How to Avoid Embarrassing Spelling Mistakes

Ideas for learning Dutch. What have you tried? What worked for you? What did not work for you?
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burak
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Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Turkish
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How to Avoid Embarrassing Spelling Mistakes

Post by burak » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:16 pm

Spelling and grammar mistakes are embarrassing. Luckily, most of the text editors have spell checkers. Some of these spell checkers also check your text for minor grammar mistakes.

Problem 1: You don't have a spell checker.

If you don't use a spell checker, your texts probably have a few spelling mistakes. That doesn't matter, if you're sending an email to a friend or posting an update to Facebook. However, if you're writing for your work, you might come across as unprofessional. Therefore, this might be a good time to download a spell checker and to start using it.

Problem 2: You have a spell checker, but not in the language you're writing in.

If you're writing in multiple languages, you might stumble upon some problems with your spell checker.
  • Your spell checker doesn't support the language you're writing in.
  • You don't know how to switch it to the language you're writing in.
  • All of your text is highlighted as errors.
  • The auto-correct function of your spell checker changes some words to another language.
These can be annoying problems.

The Solution

Language tool is a free spelling checker, which also indicates minor grammar mistakes. For example, it corrects the article of a noun in Dutch. It is so powerful that it finds mistakes that the spell checkers of commercial applications cannot find.

I prefer the standalone version of it, which I can use with any application via copy and paste. You can also overcome the second problem by switching off your built-in spell checker or using another text editor that doesn't have any built-in spell checker, like Notepad in Windows.

The standalone version is a java application, which doesn't require any installation (except if you don't have a java virtual machine installed, but that is also free and can be installed easily). It supports quite a few languages, including English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

All you have to do is download and extract it. For convenience, you can place a shortcut on your desktop (via right mouse click on "languagetool-standalone.jar" -> Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut) in Windows).

Now, your spell checker is ready every time you want to send, post, or otherwise publish a text and you can't afford any spelling mistakes.

If you have any questions about this tool, please feel free to ask.
Burak Bilgin is the developer of LearnPractice.com, a website that offers more than 800 free Dutch language exercises.

User avatar
burak
Lid
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:28 am
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Turkish
Second language: English
Third language: Dutch (Flanders)
Fourth language: German
Gender: Male
Location: Genk
Contact:

Re: How to Avoid Embarrassing Spelling Mistakes

Post by burak » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:26 pm

Troubleshooting Language Tool

Here is a follow up to the post above.

If you want to find a way to disable the English spellchecker in Word, please check this post out. Alternatively you can use the notepad in Windows.

If you didn't manage to use the Language Tool, there are several things that could have gone wrong:
  1. Did you download the standalone version?
  2. Could you unzip it or extract it?
  3. When you opened the extracted folder, did you double click on the file languagetool-standalone.jar?
  4. If that doesn't work, perhaps you don't have a java virtual machine on your machine. You can download it from here. And then repeat step 3.
If none of these solve your problem, please tell me more about the steps you took and the errors you received, so that I can help you better.
Burak Bilgin is the developer of LearnPractice.com, a website that offers more than 800 free Dutch language exercises.

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