I am using English(US) as "display language for menus and messages" and for keyboard (easier for typing and getting help online). However I would like the system wide spell checking to be French because I usually write in French.

Is there a way to do this on Ubuntu 16.04 ?

Thank you

  • Changing the display language to French would help. Would that be an option for you? Aug 31, 2016 at 16:26
  • Hum, I would rather stay with english as my display langage, but you're right, I might not have any other option !
    – Louis M
    Sep 2, 2016 at 14:22
  • There may be another option - please see the answer I wrote. Sep 2, 2016 at 15:20
  • Please note that there are application specific settings of language for spell checking, and there is no system wide spell checking setting which would override such settings. So I think it would help if you could specify a few applications where the 'issue' applies. Sep 3, 2016 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


One thing worth trying, if you want to keep English as display language, is to open ~/.profile for editing and add this line:

export LC_CTYPE=fr_FR.UTF-8
  • Thanks for the answer, but I tried what you hinted with no success.
    – Louis M
    Sep 3, 2016 at 18:12
  • @LouisM: Did you relogin after having added that line? (I should have mentioned that.) Sep 3, 2016 at 19:22

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