Opinion: Bienvenue aux Voix D'audition

Opinion: Bienvenue aux Voix D'audition

Vous serez heureux d’apprendre cela je suis juste devenu le propriétaire fier d’un ordinateur portatif nouvel. L’ennui est moi ont eu l’un peu une issue avec le logiciel. Là je dactylographiais heureusement sûr parti dans le knowledge que le spellcheck prendrait des erreurs, quand voilà …

Now if that makes as much sense to you as it does to me, you can see my problem.

In a brief summary (et en Anglais), I’ve just got myself a new laptop, installed the Office 2007 software, yarda, yarda, yarda, the upshot is the spellchecker on Outlook is in French and… well, that’s it, just French and nothing else. Rien. Useful if you’re French or writing French or… er… nope. I’ve got nothing else.

While it was news to my supplier, it seems I am not alone in my predicament – and haven’t been for quite a while now. Various forums and the blogsphere have got plenty to say on the subject and not much of it complimentary either.

Microsoft, bless it, has washed its hands of the whole business on the grounds that the email software is not part of the Office suite. It is, of course, correct in that particular assertion. Nevertheless, this is not really high up on the how-to-win-friends front. Surely it would be no skin off Bill’s nose to have a couple of guys at Redmond sit down one afternoon, sort something out and, voila, a free download to fix the whole thing.

Until that happens I was in a jam. Sacre bleu. Mon dieu (or some choice Anglo-Saxon words to that effect). What was I to do? I guess I could always start writing in French – that would solve the problem.

Ainsi, bienvenue aux Voix D’audition …

Nah. It doesn’t have quite the same ring.

I called a mate who I was sure would be in the know about these things.


I tried a couple of vendors.


I even tried my neighbour.

Non, (but I was clearly clutching at straws considering my recent iPod experience).

My wife probably thought I’d gone mad and I’ll have to wait a year or two before asking my son, being only three and all.

There are options that cost – but why pay when there must be something for free? I warily tried a couple of suggested solutions but to no avail.

Eventually, I found a lead on a possible solution; a free, standalone spellchecker program that could be incorporated in Outlook. It sounded just the thing. I followed a trail through a forum to a download, that didn’t work, back to the forum, then onto a blog, to another forum and then to a download that did.

Oui. Magnifique!

For anyone experiencing the same problem, it’s called Vampirefo… merci, whoever you are.

A quick Google will track it down easily enough. And so far, so good, even though it’s only US English.

Alors, je suppose que je ne peux pas avoir tout!

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