Why does Word '03 sometimes spell-check in French?



I manage an office where we use Word 2003 as the front end for a medical
transcription application. The custom dictionary as well as a medical
dictionary are installed. Sometimes (not very often ... just often enough to
be irritating), when running spell-check, it will just start to spell check
in French. In other words, medical terms that have been saved to the custom
dictionary are not recognized, and suggestions are offered that have lots of
accent characters (such as codeiné instead of codeine). You can tell from
the title bar of the spell checker that it's using a French dictionary.

If I didnt' mention it, we are in the US and use English.

I have no idea why this happens, but it's quite random and I've been seeing
it happen for several years and on several different PCs.

Any ideas why this happens and how it can be avoided?


Yves Dhondt

Do you have automatic language detection enabled? If so, try turning it off.
In the "Language" dialog, ensure that "Detect language automatically" is not


Pesach Shelnitz

Hi abs,

The spellchecker checks spelling according to the language that is set for
the part of the document that it is checking. If you want to diagnose the
problem, the next time that this happens, stop the spellchecker, and place
the cursor at the point where the foreign (French) suggestions were made.
Then on the Tools menu, point to Language, and click Set Language. The
language that is set for that location in the document will be highlighted in
the Language dialog box. The next step in preventing this from happening
would be to figure out how text with the language set to French got into the
document. There are a number of possibilities. The automatic detection that
Yves mentioned is one possibility.

If you do what I described in the previous paragraph and find that the
language is set to anything other than US English or not set at all, the
following steps will solve the problem for the particular document. 1) Press
Ctrl+A to select all the text in the body of the document. 2) On the Tools
menu, point to Language, and click Set Language. In the Language dialog box,
select US English, make sure that the Detect language automatically check
box is not selected, and click OK. If there are footnotes in the document,
you will need to repeat these steps in the footnotes.


Thanks for these helpful replies. It turns out that "Detect language
automatically" *was* in fact enabled. I've changed that, so hopefully that
will be the end of that.


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question