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MILESTONE 1

Now that we have established that there are quite a few words that can easily be recognised, while others can be rather misleading, it is time to move on to a more difficult area - that of the unknown! Let's have another look at a short extract taken from the text you tackled earlier on (in which you could spot a large number of cognates, in bold).

La langue française a cette particularité que son développement et sa codification ont été en partie l'œuvre de groupes intellectuels, comme la Pléiade, ou d'institutions, comme l'Académie française. C'est une langue dite « académique ». Toutefois, l'usage garde ses droits et nombreux sont ceux qui malaxèrent cette langue vivante, au premier rang desquels Molière : on parle d'ailleurs de la « langue de Molière ».

If we leave aside for a moment all the words we can easily guess, it still leaves us with a lot of unknown words (a lot of them very short). The rest of the course is going to help you work out what the functions of these words are, through the study of French grammar, as well as how to deal with unknown vocabulary.

Although every effort will be made to explain grammatical terms as we come across them, the next section will offer you an overview of the main 'jargon' you might come across during this course (or in other papers or online courses).