Counting In French Helped Me Remember Les Nombres.
Les nombres (numbers) are difficult for me to remember in French. If I’m not forgetting the words for chaque nombre (each number), I’m trying to figure out if we’re talking about four twenties or eighty!
I have a hard time remembering les nombres in any language other than ma langue maternelle (my native language). I think it is related to how les nombres lack any context that helps me remember them. It feels like nothing but a list of random sounds to memorise!
It is also frustrating when most of the time numbers are not written out so you can see how they are pronounced. You are much more likely to see 80 than you are eighty or quatre-vingts.
This only gets worse if you’re dealing with des grands nombres (large numbers):
1 577 289 393,31
Un milliard cinq cent soixante-dix-sept millions deux cent quatre-vingt-neuf mille trois cent quatre-vingt-treize virgule trente et un
One billion five hundred seventy-seven million two hundred eighty-nine thousand three hundred ninety-three point thirty-one
Being able to understand a large string of numbers that sometimes use words milliard and billiard is un casse-tête (a headache). On top of that une virgule is used instead of un point for the decimal point.
C’est tellement difficile à retenir !
It’s so hard to remember!
The solution for me was to find a way to make les nombres so embedded in my brain that I knew them par coeur (by heart). I would never have to remember les nombres, I would just know them.
In order to have les nombres solidly placed in my memory I began counting anything I could en français. Les pages d’un livre, mes crayons, mes pas, etc (the pages of a book, my pencils, my steps, etc).
Where I made the most progress was during mon entraînement matinal (my morning excercise). Compter (counting) would keep my mind distracted and help me practice les nombres en français!
Un, deux, trois…
One, two, three…
It wasn’t easy and I would often get lost, repeat numbers, or skip numbers, especially with the 70s and the 90s:
Soixante-huit, soixante-neuf…. Euh… sept… soixante-dix, soixante-onze…
Sixty-eight, sixty-nine… uh… seven… seventy, seventy-one…
Eventually that daily practice made it easier to remember les nombres en français. I could remember les números de telephone and follow mes cours de comptabilité (my accounting classes) without any problem!
I wasn’t doing un milliard de pompes (a billion push-ups), but the practice made it easier to remember all French numbers!
Blog submitted by: Alex at The French Property Network - Cle France.
This blog was originally posted on The French Language Blog pages.