November 29, 2010

Now easier to link to dictionary entries

A change has been made to the French-English dictionary to make it easier to link to dictionary entries from your blog or web site, or to e-mail links to French dictionary entries to yourself or other friends/colleagues.

Many entries now have their own URL. After looking a word up in the dictionary, you can copy the URL from the address bar of your browser, and later use that URL to look up the entry. This therefore allows you to link to the entry from blogs and other web pages, e-mails etc.

November 26, 2010

New survey on French spelling

Users of the French linguistics web site, both native and non-native speakers, may be interested in a filling out a new survey on the French spellings, which invites you to indicate which spelling you prefer out of alternatives (non-reformed vs reformed).

Correction suggester added to French-English dictionary

A correction suggester has been added to the site's French dictionary. Whenever you look up a word that is not found in the dictionary, the system will attempt to find words in the dictionary which would sound similar to the word that you entered.

This is the first version of the correction suggester, which will be improved over time. At present, it is designed primarily to cope with cases where you are not sure of the exact spelling, or where you are copying from a French document where the author has misspelt a word. Over time, it will be extended to cope more completely with other types of typos, e.g. where a letter is accidentally omitted or the key next to the intended letter pressed.

Feedback on the correction suggester is welcome in the form of comments to this blog entry.

November 24, 2010

Imperfect gremlins

Thank you to an eagle-eyed reader who has spotted a slight glitch with the imperfect tense of verbs such as peindre and craindre. The imperfect tense of these verbs takes the form peignais, craignais etc (with gn). A spurious extra n has slipped into the spellings produced by the system. This is being looked into, and a correction should be available within the next day or so.

Unfortunately the error affects conjugations given by both the French dictionary and the French verb tables sections of the site.

No other types verbs are thought to be affected.

November 21, 2010

This week on the forum

A recurrent theme on the French Linguistics forum this week has been the choice of auxiliary verb (avoir vs être) in the perfect tense (passé composé)-- a question which indeed applies to other so-called compound tenses in French.

For more information, you may like to consult:

- the French forum, where you are free to ask questions about the French language and French culture in general, and browse questions and answers already posted
- the site's French grammar section, which contains tutorials on this and other topics.