I have the following environment on my machine: Windows 7, emacs and aspell built with mingw. I am trying to use aspell for spell-checking in buffer.

After i change language to russian (i have russian language files, with names such as ru.multi, ru-ye.multi etc.), i get the following error when running ispell-buffer:

ispell-init-process: Error: The file ""c:/mingw_mine"/lib/aspell-0.60/"c:/mingw_mine"/lib/aspell-0.60/russian" can not be opened for reading

My only configuration for ispell is:

  • ispell command program name set to correct full path
  • ispell-extra-args set to have "--prefix=\"c:/mingw_mine\"" in it

Dictionaries are located under abovementioned prefix in "lib/aspell-0.60" subfolder. When invoked from command line with that prefix, aspell correctly finds and loads them (ex.: aspell --prefix="c:/mingw_mine" -d ru.multi check c:/text.txt).

How can i ensure aspell, invoked from emacs, can do that as well?

2 Answers 2


Adding following to my initialisation file solved my problem:

;; aspell setup
 ispell-russian-dictionary "russian"
 ispell-english-dictionary "english")

  ;; i like aspell, and you?
 '(ispell-program-name "aspell")

; my dictionary-alist, using for redefinition russian dictionary
   '(("russian"  ;; Russian
      ("-C" "-d" "ru-yeyo.multi"
       nil utf-8))
     ("english"                       ; English
      ("-d" "en_GB.multi" "--add-extra-dicts=en_GB-variant_1.multi"
       nil iso-8859-1))
     (nil ;; Default
       nil iso-8859-1))))
 '(flyspell-default-dictionary ispell-russian-dictionary)
 '(ispell-dictionary ispell-english-dictionary)
 '(ispell-local-dictionary ispell-russian-dictionary)
 '(ispell-extra-args '("--sug-mode=ultra" "--prefix=c:/mingw_mine")))

This is based on contents of this thread: http://www.linux.org.ru/forum/development/4457441.


change environment variable LC_ALL to ru_RU.UTF-8

If you use use Emacs inside msys shell, in your~/.bash_profiler, insert below line,

export LC_ALL=ru_RU.UTF-8

If you use windows native Emacs, insert below code into your ~/.emacs,

(setenv "LC_ALL" "ru_RU.UTF-8")

Either way, remove your --prefix settings in ispell-extra-args settings.

You could run aspell config to know where aspell to look up dictionaries and copy your dictionaries there.

  • After applying your solution, this is what i get in my Messages buffer: > Local Ispell dictionary set to russian > Starting new Ispell process c:\mingw_mine\bin\aspell.exe with russian dictionary... > ispell-init-process: Error: The file "/c/mingw_mine/lib/aspell-0.60/russian" can not be opened for reading. > WARNING: Unable to enter Nroff mode: Unknown mode: "nroff". No use at all
    – Srv19
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 7:00
  • Make sure your dictionaries exist in that folder.
    – chen bin
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 12:02

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