Spell Checker

This article was written by Ramon Casha.

This is the Maltese spell checker project. Actually, the spell checker is aspell. This project provides the Maltese word list for it. Any software that interfaces with aspell can do spell checking in Maltese – all you have to do is select the language from the list. This includes most text-processing Linux applications.

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Online Spellcheker

If you are looking for the online form which allows you to copy & paste text and check it online, click here.

Installation Instructions (for Linux/Unix-like systems)

Certain distributions might already have the aspell-mt package available for install. In that case, you could use your package manager to install it directly. If not, follow the steps below:

  1. Install aspell v0.60 or above, from your system’s package manager.
  2. Download the aspell-mt file from the link above.
  3. Extract its contents into a new folder.
  4. Follow the instructions in the README file. In short:
    1. Open a terminal program and switch to the root user by typing one of the following:
      • su (most systems)
      • sudo bash (Ubuntu)
    2. cd to the directory containing the extracted files.
    3. enter the following commands in sequence:
      1. ./configure
      2. make
      3. make install

Installation Instructions (Windows)

  1. Download and install aspell for win32, version 0.60.
    At the time of writing, this is not available yet from the official site, but an unofficial version exists here.
  2. Download the aspell-mt file from the link above.
  3. Extract its contents into a new folder.
    BZ2 archives can be extracted using 7Zip, WinZip and other products.
  4. Download the install batch file in to the same folder.
  5. Run the batch file. Ideally, open a command prompt window and run it from there so that you can see if there were any errors. At the end of the installation, it should list all the dictionaries install – “mt” should be among them.


This word list is licensed under the LGPL, which basically means it can be used in free or commercial products, but any changes made to the word list must be published back under the same license terms.

Other spell checkers and products

If you adapt this word list to work with other spell checkers or products, drop me a note so I can add appropriate links and instructions.


This software only supports proper Maltese characters in a unicode-compatible character set (UTF-8, ISO Latin 3 etc.). In the past, many people tried to work around the unavailability of Maltese fonts by replacing certain characters (eg. å) with Maltese characters. However this only changed the shape on screen, not the underlying character. All new Maltese text should use unicode compliant fonts. These include the popular Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia, Courier New and similar fonts.

See also

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Lydia 06/08/2014, 16:33

    I used to use the online spell checker but right now the link http://linux.org.mt/spellcheck/ is a blank page. Can you be so kind to guide me.

    • warmax356 07/02/2016, 13:51

      The spell checker is online, from time to time it may go down for maintenance.

  • Chris Vella 17/04/2016, 10:43

    I tried installing the maltese spellchecker extension on Libreoffice 5.0 but it doesn’t work out of the box. I think the extension might need to be updated to work on the later versions of Libreoffice and Openoffice.org.

    Thanks for your efforts.


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