Adding new dictionaries to aspell

ZCS 6.0 comes with dictionaries preinstalled for many languages. ZCS versions 5.0 and earlier only have English installed. To see the list of installed languages, run

/opt/zimbra/aspell/bin/aspell dump dicts

If you do not see your language in the list, follow the instructions below.

From : Miss Benita Latta Kumasi Ghana From, West Africa. Email:


Dearest One,

I am introducing myself as Miss Benita Latta the only daughter of late Chief and Mrs. Michael C.F latta. My father was a very wealthy Gold Dust merchant in Kumasi, the economic capital of Ghana; my father was poisoned to death by his business associates during one of their outings on a business trip. My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special.

Before the death of my father on November 2009 in a private hospital here in Kumasi he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Seven million, five hundred thousand United State Dollars ($US7.5M) left in fixed / suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Ghana, that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates.

That due to the incessant political crisis in this country and to avoid been kill by his enemies I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate or hotel management.

Please, I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways: (1) To provide a bank account into which this money would be transferred to. (2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am still a small girl (3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and also to secure a resident permit in your country. Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. Furthermore, Pls indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be conclude within seven (7) days you signify your interest to assist me. For my security reasons,

Anticipating to hear from you urgently. Thanks and God bless. Yours Sincerely, Benita Latta

Changes required for ZCS 5.0 and earlier

The following information is for ZCS versions 5.x or earlier. Starting with ZCS 6.x, the client passes the name of the dictionary to the server and multibyte character sets are handled properly.

  • Edit the file /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php to reference the new dictionary. For example to add the french dictionary:

$locale = "en_EN";
$locale = "fr_FR";

NOTE (fr): Read the README on the dict source directory to choice the right setup (fr_FR-40, fr_FR-60, etc)
NOTE: If you are using a non-english based language with special chars like tildes (spanish, for example), you have to modify aspell.php

This file is located at /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php. Replace this block (line 82 or so)

 $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
 $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";

with this one:

 $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
 $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";

NOTE: After changing the aspell language restart the spellchecker as the user zimbra with the following command:

 zmspellctl stop; zmspellctl start

There is also a problem when splitting words. Replace (line 48 or so)

$words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-] /', $text);

with this one:

$words = preg_split('/[^\w\'\xc0-\xfd-]+/', $text);

This regexp line should be enough for most western Europe languages (Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian). It includes all ISO8859 europeean letters in the range 192-253 of the table below.


  • To add a set of custom words see this How-To

Adding Latin-2 dictionary support

Many aspell dictionaries do not use UTF-8 encoding while UTF-8 is encoding of a choice for Zimbra suite. This means that text should be converted from UTF-8 to ISO-8859-x, spell checked ant then misspeled and sugested word should be translated back to UTF-8 for browser display. The following patch shows (Slovenian) modifications to Zimbra 4.5.9 spelling processor:

--- /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php.orig   2007-11-01 14:44:25.000000000 +0100
+++ /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php        2007-11-01 15:50:04.000000000 +0100
@@ -18,7 +18,7 @@
 $filename = "";
 $text = "";
-$locale = "en_EN";
+$locale = "sl_SI";
 if (isset($_FILES["text"])) {
     $text = file_get_contents($_FILES["text"]);
@@ -33,12 +33,17 @@
 if ($text != NULL) {
     setlocale(LC_ALL, $locale);
+    // Convert all text into 8-bit dictionary locale
+    $text=iconv("UTF-8", "iso-8859-2", $text);
     // Get rid of double-dashes, since we ignore dashes
     // when splitting words
     $text = preg_replace('/--+/', ' ', $text);
     // Split on anything that's not a word character, quote or dash
-    $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-]+/', $text);
+    // $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-]+/', $text);
+    // Do not split visible characters in the range of 0xA0-0xFF
+      $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'\xa0-\xff-]+/', $text);
     // Load dictionary
     $dictionary = pspell_new($locale);
@@ -79,14 +84,15 @@
         } else {
             $checked_words[$word] = 1;
         // Check spelling
         if (!pspell_check($dictionary, $word)) {
             $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
-            $suggestions = utf8_encode($suggestions);
             $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";
+   // Convert to dictionary locale
+   $suggestions=iconv("iso-8859-2","UTF-8",$suggestions);
+   $misspelled = iconv("iso-8859-2","UTF-8",$misspelled); 
     $response = new ServerResponse();
     $response->addParameter("misspelled", $misspelled);
Verified Against: unknown Date Created: 2/22/2006
Article ID: Date Modified: 2010-06-01

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