mind.\nThis research also answers your question with a definitive Yes: A broader vocabulary can allow you to think faster. Assigning a label, which is basically what a word is, to a concept allows it to be used more easily in your brain.

Consider the evidence:

One study looked at differences in counting ability and counting memory between speakers of English and speakers of Piraha. The Piraha language is notable for many things, one of which is its lack of any words for numbers or counting. What they found is that the Piraha can still recognize quantities – not surprising. However, their memory for quantities was worse than English speakers’.

Number as a cognitive technology: Evidence from Pirahã language and cognition Michael C. Frank,Daniel L. Everett, Evelina Fedorenko, Edward Gibson

Dan Everett with the Piraha

This is one of many cross-linguistic studies of how cognition is different between speakers of different languages. Another example is a comparison of English speakers and speakers of a language called Guugu Yimithirr (yes, real) which differs in its lexicalization of space. English speakers (e.g., me, possibly you) can use left and right with reference to the speaker itself (i.e., indexical). Guugu Yimithirr speakers use cardinal directions (North, South) even to speak about events on a small spatial scale.

This difference affects spatial cognition. Perhaps obviously, Guugu Yimithirr speakers are better at orienting themselves in open space since they must constantly be aware of where North is. Annecdotally, they are better than homing pigeons in orienting themselves to the compass absent any cues.

Conversely, English speakers are far better at a task that involves completing a maze and arranging shapes then turning around to face another direction and doing the same thing. Thus, the presence of indexical direction words (left, right) improves our ability to think about space indexically.

Language and Space Stephen Levinson

Guugu Yimithirr kids pointing cardinally

Not only is the existence of a word important, but so too is how easily you can access it.

In another study, based on Daniel Oppenheimer’s work on processing fluency, the researchers looked at short term stock price fluctuations and its relationship to the stock ticker symbol (e.g., MSFT for Microsoft, FB for facebook). What they found is that stocks with symbols that were easier to say did better imediately after IPO.

Predicting short-term stock fluctuations by using processing fluencyAdam L. Alter and Daniel M. Oppenheimer

And riffing off that general idea, I worked with some colleagues looking at the difference in hard-to-pronounce and easy-to-pronounce plural words (e.g., keys as easy versus busses as hard). What we found is that the plurality of objects for easy-to-pronounce plurals was remembered better (Learning to remember by learning to speak by Marc Ettlinger on Cog Blog)

Learning to Remember by Learning to Speak Marc Ettlinger, Jennifer Lanter and Craig VanPay

Children showing us what they know about one and many

One thing to note: most of what I’m talking about here is accuracy and you’re talking about speed. In cog sci, the two are often interchangable because of a well-known speed-accuracy trade-off , Wickelgren77

What may be surprising is how quickly these effects begin to happen. Recent research has shown that when learning a new word (in your native language), the new word begins to affect cognitive processing a quickly as a day later. This is particularly true if you’ve had a chance to sleep on it.

Learning and Consolidation of Novel Spoken WordsMatthew H. Davis, Anna Maria Di Betta, Mark J. E. Macdonald, and  M. Gareth Gaskell

The effects of sleep on the consolidation of novel words

Ultimately, your question serves as a useful companion to this other Quora question: Does an increased vocabulary change the way you think?

In answering, I suggested (Marc Ettlinger’s answer) that there is some effect of an increase vocabulary, but “change the way you think” is a bit of an extreme way to put it; vocabulary doesn’t serve as a straight jacket for what you can and cannot conceive of. Almost every invention was an idea before it was a word, for example.

But there is definitely an effect, as the answer to your question shows.\nSo, language can serve as a cognitive tool, improving your ability to think about the things language labels.

Does a broader vocabulary allow you to think faster?

What should I do to increase my vocabulary in English?

Answer by Anne W Zahra:


When you study English, you have to learn a lot of words (vocabulary breadth).  You also must understand how to use the words you know.  (vocabulary depth).

Vocabulary breadth comes from word study.  You take courses and you learn lists of words and take tests.  You may buy a book or use software to study vocabulary words on your own.  You should do these things because you need to know 10,000 words or more to use academic English.

Vocabulary depth comes from reading and writing with feedbackVery few English students are taught in a way that builds vocabulary depth.  Materials that develop depth are uncommon.  Teachers are not trained to teach this way, but this is needed, very badly needed especially if you speak Arabic, Russian, Chinese or any language very, very different from English.


A page from the Oxford series Words in Use, and a rare example of a textbook that teaches vocabulary depth.  Students must learn how to use vocabulary words (vocabulary depth), but few textbooks, courses of studies or individual teachers focus on this.  This is one of the major weaknesses in language teaching in general.

How do you overcome this problem?

Reading teaches you to understand the ways words are used.  If you don’t read a lot you will not know how to use the words because you will not understand how they are used.

Writing in the language for a class gives you feedback— important information about what is correct and what is wrong.  You need this feedback, and you must correct your mistakes and you must understand why what you wrote is a mistake.  That does not happen quickly.  It is not easy.  It takes years.

I speak three foreign languages.  I learned them mostly in school or studying them by myself.  I study specific texts and I collect words from them that I don’t understand.  I practice verbs a lot because these cause the most errors.  I use dictionaries a lot and I use the Internet to find what words mean.

What should I do to increase my vocabulary in English?

