The French spelling reform in the Canadian press


For readers who are interested in the French spelling reform, two very recent articles published in Canadian newspapers in Montreal a few days ago discuss the penetration of the spelling reform, its slow but increasing adoption by teachers and the press, in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and France. Both articles, which quote Chantal Contant from the Groupe québécois pour la modernisation de la norme du français, list the reference dictionaries and computerized tools that take the new spelling into account and, in both cases, the Microsoft Office speller is listed as a tool which covers 100% of the new forms.


Chantal Contant fait valoir que certains dictionnaires, tels le Hachette, le Littré et le Bescherelle, ont adopté intégralement les rectifications, tout comme les logiciels de correction Antidote, Myriade, ProLexis, Cordial et le correcteur de Word.


(L’Actualité, no. Vol: 32 No: 16, 15 octobre 2007, p. 70: Débat – Le français frisote)

Du côté des ouvrages de référence, Le Petit Robert et Le Petit Larousse sont plus réticents que le dictionnaire Hachette, le Nouveau Littré, les correcteurs Antidote, ProLexis et Word, ou les grammaires Bescherelle et Grevisse, qui intègrent 100 % des changements.

(Le Devoir, LES ACTUALITÉS, mardi 2 octobre 2007, p. A4 : Rectifications de l’orthographe

Les graphies font peu à peu leur chemin)


I blogged a few months ago about the three options offered to the users of the Office 2007 speller. You can also find a brief description of the differences between the traditional spelling and the “new” spelling (which is now also recommended by the French Ministry of Education in its official curriculum) here.


Thierry Fontenelle – Program Manager

Comments (6)

  1. Joe Clark says:

    We’d be happy to have a legitimate Canadian English version (organize, neighbour, tire, marvellous, cheque). Just as for years Redmond insisted that 7/3/96 was a “date format,” it continues to insist that Canadian English doesn’t exist.

  2. Louis St-Amour says:

    I second Joe Clark’s request…

    On top of that, I hate the English (Canada) locale formatting, particularly for dates. Why can’t I get US dates, but with month-day reversed? It’s so irritating to not have the day name (e.g. Tuesday) written out in the "long form" (e.g. Tuesday, November 13, 2007). Instead, Windows defaults to something like November-13-2007, which I consider substantially less useful.

  3. Joe,

    The Office speller allows you to set your language to Canadian English. If you do that, you will see that all the examples you give above (organize, neighbour, tire, marvellous, cheque) are accepted. So there is a legitimate Canadian English version. Maybe you did not use the right setting when spell-checking your text.

    I hope it helps,


  4. Joe Clark says:

    Maybe the Mac version doesn’t have the Canadian dictionary, and it is impossible to find as a legitimate online download.

    The next question is: If I write organise, neighbor, tyre, or marvelous, or check in the context of banking, are they flagged as incorrect?

  5. graduatesbrick says:

    Thats extremely good