Home > e-languages, Farsi, office-software, software > Free Farsi Proofing Tools available: VafaSpellchecker

Free Farsi Proofing Tools available: VafaSpellchecker

Unfortunately, the VafaSpellchecker Proofing Tools are now not available anymore for Office 2010. The links to the Office 2010 on the website have been broken for a long time, the developer seems to have left the university, the project manager has not answered my inquiry. Here is hoping they will be resurrected.

Even though proofing tools are neither designed for non-native language learners nor, traditionally, used  in a pedagogically sound way by language learners without proper guidance, they form one of the greatest opportunities to apply advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) to second language acquisition (SLA) tasks, given that they are a widely installed and commonly understood artificial intelligence providing automated feedback on natural language issues.

The management and licensing of proofing tools has been much improved since MS-Office 2007 which made it easier (and cheaper) to install modular proofing support for additional languages distributed as Language Packs.

However, in an SLA context, even this may still not be a convincing value proposition, whether for the personal computers of individual student learners, or even – due to apparent the lack of concurrent licensing options within proofing tools –   for Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) in an imaged computer lab environment (in our case, we would need to purchase 45 licenses à $25 before tax for a language that may have about half as many learners or less).

All the more welcome are  freely downloadable add-ons- – thanks to the MS-Office platform extensibility – the VafaSpellchecker, a Persian Spell&grammar and real-word error checking system by the Natural Language and Text Processing Laboratory in University of Tehran, funded by Iranian Research Institute for ICT, available for both MS-Office 2003 and 2007. A VafaSpellchecker user guide (in Farsi) is also available.


As always with NLP in SLA, caveat emptor, use with a grain of salt, or two.

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