If you learn a foreign language, what is the most efficient and fast way to improve your vocabulary?

Answer by Mikkel Ramzuiv Pittmann Wilson:


When I moved to Denmark a little over a year ago, I only had one mission: To learn Danish, and to learn it as well as I could, before returning home for summer vacation. A year is both an extremely long amount of time, as well as an extremely short amount of time; Whenever I meet new people, they are always extremely impressed with my skill in Danish, especially given that I’ve only lived here a year. Why? Well, I was well equipped with the experience of multiple failed language learning projects in my life – I had wasted 3 years of study trying to learn Japanese, and I had a hobby project learning Latin – And while I can’t even understand the most vital of sentences in those languages, I was left with something even more valuable: The experience needed to create a battle plan so my next language learning expedition would not just succeed, but succeed Brilliantly. So what was my plan?

Well, first off, obviously, the first step is obviously to become familiar with the phonology and grammar of the language, but since that’s not what the question is asking, I’m assuming you already have control over those (If you don’t, focus on those first. If you try to build vocabulary without knowing a language’s pronunciation or inflection patterns, you’ll end up making many silly errors despite having a strong vocabulary)

The past year, I was always seen using my two tools that I used to build vocabulary: Reading and Spaced Repitition Software.

Reading seems pretty self-explanatory, however there are a few caveats here. Here, all that you want is text in your target language. It doesn’t matter if it’s something you know by the back of your hand, or if it’s something that you’ve never read before. The only important thing is that you have a text which has many words in it. I’d then slowly read over it, translating each sentence in my head, making sure I knew that I understood what it meant exactly, and if I came across any word or phrase that made no sense to me, I’d highlight it (Or later, simply write down the word on my iPad). I’d probably spend about an hour every day just reading.

Once I was finished reading, I’d then proceed to open Notepad, and go to Den Danske Ordbog (A very good dictionary for Danish – If you are learning a large language like English French or German, I’d advise Wiktionary – otherwise, use your favorite dictionary for your language – or use Google Translate!). I’d then look up each word, and write down the word and it’s meaning in a .txt file.


You’ll notice I also notated how the word is pronounced, and whether it inflects with -en or -et  – That’s why it’s so important that you know a languages phonology and grammar before you try building a vocabulary – otherwise you won’t know what details are important to inflect, and which aren’t. Also note that every 25 words, I seperate the words with a line – this’ll be important later.

Once I have created a list like this with 100 words, I’d then proceed to open Byki – Byki is a program based upon the philosophy of Spaced repetition, and is very powerful – Some people use Anki, which is free, and while I personally prefer Byki, Anki also works really well, and it’s free. Both programs have windows where you can create lists, which is of course, the next step


Once we have our list created (I always try to keep my lists around 25 words, and I mentally organize them in groups of 4 lists for 100 words), we then get to the really fun part, where we get to train our new words, which I think is fairly self-explanatory. Once we have trained our words, and are able to recall all of them from memory, both going from the target word to the concepts they represent (Recognition), and from the concept to the word (Reproduction), you might think we are finished, but really, we’ve only just begun. While we can indeed recall all of them from our memory now, in a few days, after learning a lot more about other things, many of the words we learned today will be forgotten, but the good news is, that once you learn something once, it is really easy to learn it again, so Byki and Anki have a special function where you can refresh the words you just learned, and every time you refresh a word, you can now go an even longer time without seeing that word, and still remember it when you need to, until eventually you forget that you ever had to learn that word.

The system is very efficient with regards to your investment in time in regards to most of the other answers on this page (Looking at all of you who say “Just consume media and you’ll learn” – yes, you will, but only very slowly – Especially in the begining ;] ) – It’s also more efficient than Duolingo, which is all the rage these days (I’ve been able to learn 100 lemmas (unique uninflected words) in 1 day multiple times using my method, while Duolingo, especially after the first few lessons, is extremely grueling and slow – 6 or 7 words (Including variations of the same word – e.g. “Tasche” and “Taschen” are counted as 2 words, while you’d only ever learn “Tasche” with my method) in an hours worth of trying to pass a lesson without making any mistakes; That’s one of the huge drawbacks of DL – it’s way too unforgiving) – There are definitely many points where I’d say it is in want of a better way to do it (especially making lists- I’ve wasted way too much time converting my notebooks and .txt files into lists, if I could just make a .txt or an Excel spreadsheet, and then train with that, I’d have saved so much time), but despite its flaws, it is still the best, most efficient way of learning vocabulary I have ever tried.

If you learn a foreign language, what is the most efficient and fast way to improve your vocabulary?

My take aways from this answer:

– Answer represent possible application of spaced repetition approach to vocabulary building, tried by author.

– Importance of learning a language’s pronunciation or inflection patterns, before starting with vocabulary building, as you’ll end up making many silly errors despite having a strong vocabulary in this scenario

Recognition and Reproduction – these technical terms seems to be obvious when you read definitions, but it is important to be aware about these 2 distinct operation we need to perform when handling vocabulary. So: going from the target word to the concepts they represent called Recognition, and when we go from the concept to the word it is called Reproduction. My guess it that the latter requires more time to acquire – you quickly starting recognize words in text, especially given the hints from the context, but reproduction in writing, or more important in speech doesn’t come equally fast (it should be trained separately/additionally).