are words that have a similar spelling, and meaning across two languages. There are thousands of cognates in English and French that are
unmistakably understood by people who know one of these two languages. One
reason was the shared history between languages from the Norman conquest of
England in 1066. French was the official working language of government, and
the courts in England for centuries. French words consequently came into
English and stayed. Moreover, words coming with new scientific discoveries,
inventions, and modern technology are usually the same across languages.
Learners of French can use their background knowledge of English to instantly
learn a great number of words in French language. Recognizing patterns of cognates can give a
huge boost of comprehension skills in reading and listening to anyone starting
to learn French.