I just upgraded to iOS 5 on my iPhone 4S and I wanted to add a few words to the dictionary since I am always texting in two languages, English and Hindi. Obviously, the dictionary has no Hindi words, so it’s a royal pain when it tries to autocorrect everything that I type in that language, which is usually a few words here and there.

If you have a similar issue with language or just plain like to use a word that is not in the English dictionary, then you can easily add it to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch so that it does not try to autocorrect the phrase when you type it in. Note that this is just a setting in iOS 5 and you can add as many new words or phrases as you like to the dictionary.

To get started, go to Settings and then General. Scroll down to Keyboard and then you’ll see a section called Shortcuts and an option to Add New Shortcut.

add words to ios

When you click on Add New Shortcut, you will see two boxes, one for Phrase and one for Shortcut. This screen basically has two functions: adding new words to the dictionary, which is just adding a new phrase without a shortcut and adding an entire phrase to the Phrase box and then adding a shortcut so that you could type the letters “omg” and it would auto-expand to “oh my god” if you really wanted too.

add new phrase

In the above screenshot, I added the word “jaldi”, which is Hindi for fast. I will leave the shortcut field blank since I want to add it as a new word and not an auto-exanding phrase. Now when I go to send a message to someone, it will no longer put the red line underneath the word.


Note that this will work anywhere you can type text, so it can be in the messages app, Mail app, any AppStore app, etc, which is really cool. Also, now that’s it a word in the dictionary, if you misspell it slightly, it will try to autocorrect to the new word you just added!

One thing I noticed through was that after adding the words to the dictionary, I had to turn off my phone and turn it back on in order for it to register the new words. Enjoy!