French Spelling Changes

mur-han-solo

The Académie française, the institution that regulates official changes to the French language, has approved a proposal to change the spelling of approximately 2,000 French words.

This includes eliminating the accent circonflexe when it appears over the letters i and u, eliminating some hyphens (eg. week-end becomes weekend), adding some hyphens (vingt et un becomes vingt-et-un), and changing some accents.

In other changes, oignon (onion) becomes ognon. The accent remains in cases where the meaning would be too confusing without it. For example:

  • un homme mûr – a mature man
  • un homme mur – a wall man

Lest we panic, all official sources say that both the new and the old spellings should be considered correct.

Here is a link to an eight page document describing the changes.

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