Word - "there are too many spelling or grammatical errors"
Thread poster: Charlie Bavington (X)

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
French to English
Nov 30, 2005

My question is simple - how many is "too many"? Does anyone happen to know what the threshold is?

I've wondered this before. I had a 80-page document crammed full of company names, I added a few to the Word dictionary and the problem was solved.

I've now got a 400-page monster with a similar, but different problem - words and phrases in the source language scattered throughout the document which must remain in the source langauge, which rules out adding words to the dictionary. The nature of the document and the scattering of source language text also means marking the different languages using Tools-Language is impractical.

I guess I'll have to live with it (I can always copy/paste a few pages at a time into a temporary document to check spelling), but nonetheless, I am curious to know the threshold. The info doesn't *appear* to be available on microsoft.com - least I couldn't find it.

Thanks awfullyicon_smile.gif


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Set language again Nov 30, 2005

When I start to translate a file I always change it to the target language, and if it is fairly long, I will soon get the message you mention because obviously most of the text (not yet translated) is still in another language. All you have to do it select the entire file again and reset it to the desired language. It will usually perform OK from there, but if it does not, try it again!

It's worked for me.


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
French to English
I asked purely for the sake of knowing Nov 30, 2005

Henry - thanks very much for tying to help, but a "solution" to the problem is not what I really need. At this stage, I ask purely out of curiosity. Of course, the answer may help me and others in future. And yes, I do generally adopt the approach you suggested.

For the record, I actually simplified the situation above to shorten the post. What I actually have is a 400-page target language document with, as I said, much source language text in it to be left as is, the Word language option throughout being set to the target. And when uncheck the checkbox under Options - Spelling and Grammar tab, I get the famous message "too many...".
My actual job is to use this document as the basis for further additions, ostensibly in the target language, but once again including an healthy proportion of source language words and phrases. Because there are "too many spelling errors", Word isn't correcting what I type as I make these additions. But I suspect I must either live with that or, as I said, copy/paste sections of text into a fresh, smaller document and then put it back when I've finished. But that's immaterial, in a way. my curiosity was piqued, and I merely wonder on what basis Bill Gates decides that "there are too many spelling or grammatical errors" in my documenticon_smile.gif !


Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 23:35
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Just guessing Nov 30, 2005

Before I started using CAT tools, this problem really annoyed me and I tried to find out. As you are saying, nobody seems to know the answer.

Based on experience, I think there is a "magic absolute number" - if the document is small, all of it may be in the "wrong" language and the message does not appear, while in large documents (such as book translations) the message seems to get activated even by a small proportion of spelling erros / unknown words.



Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:35
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
A solution, but not an answer Nov 30, 2005

Hi Charlie

My question is simple - how many is "too many"? Does anyone happen to know what the threshold is?

I've often wondered. And I've noticed it seems to vary from language to language and whether there are graphics etc. in the document.

To get round this problem, you could add another dictionary:

Extras > Options > Spell-check + Grammar (sorry I have the German version) > User dictionaries > New (Add name instead of the "*") > OK

Copy out the frequently occurring terms that are not to be translated into a separate file and spell-check the text. Add these terms to your new dictionary.

Return to the translation and make sure that both this new dictionary AND your standard dictionary are both ticked. Away you go.



Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:35
German to English
+ ...
buffer limit Nov 30, 2005

Hi Charlie,

This probably has to do with a limit on the volume of marked spelling errors the Word program can store (that's just good software design; otherwise you can get unexpected buffer overflows, which are usually nasty bugs). The maximum number of errors in a particular document and/or langauge will probably depend on the format Word uses to store the markings, and it may vary depending on how much memory is being used by the program for other purposes, so there may not be a simple answer to your question (probably only the person who spec'd or implemented the code will know what it is).

Gillian's suggestion sounds like the most practical solution (and besides, having a user dictionary with all those 'foreign' terms may be handy for other reasons).


Kristine Sprula (Lielause)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:35
English to Latvian
+ ...
Divide! Nov 30, 2005

In long documents I change to target language just by few pages. Usually it is some chapter or so. Otherwise the word would "shout" at me about too many mistakesicon_biggrin.gif


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
French to English
Thanks .... Dec 9, 2005

...to all who responded.
Like antonin, I am inclined to think it's an absolute number - I guess we may never knowicon_smile.gif

Gill's right, of course, custom dictionaries are a good solution, and one I use more and more.

For those inexperienced in the field, note that when you uncheck a custom dictionary, Word asks you if it's OK to "remove" it - this is not the same as delete, it just means it's not going to use that dictionary any more, so no need to get anxiousicon_smile.gif


Vito Smolej
Local time: 23:35
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Looks like essentially a bilingual document .... Dec 19, 2005

... so before you get to 800 pages of the same, maybe

a) you could tag the sentences / segments / units based on their language

b) and bootstrap it by using tags (with some VBA code) to keep / correct now and then their language setup. If I remember correctly the spellchecker understands how to switch languages...

c) dump Word....

It's a helluva job btw, keep us posted


[Edited at 2005-12-19 22:09]


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
French to English
yeah, it is Dec 19, 2005

Effectively, although not strictly speaking, yes, it's bilingual.

Anyway, by marking individual sections/strings/words according to whether they're English or French (which has taken quite a whileicon_smile.gif - there was some German thrown in for good measure, which I have to leave untouched), and by creating a custom dictionary, I've got it working OK (i.e. it no longer tells me there are too many spelling errors).

Thanks for replying


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Word - "there are too many spelling or grammatical errors"

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