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I find the dictionaries in /usr/share/dict/ quite useful. How do I download (or install) all of them, for every language, without having to install every language pack?

Also, if the answer involves package management, how do I properly remove them again?

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Be aware that there are languages using myspell and/or hunspell. So there is usr/share/myspell/dicts/ and /usr/share/hunspell, where you find other dictionaries. – Pit Feb 4 '11 at 14:26
@Pit saved my life. I couldn't understand why I've installed myspell-bt-br but it wasn't shown at /usr/share/myspell/dicts. Turns out pt_BR.dic was at /usr/share/hunspell, even though there is no such package as myspell-pt-br. Go figure. – Waldir Leoncio Oct 2 '15 at 14:25
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the various packages (e.g. wcatalan, wbritish-large wbritish-small, …) don't follow a pattern so

 apt-get install words-\*

or similar will not work. Typing /usr/share/dict into the search box of Software Center appears to yield all the wordlists, but I don't know if that is exhaustive.

If you want spell checking without the wordlists,

 sudo apt-get install aspell-\*

will pull in the (larger set) of spell checkers which work on a larger set of languages but cannot yield the wordlist used to compile them.

Be forewarned, given the way the wordlists were generated (cf. Steve Johnson CACM v28 1985) from words and proper nouns actually encountered in documents, the extra words might not be obviously jargon or proper to a non-native speaker)

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