With the multilingual capabilities of Android devices, lots of people wonder how to fix keyboard language problems on Android.
If you are multilingual you might really need to add and switch to other languages on your Android keyboard. Conversely, if you only speak one language you might be wondering what these other languages are doing on your device, and how to get rid of them. I’m going to show you how, even when your device isn’t working as expected. I’ll also go ahead and help you troubleshoot some other common problems you might encounter.
Things get a little bit trickier when the language you need isn’t even offered on your phone, but we’ll discuss your options. Have a physical or Bluetooth keyboard? No worries! This is one language barrier you can overcome.
1. How to Change the Keyboard Language on Android
On most Android devices, you’ll find a Language setting within the Settings menu. It may also show up as Language & Keyboard, Language & Input, or Languages, Input & Gestures, and you may also have to press General Management to get there, but you get the idea.
Select your virtual keyboard. If you are already in your keyboard app, just try long-pressing the comma.
You may have to tap the keyboard Settings icon just to the upper-right, but then you should be able to tap Languages or Input Languages.
Add the language(s) you need. Deselect the Use System Language switch.
To activate your new language, pull up the keyboard and long-press or swipe the spacebar or hit the globe key to bring up a list of enabled languages.
Solutions for Problems Changing the Language:
On Android Voice Typing Keyboard:
Go to Settings > General Management (on Samsung) > Language and input > On-screen keyboard > Google voice typing > Languages.
After Firmware Upgrade:
Turn off apps that require additional permissions in Accessibility from Settings.
Check for System/App Updates
Go to Settings > System Update > if available, Install Now. You can also fix keyboard language problems on Android by checking for and installing app updates in Google Play.
Uninstall Recently Installed Apps
Try turning off apps that require additional permissions in Accessibility first. If that doesn’t work, uninstall. Some apps are reported as notorious for creating this issue, such as: DU Battery Saver, Clean Master, and App Lock.
Open and close the keyboard app.
Using Samsung as an example, try going to Settings > General Management > Language & Input > On-screen Keyboard > Samsung Keyboard > Languages > Languages & types > Qwerty Keyboard and select Languages and types. Tap on Manage Input Languages.
2. How to Add Another Keyboard Language on Android (Even When it Isn’t on the Default List)
The option to add a language is something you usually encounter when you are completing the steps (or a similar version of the steps) in the previous faq. For example, on an LG G6, you would go to Apps > Language & input > Settings > Input Language & Keyboard Layout and check the box next to the language you desire.
But what if the language you need isn’t there? You may have already turned to a keyboard app with that language, and that’s a good next step, but sometimes it isn’t the complete answer.
Solutions for Problems Adding a Language:
Download Language Pack
Many are available on Google Play. Some require root access.
Download: Language Changer & Set Locale Language for Android
Use an Alternate Keyboard App
If you aren’t too attached to your current keyboard app, there are plenty of others out there. One such third-party app that is very popular is SwiftKey. In additional to language support, it offers great prediction.
Download Language Enabler
If you have rooted your device, things are going to be pretty automatic. If you aren’t, it’s possible to use this app, but you will need to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to grant permission to Language Enabler.
This means that once you have ADB installed to your computer, you will have to connect your Android via USB and open a command window. The command you then need to type and execute is adb -d shell pm grant com.wanam android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION.
Download: Language Enabler
Contact Tech Support
You can seek the assistance of your carrier’s technical support team.
Flash Stock Firmware
Backup your device first, or risk losing all of your personal data.
3. When Your Keyboard Keeps Changing Languages
Some devices and some keyboards have awkward spacing. Luckily, there are quite a few alternate keyboards to try in Google Play. We also have a solution if your device keeps resetting to a different language at reboot. We’re going to fix your keyboard language problem on Android—whatever it takes.
Download Different Keyboard
The Classic Big Keyboard allows you to adjust the size of the keys.
Download: Classic Big Keyboard
Open your keyboard on-screen and go to its settings. Make your keyboard selection, go to Language and types, and uncheck languages you don’t need. The method to do this may differ by device and keyboard. Some devices may not allow you to delete preloaded languages unless you root.
For Language Switch at Reboot:
Try a different SIM card.
