I have not found a way to set the language in ubuntu to check the spelling, but not write the menus in that language.

My case is: my main language is dutch, and I want my system in dutch, with english as secondary language. Only those two languages for menus and terminal communication etc. But I would need spell check in english, dutch, french, hungarian and maybe german. This not only in certain programs like libreoffice, but system-wide (while I'm typing all of this, my screen's full of red).

Until now, the only way I have found to get spell check working in all of those languages is to install and order them all in language support (or however it is called in english), which makes a huge mess of all kinds of different languages mixed through one another.

Running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

EDIT: Here is my language support arrangement for now

Languages list

Here are the choices I have in google chrome. Choises-chrome


  • Spell check
    • All your languages
    • Dutch
    • Dutch
    • English (US)

These seem fairly random to me, I have rebooted after having changed the language settings.

  • Your additional info makes it a bit odd, yes. Can you please run the command sudo apt install $(check-language-support) and let us know if it helps. Feb 23, 2017 at 8:45
  • It seems I have figured it out what's the matter, check my response. When I run that command, however, it comes up with reading status info, and the paquets that can be removed with sudo apt autoremove.
    – Peetah
    Feb 23, 2017 at 11:36
  • Ok, good. Maybe you should change the title of the question then, so it's clear that it's a Chrome/Chromium specific issue. Feb 23, 2017 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


I seem to have figured out the cromium problem, apparently chromium does not use the default sources, but a dedicated menu in which you can choose which languages to use. In my question I have the drop-down menu, and under the languages, there is a button Language settings. The available options for language support were a bit hidden to me in LibreOffice, that is where my confusion came from.

This is the menu where I can choose the languages for Chromium, maybe it checks it with an on-line dictionary as opposed to the downloaded ones for the rest of the programs.

enter image description here

Anyways, this was the cause of my confusion/problem.


It's sufficient to install those extra languages. You don't need to bother with ordering them.

Only the items above the "English" item matter to determine the display language. So you can just let your list in Language Support start with:

  • Dutch
  • English US
  • English

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