fixed : switching the language of the spelling check in iOS5, iOS6, iOS7, iOS8, iOS9, iOS10, iOS11 & iOS12

Question :

Is it possible to (quickly) switch the language of the spelling check while I’m writing a message on my iPhone ?

Answer :

Yes !

It’s really simple :

1- make sure you have installed multiple languages / multiple keyboards on your iPhone or iPad : Go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> (International) Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…

…and select your desired languages from the list (then exit the Settings-app)

2- you have now installed not only the keyboard for each language, but also the spelling check… and it’s now available in any text or message you type (including SMS)

3- to switch the language of the spelling check, just tap on the globe-key next to the space-bar : when tap it, the space-bar will (only for a quick second) display the name of the keyboard you’re using… but… the language of the active keyboard layout is also the language of the active spelling check…


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20 thoughts on “fixed : switching the language of the spelling check in iOS5, iOS6, iOS7, iOS8, iOS9, iOS10, iOS11 & iOS12

  1. Sure.

    I’m looking for a thing that gives me a hint of what spelling checker is on, without clicking on the globe.

    I’m also looking for a way to quickly put off/on that spelling checker.

    • @sponsoredbythewind :

      I’m not entirely sure if I understand your question right, but maybe this tip will help you :

      if you ‘touch & hold’ the globe button, a pop-up menu will appear, listing all keyboards (and spelling checkers) installed on your iPhone/iPad ; and the active keyboard is indicated with a check mark.
      FYI : doing this will NOT flip the active keyboard to the next one on the list (which might be your reason for not wanting to use the globe button)

      • That I didn’t know and is usefull. Thanks.

        Now a quick way to put the spellings checker on/off. Sometimes you have those words and you know the spellings checker is not going to like it…

      • @huerta11 / @sponsoredbythewind :

        maybe the problem you have is not with the spelling checker, but with the auto correction…
        go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard
        there you will have the option to switch some features ON or OFF…
        …judging from your question I would suggest you to switch Auto-Correction to OFF,
        but leave Check Spelling at ON…

        …but maybe some some other configuration of the switches works even better in your case…

        Please note that the iOS spelling checker and auto-correction are ‘self learning’, which means they learn from what you teach them…
        if you do not correct the suggestions they do, they will not get smarter…
        …but if you do, the annoyance of getting faulty suggestions and having to correct a lot will fade after the first few weeks…

      • @huerta11 / @sponsoredbythewind / @Paul :

        there is an other way to see what keyboard and spelling checker are active in iOS5,
        it’s even quicker and easier than the ones mentioned before :

        the word SPACE that is written on the spacebar of your keyboard is written in the language of your active keyboard (and spelling checker)

        so you don’t even have to do click or touch anything…

      • Yes, the space bar.
        The thing is this is only for a second when you switch. A couple of minutes later, in another thing, I don’t remember any more.
        Let me tell you, I discovered this:
        The ‘return’ key in English is ‘Return’ in German, ‘return’ in Dutch, ‘intro’ in Spanish. That helps a little bit. Did you know that one?

        Actually I would like to have a little flag somewhere, but I guess that is against the design principles of Apple. The space bar would be a good spot for that, as it is big enough!

        Sorry of all those alias names. They are all me. Normally I try to be just one and succeed in that.

      • @ huerta11 :

        for a quick second after switching you will see the (name of the) active language displayed on the space bar,
        but after that the space bar will show the word for “free letter space” in the active language :
        “space” when the English keyboard and spelling check are active
        “espacio” when the Spanish keyboard and spelling check are active
        “espace” when the French keyboard and spelling check are active
        “Leerzeichen” when the German keyboard and spelling check are active
        “spatie” when the Dutch keyboard and spelling check are active

        update :
        iOS 5 doesn’t seem to work the same on iPhone and iPad for some reason ; I just double-checked and found that the above only goes on the iPhone… not on the iPad, on the iPad there is no text displayed on the spacebar…

    • Strange,

      I’m typing this on my iPad 2 with 5.1
      In the settings of the keyboard I have ‘check spelling’ on. (it is for all the languages or none). But I cannot force anything to be seen on the space key than the language for a second. After that nothing. Just blank. And it has always been like that, since September last year.
      This iPad was bought in the USA, but I don’t think that matters. Too bad I cannot include a screenshot of the settings and the keyboard.

      • @ huerta11 :

        you’re absolutely right – sorry for that
        iOS 5 doesn’t seem to work the same on iPhone and iPad for some reason ; I just double-checked and found that the previous info only goes for the iPhone… not for the iPad, on the iPad there is no text displayed on the spacebar…

  2. Aha! I think this will bring me a bit further. Never realised that there were so many options with the spelling.
    Thanks very much,

  3. Some Apple guy had me restore the iPad for that… it’s just a different (and annoying) approach on iPad, not showing permanent the active language by displaying “Space” on the spacebar.

    • @Eva :
      good to hear it works for you now !
      you’re completely right that it’s very annoying that Apple left out the visual feedback of the “Space” on the spacebar on the iPad-version of iOS…
      …this is essential feedback for anyone using multiple spelling check languages

  4. Any way of having both english and spanish dictionaries active at once, or a customized dictionary for the spell check? I use the emoji keyboard and can’t stand having more than 2 keyboards to scroll through.

    • @KBizz :

      Mh… I’ve not come across any option to do so…
      …I’m afraid that what you’re looking for is not possible in the regular versions of iOS…

  5. This solution is not ideal. I want to be able to type in French, for example, and have the French text autocorrected, but without switching to the French “AZERTY” keyboard layout, which would slow me down, as I am best used to typing in QWERTY. There should be a way for the iOS to recognise that you have changed language without your having to change the keyboard, in the same way that on a desktop (in Outlook or MS Word, for example), the software will recognise that you have changed into French or German and will start autos roofing in those languages, without further prompting.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to how to set this up?

    You’d think that Apple employed polyglot linguists somewhere in their hierarchy but…

      • @Alex :

        sorry, this remark is too short to grasp it’s meaning…
        please clarify by rephrasing this into an entire sentence 😉

    • @Alex :

      interesting question
      as the text correction can only be switched by switching the keyboard in iOS, I’m afraid your only option for now is to see if one of these keyboards is a QUERTY :
      French (Belgium), French (Canada), French (Switzerland)

      hope this helps
      and please let me know if that helps or not

      good luck !

  6. Since the update im having problems with the fact i use the Swiss German keyboard but want English UK spell checker. This worked perfectly before but now it seems i can only have the spell checker for the language of the keyboard that’s active

    • @Astbury :

      Apple has introduced bilingual auto-correct in iOS 10. I’m not 100% sure how to activate it, but I think it will activate when you download a bilingual dictionary in Settings –> General –> Dictionary
      There you can choose Dutch-English, Chinese-English, French-English, German-English, Italian-English, Japanese-English, Korean-English and/or Spanish-English

      Another option in iOS 9 and iOS 10 is to download a 3rd party keyboard from the AppStore that has bilingual support.

      Hope this helps 😉
      enjoy !

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