I have too many languages in my spell checker and I would like to clean up. When I say spell checker, I mean the spell checker in Firefox, but also other applications like Tomboy.

The thing is, I have a few language packs installed, which is what I want. I use English as my system language, but I want an (Austrian) German number format and spell check. I'd also like to keep my Hebrew spell checker. What's more annoying is, that a lot of "regional" dicts were installed. So I have now 9 entries (and I got rid of some already). I don't mind having German and German (Austria), but I'd like to get rid of German (Belgium) and German (Luxemburg).

In System Settings -> Language Support, I have installed English, German and Hebrew. Apparently that installed also the local variations, because after wiping some myspell/aspell/hunspell dicts off my system, it prompts me that the language support is not complete and if I want to install myspell-en-za and myspell-en-au. But no thanks. As you can see, I did find some of the packages for local language variants, but not for the others!

aptitude search "~ispell" gives:

i   aspell                          - GNU Aspell spell-checker                  
i   aspell-en                       - English dictionary for GNU Aspell         
i   hunspell-de-at                  - Austrian (German) dictionary for hunspell 
i   hunspell-de-de                  - German dictionary for hunspell            
i   hunspell-en-us                  - English_american dictionary for hunspell  
i   libaspell15                     - GNU Aspell spell-checker runtime library  
i   libgtkspell-3-0                 - spell-checking addon for GTK's TextView wi
i A libgtkspell0                    - a spell-checking addon for GTK's TextView 
i   libhunspell-1.3-0               - spell checker and morphological analyzer (
i   myspell-en-gb                   - English_british dictionary for myspell    
i   myspell-he                      - Hebrew dictionary for myspell 

Searching for "dict" only gives me "dictionaries-common", hyphenation is installed for en and de, searches for "thes"(aurus) etc. also don't give me de-BE or similar.

aptitude search "~ilang" gives:

i   language-pack-de                - translation updates for language German   
i   language-pack-de-base           - translations for language German          
i   language-pack-en                - translation updates for language English  
i   language-pack-en-base           - translations for language English         
i   language-pack-gnome-de          - GNOME translation updates for language Ger
i   language-pack-gnome-de-base     - GNOME translations for language German    
i   language-pack-gnome-en          - GNOME translation updates for language Eng
i   language-pack-gnome-en-base     - GNOME translations for language English   
i   language-pack-gnome-he          - GNOME translation updates for language Heb
i A language-pack-gnome-he-base     - GNOME translations for language Hebrew    
i   language-pack-he                - translation updates for language Hebrew   
i A language-pack-he-base           - translations for language Hebrew          
i   language-selector-common        - Language selector for Ubuntu              
i   language-selector-gnome         - Language selector for Ubuntu              
i   libslang2                       - S-Lang programming library - runtime versi
i A libslang2:i386                  - S-Lang programming library - runtime versi

I don't have any other languages or dictionary (extensions) installed in firefox (or deactivated them) and these languages also appear in Tomboy.

Any ideas how to get rid of 'em?


A corresponding question was asked about Thunderbird. The solution provided there worked for me:

  • go to go to /usr/share/hunspell/
  • delete the languages you do not want (e.g. rm de_BE.* to delete Belgian German)

I am not sure why you got the message about incomplete language support - I didn't have that problem.

But in addition, you may still have manually installed dictionaries in Firefox. Interestingly, just disabling/uninstalling wasn't enough (e.g. via Tools | Add-Ons). To get rid of the languages I didn't like, I went to ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/extensions and deleted the dictionalry-folders e.g. rm -r de_BE* that did the trick.

  • Sorry, I almost forgot about this. I tried it now and it works. Weird though. IMHO these packages are broken, if they don't do what one would expect. Also, for some reason, I had 3 entries for Hebrew. There were dictionaries in the hunspell folder, but there is no hunspell package for hebrew. I removed the myspell package and all three were gone. But I don't need it anyway... – Benjamin Maurer Jan 26 '14 at 15:29

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