Press release


"Trésor de la Langue Française" now accessible on the Internet

Paris, March 5, 2002


The "Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé," or TLFi, is the electronic version of the TLF, a 16-volume dictionary of 19th and 20th century French published by Gallimard. The TLFi is being officially presented today at the CNRS headquarters in Paris. This reference dictionary of the French language is now accessible on the Internet.

The "Trésor de la Langue Française" is the fruit of the work of about one hundred researchers, initiated by CNRS in the 1960s. The first volume came out in 1971, and the sixteenth in 1994. In its 16 volumes, the TLF boasts 100,000 words with their histories, 270,000 definitions, 430,000 examples, and 350 million characters.

The first efforts to computerize the TLF began in 1993 – 1994 at INALF ("Institut national de la langue française," the National Institute of the French Language - CNRS). These efforts have been continued, since the beginning of 2001, by ATILF ("Analyse et traitement informatique de la langue française," Analysis and Computer Processing of the French Language - CNRS - Université Nancy 2). Computerization was based on three main approaches:

  • compiling a reliable computerized archive containing the text of the printed version of the TLF;
  • retroconversion consisting of transforming the text into a structured text in which the various subjects of the articles are delimited; and
  • developing the software making it possible to interrogate the structured text.

    The electronic version of the "Trésor de la Langue Française" offers three consultation levels:
  • viewing of an article: reading the dictionary, article by article, with the possibility of highlighting particular types of information;
  • consultation using specific criteria (e.g. all words of Spanish origin); and
  • complex requests (e.g. viewing the naval terms relating to working the sails of a ship).

    The electronic version of the "Trésor de la Langue Française" is freely accessible on the site of the ATILF laboratory:

    Hypernavigation with the Académie Française dictionaries, the ATILF lexical base, and the Frantext text databases.

    CNRS contacts :
    Martine Hasler
    Media Relations
    Tel : +33 1 44 96 46 35

    Anne -Cécile Baudry
    Humanities and Social Sciences (SHS)
    Tel: +33 1 44 96 40 82

    William del-Mancino
    Tel: +33 3 83 96 86 72