[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Jan 29 18:52:19 GMT 2011

Perhaps it was on another discussion list that I mentioned it, but there's a marvellous French-French dictionary available for free downloading, that works with the MacOS X Leopard/Snow Leopard's Dictionary application. It's a recent digitisation of an older edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Academie Française and, as such, has to be taken as being authoritative in the most conservative register of the language.

The ZIP file may be downloaded from Etresoft's site at:
…and they also offer further dictionaries of the King James Bible, the American Standard Bible, and the Arabic-text Quran!

One reason I mention this French dictionary here is the approach it takes to diacritics. Bear in mind that the Académie Française is the very epitome of conservatism in the French language, turning their Gallic noses up at the very idea of *le hamburgaire, •le fast-food and *le weekend!

In this official A.F. Dictionnaire, you may type in your French query word with or without diacritics, just as you please: Académie/Academie, Française/Francaise, dépôt/depot all according to the choice of the writer! Dar!

And that, in my opinion, is just how it should be with whatever formal specification of KS we ever (eventually) arrive at as a concensus of this group, and then submit to the Cornish Language Partnership in 2013. A suggested wording is:

"In KS, diacritics are highly recommended for use in lexicographical, reference and didactic material, where the highest possible degree of phonological precision is desirable. In less formal writings, or in those aimed at more fluent readers, some or all of the diacritics may be omitted at the discretion of the writer or publisher."

This simple concession defuses the arguments of those 'diacritophobes' who oppose the use of diacritics in written Cornish, without conceding anything of note to them — these people would, after all, never use diacritics anyway!

I suggest that fellow members of Spellyans discuss this issue at whatever length is necessary, and then cast their votes so that a true consensus may be arrived at, and then written into the final KS specification.

gans gorhemmynadow a'n gwella,

Eddie Foirbeis Climo
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Dres ethom akennow byner re bo lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicandi praeter necessitatem

ps. I also mentioned earlyer a German <> English dictionary that allegedly works with MacOS X, from

However, I found that this one somehow manages to disable every singel dictionary used by the Dictionary app, so I can't recommend this one at all, especially as it screwed up (only for the interim, thankfully!) my ability to use my dictionaries in proof-reading some recent translations from French into English and Cornish!

pps. The good folk who provide the French dictionary mentioned above

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