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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: > 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?