When I wrote my first post on 200wordsaday.com, I realized that a grammar and spell checking tool would be really helpful in speeding up the editing process and improving my non-native English writing skills at the same time.
The Top Dog: Grammarly
been heavily advertised all over the web recently – at least in ads
that I was targeted with. Its promise sounds really appealing: Grammarly
instantly checks all your written input in the browser and gives you
both spelling and stylistic tips on your writing. The user interface
looks neat, the ads are well done, what am I waiting for?
downsides: Grammarly sends all your writing to US based servers – what a
privacy nightmare. And – Grammarly doesn’t speak my native language,
German. Well, no thanks.
The Contender: LanguageTool
Then I found an alternative: LanguageTool – an open source tool, made by a German company, publicly maintained on
Github. And as far as I can see, LanguageTool sure can compete with
LanguageTool can be used in 25 languages and automatically detects the language that you are writing in, so no manual switching. It has a free version that is pretty comprehensive, and a premium version with even more features and checks.
The aptly named tool gives
you spelling and stylistic tips as well – but from my experience the
past days, most suggestions deal with spelling. I could use more
vocabulary suggestions, though.
While you can use it locally and offline, the standard configuration does send your writing to LanguageTool servers. But at least, it’s GDPR territory over here…
using the Firefox extension and got used to the tool really fast, and
it’s working just fine while being really unobtrusive. It works in all
you favorite services: in Gmail, in Twitter as well as every contact
form. There even are extensions for LibreOffice and Microsoft Office
(which I haven’t tried yet, though).
The Winner Is…