New French spelling

Learn about changes to spelling affecting approximately 2000 French words.


The French language has evolved significantly over the last five centuries. In the last several years, there has been an international movement to bring forth spelling changes to the French language. These orthographic changes are intended to simplify the French language spelling by eliminating certain anomalies or irregularities.

The changes affect approximately 2000 words and are limited to the following five categories:

  • the use of the hyphen and its removal from certain compound words
  • the use of singular and plural rules related to compound words and foreign words
  • the use of accents and the dieresis
  • the use of double consonants with certain words and certain verbs
  • certain orthographic anomalies that have existed over time

These orthographic changes have been approved by the Académie française and are official. Nonetheless, it will take time for these new changes to be implemented and to become part of regular usage. As such, both the traditional and the new spelling will be accepted. Neither spelling is considered incorrect.

Since January 2009, all external communications, new programs of study, teacher or student materials developed are identified with a descriptive sentence or with one of the official logos.

To assist teachers and students in becoming familiar with the new spelling changes, some useful links are provided.


General information


Practice exercises

Other support resources


Access the new French spelling logos used since 2009 by Alberta Education.