English (United Kingdom) is set as the system language and regardless of whether I set the Android spell checker to use the system language or "English" it just doesn't know how to spell. Almost everything is underlined in red! Basically, the spelling dictionary (which should be built in to Android 4) appears to be empty? The same goes for French (I have not tried the other languages).

How do I correct this?

I have not seen these Android spelling dictionaries available for download anywhere. This does appear to be the same as the Android completion dictionary - which appears above the keyboard as you type; suggesting possible words. The only suggestions that show are names from my Contacts List! (I have later realised that "fox" in the example below would seem to be part of a name in my Contacts List!)

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I mentioned in the comments below that I have installed the Hacker's keyboard. Together with this I have also installed the (Hacker's) English Completion Dictionary - this works great, but only with the Hacker's keyboard and only in portrait mode (I don't really have enough room in landscape). Could this break Android's own spell checking dictionaries?!

  • Are you using a completely stock rom from an OTA? If this is a custom ROM, please share the details on what it is.
    – ctt
    May 29, 2012 at 23:38
  • Yes, stock rom on tablet from new. No upgrade. AFAIK this has been an issue from new, although I have only noticed it more recently having been typing more (and I am new to Android). I have installed various apps including the Hacker's keyboard, and English completion dictionary - but I believe these are unrelated?
    – MrWhite
    May 29, 2012 at 23:54
  • Does American English work or does the phone not have it? What device do you have? Installing an English completion dictionary is very much likely to be related unless it's something just used by the hacker's keyboard and not the system. May 30, 2012 at 18:38
  • @Matthew Read: I can change my system language to English (United States), but this makes no difference. The spell check language can be set separately, and is limited to "Use system language", "English", "French", "German", "Italian" and "Spanish". (See this question for a screenshot.) If I set it to "French" it can't spell French either! I have a generic 7inch tablet (DGM T-703).
    – MrWhite
    May 30, 2012 at 19:07
  • Note that if I select French then "the" (in screenshot above) is also underlined, but "fox" remains not underlined.
    – MrWhite
    May 30, 2012 at 19:08

5 Answers 5


Go to the Play store, and install Google Keyboard.

This includes its own spell checking dictionary. Navigate to:

Settings -> Language & Input -> Spelling correction

And select "Google Spell Check". You can click the settings icon to change the language too.

  • Time is a great healer! :) Thanks, that works great (and thanks to Google for making their keyboard available as a separate app). I can switch back to using the Hackers Keyboard and retain the spelling feature from the Google Keyboard - marvellous!
    – MrWhite
    Jul 10, 2013 at 22:15

This appears to be a "fix" for the issue.. but it requires root to write to /system/app. I don't want to root my device just to get a standard feature.

  1. Download these two files: LatinImeGoogle.apk & LatinImeDictionaryPack.apk
  2. Put the apk's onto your sd card
  3. Copy the apk's
  4. Navigate to /system/app and paste the apk's into the directory
  5. Rename (or delete) the file titled "LatinIME.apk"
  6. You now have a working dictionary for your keyboard!

I had exactly the same problem - only words from Contacts shown on spellcheck line. I downloaded Google Keyboard and altered Settings as suggested but it didn't make any difference. However, when I ran Google Keyboard from the icon and selected "use Google Keyboard", everything magically started working. This post was corrected throughout 100% correctly. Hurrah!


Navigate to

Settings -> Language & Input -> Spelling correction

then uncheck the box.

  • 1
    Yes, that certainly stops the words being underlined, but neither does it fix Androids spelling correction.
    – MrWhite
    Nov 10, 2012 at 22:14

Just found that if you go into Android keyboard settings, Add-on dictionaries you can select and download an English dictionary there.

  • What version of Android are you using? For some reason this is not available on my ICS (4.0.3) tablet - as in the question. (Although it is on my Jelly Bean (4.2.2) phone.)
    – MrWhite
    May 14, 2013 at 14:25

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