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Strollin' around
Status: New idea

I'm tired of legitimate words being underlined in red in Firefox because the built-in dictionary is so small.  Can we add a larger dictionary as an add-on?

Status changed to: New idea
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Strollin' around

+1 to this, certainly for American English at least Firefox's spell checker is often lacking. AFAICT Firefox currently uses Hunspell with the SCOWL dictionary at default wordsize of 60 and some custom additions, which is ludicrously conservative for most purposes and often quite hard to get long-established but moderately uncommon words like empanada, peplumsubwoofer or fibromyalgia into bc SCOWL works off of a strict threshold on Google Ngram data from 1980-2008 to determine inclusion.

Even just switching the word size to 70 or 80 would significantly reduce the number of words not identified—70 catches empanada and peplum and 80 catches subwoofer, though no SCOWL dict contains fibromyalgia.

Of course, bc the Google Ngrams dataset ends at 2008 all SCOWL sizes will struggle to include words which were coined or grew in popularity very recently: weeaboo, bromance, vlog, genderqueer. I'm not aware of a maintained alternative dict to SCOWL but wonder if it may be worth looking into things like integration with the Windows Spellcheck API (as Chrome + Edge are) to increase coverage on some platforms.

For now there is this Bugzilla bug where people can suggest words to include in Firefox's American English dictionary, but obviously that's not an ideal solution.

Strollin' around

You could consider integrating the Wiktionary word list into the Dictionary as Wiktionary has the most words and is freely licensed.

Making moves

Yeah, the dictionaries are not very good. The German one hasn't been updated for four years and there are a lot of missing words and wrong spellings. Very frustrating to use.

There have to be open source dictionaries that Mozilla can use which are better than the outdated user generated ones we have to use at the moment.

The most low effort thing Mozilla could do is start a campaign making people aware of the problem and  encouraging users to improve the dictionaries themselves.

New member

PLEASE. It's so bad!!!!! It's so hard to find out the firefox dictionary is tiny and you do NOT make it easy to use a proper one. This is a major accessibility problem. Should be a p1.

New member

also way to make input feel completely unwelcome by the way. you guys never learn what accessibility means and make it abundantly clear this is an ableist project for abled people only.

New member

True! The current dictionary sucks. 😞 Why don't you make it like an aggregate of multiple dictionaries?

New member

100% The dictionary in Firefox is awful. I frequently have to look up words I'm confident I spelled correctly because Firefox is telling me it's wrong. So I copy and  paste it into google, and get an immediate result with the definition of the word. For instance, the word militaries does not exist. As though there is no plural of the word.


Strollin' around

I'm constantly frustrated by the lack of content in the default dictionary. I write procedures and guides for work in a browser-based editor (which does not have its own spell-check) and am constantly frustrated by how few words are in the default FF dictionary.

"Pantograph" was the latest (very real!) word that I had to add to it. Also had to add "Pantographs."

New member

Firefox spell checking is the worst. I can't imagine what English dictionary they are using.  Pretty basic words are flagged as misspelled. I'm constantly having to check my spelling only to find out that my spelling was correct. The feature is worse than useless.

New member

Please increase the size of the Firefox dictionary. Quit focusing on "redesign", as it's a complete waste of time anyways, and focus on real productivity.

New member

OR ALLOW OPEN DIC FILES TO BE USED. What's frustrating is that you have to "add to dictionary" every form of that word; "All CAPS", "beginning of a sentence Capitalization" and "regular". I have literally added 1000+ UNIQUE words that are actual words 3 different times meaning I had to add 3000 words manually to a dictionary. Also, if you type a country in and don't use Proper Noun capitalization, it'll throw up the most random irrelevant suggestions. IT IS LITERALLY THE WORST DICTIONARY EVER CODED. Constantly get suggested corrections that don't contain 80% of the letters I used. Part of the problem is that the creator of the Dictionary for English Users, is a GERMAN NATIVE. That would be like me being put in charge of the German dictionary and thinking the silly vocabulary I acquired from my High School days will be sufficient for German users. Clearly no one would use more than the 100 words I've learned in German, just ignore the fact that, they're conspicuously the ones we use in English with minor spelling variations.

New member

Please sort out the dictionary. Today it underlined the word "militaries" i.e., the plural of military, because even such a simple word isn't in its dictionary.

Making moves

I'm leaning toward a smarter dictionary that isn't 'exists or not', or something like Chrome has that can ask a website.

Yeah yeah, privacy privacy...  Guess I'm one of the weirdos using Firefox that isn't as worried about that, as I am about my crappy ability to spell (and extra manual work by every user versus good defaults after install).

But I'd settle for a more complete built in dictionary I guess.  Personally I run into brands or products that I wish were there.  Or scientific substance names.  Not sure those will be solved with anything except the external lookup method.  Or a live (peer to peer?) dictionary that spreads it out across many machines.