Sami spell checking in Linux

Sami spell checking in Linux

If you install the our hunspell dictionaries, you can get system wide spelling support for Northern, Lule and Southern sami. This document tells you how to achieve this.

Installing and setting up spell checking

Install hunspell dictionaries

  • Open a terminal
  • Download the tarball: wget
  • Unpack the tarball: tar zxvf hunspell-smi.tar.gz
  • Go in to the hunspell-se-<version> directory: cd hunspell-se-<version>
  • Install the dictionaries: sudo make install
  • To check if the Sami dictionaries are installed, type hunspell -D. In the list that appears, you should see these items:
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/se_FI
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/se_NO
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/se_SE
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/sma_NO
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/sma_SE
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/smj_NO
    • /usr/share/myspell/dicts/smj_SE

Setting up Northern Sami spell checking in KDE

  • Open Systemsettings
    System settings from the startup menu
  • Choose «Country/Region and Language»
    KDE system settings
  • Choose «Spell Checking»
    KDE spell checking
  • The «Northern Sami» entry will give Northern Sami spell checking.
    Northern Sami entry
    Choosing one of the empty entries will give Lule or Southern Sami spell checking. (The Lule and Southern Sami entries are empty because KDE doesn't know anything about these two languages.)
    Lule Sami entry

Every KDE application will now spell check in the chosen language. Try e.g. the mail application, KMail,
KMail with Northern Sami spell checking
or the chat application Kopete.
Kopete with Northern Sami spell checking
Even the text fields in Konqueror (the web browser) will do spell checking. Here is a screenshot from, sending an SMS through the browser.
Konqueror with Northern Sami spell checking
Pure magic!

Setting up Northern Sami spell checking in Gnome

  • From the System menu, choose Administration->Language Support
    Language support menu in Gnome
    Language support window in Gnome
  • In the window that appears, choose Northern Sami in the startup and login pulldown menu.
    Language support menu in Gnome
    After this you will probably be asked to install some packages. Say yes to everything.

Every Gnome application now has spelling support for Northern Sami. Try e.g. the Outlook replacement Evolution, the chat application Pidgin or the text editor Gedit. Pure magic! Here are some examples from the chat program Pidgin.
Pidgin chat window
Sami spell checking in Pidgin

by Børre Gaup