About the spellchecker
The Spanish dictionary has a built-in spellchecker
to help you find a word whose spelling you may be unsure of. The spellchecker is a little different
to many because it was specifically designed with non-native speakers in mind.
Thus, it will suggest spelling alternatives based on sounds and spellings that non-native
speakers may confuse, even though a native speaker would be unlikely to make the given spelling
- Vowels that share features, e.g. the "front vowels" /i/ and /e/, are
sometimes suggested as alternatives to one another.
To a native Spanish speaker, it is usually
clear which vowel is in a given position in a word. But in some cases (notably English), a
person's native language may use a word related to the Spanish word, but with a given vowel
neutralised. For example, in the English word arrogant, the o and
a generally represent "the same vowel"; thus, it may not be obvious to an English
speaker how to spell this word (or its Spanish cognate arrogante).
Which vowels are suggested for one another depends on the position in the word in some cases.
- In pairs of consonants that essentially differ by Voice Onset Time, such as p
vs b in utterance-initial position, these are sometimes offered as alternatives
to one another, because to a native speaker of another language, the distinction may be made
differently in their native language. (For example, phonetically, English b
is actually closer to Spanish p in many cases.)
- The r and rr are often suggested as alternatives
to one another, even in cases where to a native speaker, either the "flapped r" or the
rr spelling may be impossible. Non-native speakers may not be sensitive
to particular sounds being ruled out in a given position.
Coping with different varieties of Spanish
The spellchecker will attempt to suggest alternatives that cut across the widest
number of varieties of Spanish. For example, it will frequently suggest alternatives
involving z and s being confused with one another, even
though such confusion is much less likely for Castillian speakers. (On the other hand,
even native Latin American speakers commonly confuse s and z
spellings in certain words.) Similarly, y
and ll are often suggested for one another.
Current spellchecker version: 1.1 (19 July 2008).
Dictionary and spellchecker software written by Neil Coffey.
Copyright © Javamex UK 2008. All rights reserved.