How to Text Message in a Foreign Language on the iPhone

by C. Taylor

Apple's iOS 7 continues to support multiple languages on the iPhone 5S and 5C for creating texts in foreign languages. Although some languages can be typed using the default English keyboard, you won't have convenient access to specialized characters or the foreign dictionary. By adding a new software keyboard, you gain quick, on-the-fly access to the foreign language keyboard and dictionary through the onscreen keyboard's International Keyboard key.

Adding an International Keyboard

Step 1

Tap "Settings" from the home screen, then "General" and "Keyboards."

Step 2

Tap "Keyboards" again from the Keyboard screen. In iOS 6, tap "International Keyboards" instead.

Tap "Add New Keyboard" and select the language you wish to use.

Switching Keyboards

Step 1

Open a new message.

Step 2

Tap the globe icon in the lower left of the keyboard and select the appropriate language.

Type the message using the new language. To switch back to English, tap the globe icon and select "English."


  • Some languages are easier to type with a different keyboard layout, such as Azerty or Qwertz rather than the default Qwerty. To change layouts, tap "Settings | General | Keyboard | Keyboards." Tap the keyboard you wish to change and select the appropriate layout.

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