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My professor used the word authentification in a lecture. I have always used authentication. Is it a real word or is authentication the correct term?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Authentication is the correct term. The word authentification is likely just a misspeech, though interestingly enough it is a valid French word, from authentifier, to authenticate.

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In German it is also spelled Authentifikation, and I see it getting mistranslated to authentification every time. – kapep Dec 5 '13 at 10:11
In Russian it is also spelled with fi: Аутентификация (Autentificatsiya). – Igonato Mar 19 '14 at 10:35
We have clients: From Austria, Germany and Spain, many of them are English speakers but they insists to use Authentification!!! – Mohamed Sakher Sawan Apr 10 at 16:47
It looks like authentification has been gaining popularity; it's about 4x more popular today than it was in the 60s. That being said, authentication is still approximately 700-800 times more prevalent. Link to Google ngram viewer:… – saritonin Jun 30 at 20:21
In Czech it is also "Autentifikace", that's why I am having such a hard time to get it right when using english. – FanaticD Jul 16 at 5:54

Authentification is a French word. After a bit on research on its origin, it would seem that the word is actually composed of three parts :

  • authentique (authentic)
  • fic → faire (to do)
  • ation → action


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Actually "faire" doesn't explain the "c" in there - I would guess that this came from the "c" in Latin "facere". Also your use of "action" (which comes from "agere" + "-io" suffix) is kind of misleading, I'd say it's actually the "-io" suffix at work on a form of "facere", nothing to do with the verb at root in "action". – asveikau Oct 8 '12 at 6:06
and the 'c' is a remnant of Latin's c in the verb facio (I do), facere, feci, factum from which faire derives. – Merk Oct 8 '12 at 6:07

protected by tchrist Mar 1 at 18:38

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