Spelling checkers for South African languages

SADiLaR, in collaboration with the Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®), is pleased to offer free spelling checkers and hyphenators for ten of South Africa’s official languages.

The installer can be downloaded free of charge and is designed for use with Microsoft ® Office for Windows. Installation is in English and limited support is available.


Languages offered include:

Afrikaans  |  isiNdebele   |   isiXhosa  |   isiZulu  |   Sesotho  |  Sesotho sa Leboa  |   Setswana   |   Siswati   |   Tshivenḓa   |   Xitsonga


Minimum system requirements

A fully operational personal computer (PC) with:
Microsoft ® Office 365, Microsoft® Office 2021, Microsoft ® Office 2019 or Microsoft ® Office 2016 and Windows®11, Windows®10 or Windows®8.1   


More information

The spelling checkers for South African languages is based on extensive research by CTexT® to ensure accurate spelling and hyphenation across comprehensive vocabularies of the ten South African languages. They are available free to use through SADiLaR.


What the spelling checkers cannot do

The spelling checker cannot take the place of a text editor or a grammar editor. The spelling checker therefore cannot recognise or correct the following types of mistakes:

  • grammatical errors: if you use words that are in themselves valid words, but are used in a grammatically incorrect way
  • meaning errors: if you use a correctly spelled word incorrectly in a sentence.

There are also limitations in terms of available data, which means that not all the words, particularly domain-specific terminologies, will be recognised by the spelling checkers.

Call for collaboration

Users can increase the coverage of their spelling checker by building their own custom dictionaries, a function which the spelling checkers easily allows for.  They can also share their custom dictionaries with the developers (see more information in the helpfile) to help improve the spelling checkers in future updates. 

We also welcome contributors and collaborators to help with expanding the tool’s wordlists and functionality. If you have data or tools to share please reach out to us at info@sadilar.org