How to Add a New Language to an Android

by Chad Davis
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Change the default language on your mobile device to switch all of its system text to another language of your choosing. With Google's Android operating system, you can easily change the device language via the "Language and Input Settings" menu. Configuring a different input language for the Android system keyboard -- known as Android Keyboard AOSP -- enables you to enter text using characters unique to the selected language. You can also install additional language dictionaries to assist with word suggestion and correction when inputting text on your Android device.

Open Language and Input Settings

Step 1

Open your App drawer from the home screen launcher on your mobile device.

Step 2

Scroll through your apps and tap the "Settings" app to open your Android settings.

Scroll down the settings menu and tap "Language & Input" under the Personal section.

Change Your Default System Language

Step 1

Open "Language and Input Settings."

Step 2

Tap "Language" at the top of the menu.

Tap one of the languages from the list of languages. For example, to select Spanish, tap "Español (Estados Unidos)."

Add an Input Language

Step 1

Navigate to your device's "Language and Input Settings" and then tap "Default" under the "Keyboard & Input Methods" section.

Step 2

Tap "Set Up Input Methods" under the Choose Input Method popup.

Step 3

Tap the "Settings" icon next to Android Keyboard (AOSP).

Step 4

Tap "Input Languages."

Uncheck the box next to "Use System Language," then tap to check the boxes next to any additional input languages you would like to add to your device. For example, to add Spanish to your input languages, scroll down and tap "Spanish (United States)." The input language can now be changed using the Android keyboard.

Add a Language Dictionary

Step 1

Open "Language and Input Settings" and tap the "Settings" icon next to Android Keyboard (AOSP) under "Keyboard & Input Methods."

Step 2

Tap "Add-on Dictionaries" under Text Correction.

Step 3

Select one of the available language dictionaries to install. For example, to install the Spanish dictionary, tap "Español."

Tap the "Install" button on the language popup. The text "Installed" will display under the language's name in the Add-On Dictionaries menu.


  • Information in this article applies to Google Android 4.1+. Steps will vary slightly or significantly with other versions.


  • You can change the input language whenever the Android keyboard is displayed by long-pressing the "Language" button, which resembles a globe, or the "Space" bar, and then tapping one of the languages listed under Choose Input Method.
  • New Android devices prompt you to select a default system language upon first use.


Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Located in Denver, Chad Davis has been writing about technology for more than 10 years. He is a technical writer for information technology and product development. Davis provides grant writing and marketing services to small businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from the University of New Mexico.

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