Have you heard of Antidote, the language correction tool that is used throughout Quebec and beyond? It spots typos, highlights grammar issues, and much more. Fun fact about Antidote: its French dictionary includes over 133,000 words! Here’s how to use Antidote to improve your French-language writing. Note: Antidote has also released an English-language version and many of these points apply!
If you’re envisioning a standard spelling and grammar checker, you’d be vastly underestimating Antidote. The software can pick up several common errors, such as the following:
- The difference between à/a, é/er/ez
- Punctuation errors
- Treatment of numbers
- Much more!
Antidote’s repeated words filter (called Dictionnaire des cooccurrences in French) helps you identify repetition and even suggests alternatives! It’s a great way to keep your content varied and fresh and start to recognize trends in your writing.
The software will make suggestions based on tone, style, and how formal you want to be. For example, it will flag usage of “kids” versus “children” in your text, which can help you to determine how appropriate your usage is for your audience.
Helping you to use inclusive language
Antidote can even make suggestions for incorporating inclusive language into your writing. (Read more about inclusive language here.) For example, it might suggest using gender-neutral language, which will help you stay current and welcoming to all readers.
Three versions, depending on how you work
Antidote is available in three iterations: Antidote 11, Antidote web, and Antidote mobile. The most powerful of the three, Antidote 11 is meant to be installed on your desktop or laptop and used from a workstation. Antidote web is similar to Antidote 11 but can be accessed online and gives you a user-friendly online interface. Antidote mobile is designed for use on your mobile device or tablet. All three options offer practical and useful corrections.
With you, not for you
Remember: Antidote keeps you involved! It requires confirmation before it changes things. It will flag potential errors or issues for you, and it’s up to you to decide what to change. This gives you more control over what changes, and why – a major plus for language professionals.
- Antidote can help you reduce spelling, grammar, syntax errors, and common misspellings in your work.
- Antidote also offers options to reduce repetition and maintain a cohesive style.
- Antidote can be used pretty much everywhere you write. From emails to long reports, the software gives you suggestions to improve your writing.
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