I don't have a Touch Bar, but am trying to find out whether, under High Sierra, the predictive text feature works for languages other than English, like French or Spanish, after either a) changing the keyboard layout, b) changing the system language, or c) setting system preferences/keyboard/text/spelling to the other language.


Yes, predictive text displayed on the Touch Bar does indeed work for other languages other than English, although it won't work for all languages.

In theory the language used by predictive text is a function of the preferred (i.e. primary) language set in the Language & Region preference pane. While this defaults to a language based on the selected region, you can change it to another language manually (e.g. you live in the US but mainly work in French, so you still have the US set as your region but French set as your primary language). Note that by primary language I mean the one you have placed at the top of the Preferred languages list.

However, in practice (based on about 25 mins of testing using the Italian language), I had the following results:

  • YES, predictive text works with: system language, spellcheck and keyboard all set to Italian
  • YES, predictive text works with: spellcheck and keyboard set to Italian, while the system language is set to English
  • NO, predictive text does not work with: keyboard set to Italian, while both system language is set to English and spellcheck is set to Automatic.


1 Testing was conducted on 24 October 2017 using TextEdit on a 15" 2017 MBP with Touch Bar running macOS High Sierra 10.13 (Build 17A405).

2 By system language I mean the primary language set in the Preferred Languages list located at Apple > System Preferences > Language & Region. If you have more than one language listed, then the primary language is the one listed at top.

3 By spellcheck I mean the 'Spelling' language set in Apple > System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.

4 By keyboard I mean the 'input source' set in Apple > System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources. Note that you can have multiple keyboards added here and it does not matter in what order they appear (i.e. I had Italian listed below English).

  • Thanks for that info. But have you actually tested this or seen it working for any specific non-english language? That is really the question -- I haven't been able to find confirmation in anything from Apple or other users. In any case it would surprise me if predictive text on the Touch Bar would work for any language other than those for which spellcheck is provided. This list is rather smaller than that of the system languages, 15 compared to 34. Oct 23 '17 at 16:50
  • I'm happy to test this, either today/tomorrow when I get a chance. :) So, what are we actually testing for? Looking over your question again I see we're talking about macOS High Sierra, so I get that's part of the criteria. If you're not asking about a specific language, then I'm best to test it with Italian (as I have a working knowledge of that language). But Italian is supported as both a system-wide language and for spellcheck, so I could test that first and then deliberately pick one that's a system-wide language but not supported by spellcheck. Is that what we're testing for, or...?
    – Monomeeth
    Oct 23 '17 at 21:22
  • Great! First test (with standard app like TextEdit or Notes) should be with OS, Spellcheck, and keyboard all set to Italian. If that fails, no need to test further. If it works, then try OS set to English but spellcheck and keyboard set to Italian. If that works try with only keyboard set to Italian, OS in English and spellcheck on Automatic. Oct 23 '17 at 22:03
  • Got it! Sounds like a good process of elimination. I'll try to do this today/tomorrow, but will update you either way! :)
    – Monomeeth
    Oct 23 '17 at 22:06

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