Multilingual spell checking (French and English) is working very well generally on my mac OS install. I set it up correctly following these recommendations.

However, there seems to be something particular with the Whatsapp Desktop application that makes it not work. Only English spell checking is happening and any word in French (not colluding with an English word of course) is underlined in red.

Is someone having the same issue? Does anyone have a solution to this?

  • have you asked Whatsapp or in their forums? – Tom Gewecke Aug 1 '18 at 21:19
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    Wanted to comment to say that I am seeing the same behavior on WhatsApp for Mac. I wonder whether it is a WhatsApp software issue where the program is not using macOS text correction libraries. For reference, my main language is English while the secondary is German and the third French. – Martin May 22 '19 at 21:40
  • Hi @Martin, I still did not find the solution to this issue. If you ever find one, I'd be interested in hearing from you again :-) – valentin May 23 '19 at 8:12

I had the same issue with Spanish and English. I followed these instructions to change the language priority, putting Spanish over English, and the issue was resolved.


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    Welcome to Ask Different! We're trying to find the best answers and those answers will provide supporting info as to why they're the best. Answers should be self-contained so explain why you think the answer you provided will solve the problem or is better than others out there. Answers should not be just a link. See How to Answer on how to provide a quality answer. - From Review – fsb Sep 11 '18 at 19:55
  • thank you!!! I was looking for an anser for so long. – user318640 Jan 24 '19 at 21:33
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    That unfortunately didn't work for me. I have my language on top, yet WhatsApp underlines everything red. – myneur Apr 10 '20 at 6:55
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    This did not work. – valentin May 29 '20 at 18:23

Even two years later on MacOS 11.1 (Big Sur) I have the same issue. Mac OS spell checking for me is on 'Dutch' but Whatsapp keeps forcing spell checking to 'English'. Sloppy work by Facebook, more interested in collecting my data than delevering a proper user experience.

Grtz, Sander.


Let me propose a simple workaround that worked perfectly for me. Issue: my system language is US English and I want WhatsApp spellchecker in Portuguese.

I‘ve downloaded from https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/1947 the Portuguese spellcheck dictionary: pt-BR-3-0.bdic.

In the folder C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\WhatsApp\Dictionaries is located the US English spellcheck dictionary: “en-US-8-0.bdic”. I’ve rename it to “en-US-8-0.org.bdic”. Then I copied the Portuguese dictionary to this folder and renamed it to “en-US-8-0.bdic”.

That is all. Hope can help some of you.


I continue to have this issue as well. I followed the instructions at the link shared by Guillermo, making Spanish (for me) the top language and English second, and it helped, but is not 100%.

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