"It's the league of champions of the French language," says Nassurdine Hassani, founder of

the Alchimie des mots

association and member of the jury for the Dicos d'Or final.

It is 2 p.m., French time, Thursday, May 19, the final on the theme of great journeys begins.

Nearly 70 students aged 11 to 16, 2 teams per level from 6th to 2nd, will compete to win a cultural outing worth 1,000 euros, offered by the Voltaire Foundation.

They were 18,500 on the starting line in January, from 50 countries, against only 8,000 last year.

"I know how it all germinated and I see the scale it is taking and it touches me," says Pascal Hostachy, member of the jury and co-founder of the Voltaire foundation and project.

These 10 teams of 7 students, who passed the selections and trained with their teachers, are coming to the end of the adventure.

They will have to spell and define five words, including one missing from the training corpus, to spice up the competition.

“They lived it thoroughly”

Septuagint, patriarchy, losing soul, these are examples of words that the students had to spell and define.

They came from Morocco, Madagascar or France.

The 7 series of 5 words per team were experienced in the stress of major competitions, “they experienced it to the fullest and it's magnificent, it's virtuous” declares Pascal Hostachy.

The teams were mostly female and the biggest difficulty for them was not spelling, but defining words.

After two hours of competition, the juries deliberated.

The cries and tears of joy from teachers and students filled the studio of the multiplex in Paris.

The winners are “les jades” for 6th, “les turquoises de l'Atlantique” for 5th, “4EC” for 4th, “Les zigotos” for 3rd and “1” for 2nd.

The winners of the 3rd level, from the Jacques-Yves-Cousteau college in Seine-et-Marne told us that it was a relief, because the day before, they passed their white patent orals.

“We have been training since January.

We investigated to discover the mystery words, it was a lot of work.


The importance of vocabulary in individuals

"Release the power of words that is in you", this is the motto of the Dicos d'Or which is renamed Les Mots en Or for the 2023 edition. The Voltaire Foundation created this competition because: "spelling is is good, but the meaning is better,” says Mr. Hostachy.

"The French language is being invented and enriched thanks in particular to other cultures and other civilizations which are not European", declares Paul de Sinety, general delegate for the French language and the languages ​​of France at the Ministry of Culture.

Indeed, today 300 million French speakers in the world.

All the specialists say that French will remain one of the great languages ​​of world communication.

The co-founder of the Voltaire Foundation also explained to us that “according to Anglo-Saxon studies, the greater the corpus of vocabulary mastered by an individual, the less he is prone to violence and the more open-minded he is.

One thing is certain, it is that the next edition of the Golden Words, which will have music as its theme, will bring many more middle and high school students and teachers to participate.


Why imposing "Madam Prime Minister" is "an exercise in submission"


Inclusive writing: The Le Robert dictionary removes the feminized spelling of "iel" for its printed version

  • Culture

  • Spelling

  • Competition

  • Vocabulary