Tetum spell checker for MS Word

Here is a Tetum spell checker for MS Word which I built and used on my PC (it's a Mac). It's no rocket science or computer hackery. It's just a simple wordlist saved as a text (.txt) file. I have been using this dictionary on my computer for a number of years and I have added new words to it in the process. At the moment there are over 7300 entries in this list. The dictionary has been very helpful for me when I write in Tetum. It particularly enables me to write Tetum with consistency (spelling).
The Tetum used in this spell checker is the official and standard Tetum as developed by Timor-Leste's Instituto Nacional de Linguisticas or the INL (National Institute of Linguistics) based at UNTL. You can find these words inside any good INL published Tetum dictionaries.
I hope you also find this spell checker useful in your Tetum writing. Here is how you can set it up for use with your PC.
This instruction is to be used only for PCs, not Macs. If you have any querry, please e-mail me on diakkalae(a)gmail.com, or just leave your comment on the blog.
First you need to download the wordlist. Right click here and click Save Target As... Save this file into a folder and remember it. I usually save it to the same folder as MS Word’s CUSTOM.DIC (a MS Word file which registers your own vocabularies – don’t ask me about this). The path to this folder is C:\Documents and Settings\[YOUR USERNAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof. [YOUR USERNAME] is the same as the username you use to login to your PC.
Note that the file tetum_proof_dic.txt is just a wordlist. You can open it with MS Word or Text Editor and you will find that there are over 7300 Tetum entries in it.
Save the file - tetum_proof_dic.txt - to a folder. Remember where this folder is. Open MS Word, open up a new document and follow the instructions below:

  1. Select Tool, then Options – a window called Options will pop up
  2. Select Spelling & Grammar tab – click Custom Dictionaries... A window called Custom Dictionaries will pop up (note that there is a file in it called CUSTOM.DIC (default). Don't mind this file).
  3. Click Add... and another window will pop up called Add Custom Dictionary
  4. Now go and locate the folder where you kept the file tetum_proof_dic.txt. If you can't find it in that folder (in the same window), go to the bottom of the Add Custom Dictionary window, in the field called Files of Type, click on it and select All Files.
  5. Select the tetum_proof_dic.txt file and click OK.
  6. Make sure there is a tick next to tetum_proof_dic.txt.
  7. Click OK, and OK again on the Options window.
  8. And you are set.

Download the wordlist here here.

Contact me if you have any problems.


  1. Anonymous said...
    Thank you very much for this! It will be very useful for many people. I will make sure I assist other Timorese colleagues in installing this in their computer.

    Anonymous said...
    Dia do PAI

    Porque hoje é dia de S.José e por isso Dia do PAI, não posso esquecer os PAIS de todo o mundo mas de um modo muito especial, quero lembrar os Pais de Timor Lorosae. Para eles, vai o meu grande carinho:

    Sabes Pai,

    queria abraçar-te,
    dizer-te o quanto te amo
    e agradecer-te ainda
    tudo o que por mim fizeste :
    protegeste-me nas montanhas,
    onde procuraste alimento,
    buscaste agasalho para o frio
    ...cuidaste-me com carinho!

    Lembraste Pai,
    daquelas nossas conversas à noite,

    (tu, Homem feito, Herói,
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    falando da Resistência,
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    e eu, olhos arregalados,
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    Sabes Pai,
    quero ainda pedir-te desculpa,
    porque nem sempre te compreendi...
    nem percebi o quanto me amavas!

    ...porque afinal,
    morreste por mim, PAI, ali em Matenbian...

    Palmira Marques
    Anonymous said...
    I could not Browse it in Office 2007.
    If you the same problem on browsing, Please RENAME your Extention from tetum_dic.txt TO Tetum.DIC

    Jhony Nunes
    Anonymous said...
    This is very good and useful. I do hope that many people may have access to it.
    Anonymous said...
    Anonymous said...
    Kontente tamba hetan duni lista spell Checker. Hau hanoin hela atu database kompleto kona ba lingua nee...

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    Porque hoje é dia de S.José e por isso Dia do PAI, não posso esquecer os PAIS de todo o mundo mas de um modo muito especial, quero lembrar os Pais de Timor Lorosae. Para eles, vai o meu grande carinho: spelling online
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    Raphael Merx said...
    Many thanks for these instructions!

    Just wanted to mention that I worked with the INL and Timorlink to add an online spell checker, it's available at https://tetun.org/#/spell-checker. Once loaded for the first time it works offline.

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