4. How to Fix Bluetooth Keyboard Language Settings
Who likes to tap on glass when they type? Not I. So the allure of a physical keyboard untethered by any wires is great. But throw a wireless connection and different hardware into the mix and there’s more potential for problems—even where language is concerned.
Remember to always pair your Bluetooth keyboard with your device first.
Set Keyboard Layout for Physical Keyboard
Go to Settings > General Management > Language & input > Physical Keyboard > Select your Bluetooth keyboard. A new dialog box should appear, allowing you to choose the layout you want, i.e. UK English versus American English, etc.
To switch between languages, use a key combination such as Control + Space or Shift + Space.
Alternative: Set Keyboard Layout on Bluetooth Keyboard
Visit Settings > Language & Keyboard (may vary by device) > Current input method > your Bluetooth keyboard and change the language.
For Cannot Change Input Language Error:
Turn off app Accessibility options for all security apps, such as Norton or Kaspersky. If you don’t see the option within Accessibility, go to App Permissions and turn off any Additional Permissions.
For SwiftKey Keyboard Problems:
To adjust language settings, open SwiftKey and tap Languages. Use the globe icon to switch between languages.
Install External Keyboard Helper Pro
This app makes things easier on you by automatically bringing up the Input Method dialog anytime the Bluetooth keyboard connects or disconnects, and by offering so many options…
Download: External Keyboard Helper Pro
5. Other Physical Keyboard Language Problems
Bluetooth keyboards aren’t the only keyboards to experience language problems. USB keyboards, Blackberries, and other devices with external keyboards can also share this plight. Many of these solutions overlap with the previous method.
For Slide-Out Keyboard: Use AnySoftKeyboard
Change the virtual keyboard language before sliding the keyboard out.
Download Keyboard Switcher
Additionally, you may also need to install a special version of keyboard that is both compatible with the language you need and the device you have. Plenty can be found on Google Play.
Download: Keyboard Switcher
For USB Keyboard & Slide-Out: Switch Language on Physical Keyboard thru Settings
Go to Settings > Language and Input > Choose Physical Keyboard’s Name. Ensure that Activate Physical Keyboard is toggled on, and select your language under Choose Keyboard Layout.
For USB Keyboard & Slide-Out: Install Go Keyboard & Utilize Virtual Keyboard
Then turn off the physical keyboard. Now change the language in the virtual keyboard. Type on your physical keyboard with the Use Physical Keyboard-off setting still set to off. You may still have to deal with the virtual keyboard popping up frequently, however.
Go Keyboard also offers specialized versions of its keyboard app for a handful of languages. Pro offers support for over 60 different languages. You can download specific language apps on Google Play to help fix your keyboard language problem on Android.
Download: Go Keyboard Pro
6. How to Fix a Keyboard that has the Wrong Characters
Again, there may be some overlap of the solutions from this method with those of previous methods, since the issue with characters can happen on a physical keyboard.
This problem also often stems from problems with keyboard layouts, which we’ve previously discussed.
You may also benefit from the solutions listed under Problem 3, as it can be really easy to accidentally switch between languages when more than one is enabled.
Download Multilanguage Keymap Redefiner
This app allows you to remap the keys causing your woes.
Download: Multilanguage Keymap Redefiner
Disable Unused Languages
Here’s how to do this in Android Oreo, for example: go to Settings > System > Language & Input > Languages. Within Language Preferences, tap on the 3-dot menu in the upper-right corner. Select Remove, check the language(s) you wish to delete, and tap on the trash can icon.
Try a New Keyboard
People love Fleksy for its gestures and emojis.
Go to Settings > Apps > All > your keyboard. Tap Force Close > OK > Clear Cache > Clear Data > OK.
Are We Speaking Your Language?
Your Android is fully capable of recognizing lots of languages, but given that sites like Ethnologue estimate that there are 7,097 languages out there, it’s understandable that not all of them are going to be automatically included. It can also be really time consuming and difficult for developers to include them in the code.
At least there is improvement in Android Nougat 7.0. Instead of being able to only input one system language at a time, Nougat allows you to enable multiple input languages. You can also change your keyboard language without changing your phone’s language.
Do you have other suggestions? Share with us in the comments.