Re: [Fwd: Number of words in French, quite beyond the million]
|From:||Carlos Eugenio Thompson Pinzon <chlewey@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 3, 1998, 17:56|
John Cowan forwarded:
> Subject: Number of words in French, quite beyond the million
> Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 06:43:24 -0800 (PST)
> From: "Alain" <alb@...>
> Reply-To: email@example.com
> To: Unicode List <unicode@...>
> Contrary to a common belief, the French language has been actually surveyed
> with over 1.2 million words so far and the count is not over. Source below.
> This is news for me too, I must admit. I had seen in books written in
> English (never in books written in French had I seen such limitative
> statistics) that French only had about 100,000 words (these figures always
> served as a comparison to say that the Oxford English Dictionary [OED] had
> 325,000 words while the most complete French dictionary had only 100,000 or
> so -- that said when I speak/write English I often use words present in the
> OED that are French but have disappeared from most contemporary French
> dictionaries [our dictionaries show new words every year and obsolete
> others too, unfortunately], and English speakers in general don't
> understand, except scholars -- in this way the OED is my most complete
> French dictionary for historical research (; ). That said, words are not
> the ultimate indication of the power and nature of a language, of course.
> French, like English, is infinitely more powerful and rich than the list of
> its words. But these statistics are interesting.
How are words counted?