If you’re traveling, learning a new language, or just want to use your phone in a different way, changing the language on your iPhone can be a helpful tool.
Apple makes it easy to change the language of your iPhone without losing any data. You can also change the language on your apps, including Facebook and Safari, if you want to translate them into a different language.
Language & Region
Changing the language on your iPhone makes the entire interface and menus change to match. It also becomes the default for apps and websites that support that language.
Apple supports over thirty languages and several dialects within many of those languages. Regardless of your preferred language, changing the iOS language settings only takes a few minutes.
You can even add “backup” languages if you need to use one that doesn’t support your default device language. This can be handy, especially if you’re traveling and want to make sure your iPhone doesn’t go haywire.
You can also change your region if you’re moving abroad or learning a new language. While switching regions doesn’t violate Apple’s terms of service, it does change your payment methods and limit what you can download or buy with your Apple ID.
Thanks to iOS 13, it’s possible to change an individual app’s language without changing your default or system language. This makes it easier for users to use their phone in a foreign language when traveling, or even to learn a new language as they use their iPhone.
However, some apps don’t support this feature. In those cases, the operating system will try to guess what language to use based on your region’s preferences.
It’s not ideal, but it works for most cases. If you want to avoid having an app’s language change to one you don’t understand, add a backup language.
You can change your language and add backup languages by launching the Settings app. Then, scroll down until you see “Language & Region”. Tap that tab to select your preferred language. It will take a few seconds to switch your iPhone’s default language to that one.
The iPhone comes with dozens of foreign language keyboards that can be enabled for use any time you need to type in a new language. To switch to a different language, simply tap on the globe icon on the left side of the Spacebar.
You can also add additional keyboards through the Settings app. This is where you’ll find all the keyboards that have been added by third-party apps, as well as any language keyboards you’ve already added yourself.
Changing your keyboard language can help you type faster. For instance, when you change your keyboard language to French, the n key doesn’t require you to press three keys to add accent marks on words, and for accents on vowels, the apostrophe (‘) key replaces the comma and is easy to remember.
You can even set up multilingual typing, so that the next-word suggestions you receive are in your preferred language rather than English. Just be sure to download a dictionary for the languages you plan on using in QuickType before switching over to them.
Siri is a great feature that lets you ask your phone for help with things like setting timers and getting directions home. But the best thing about Siri is that it can translate words and phrases for you, too.
This is especially useful if you travel to different countries and have limited data plan coverage. In iOS 11, Apple added a few new languages to Siri’s arsenal of translation options.
Now you can request that Siri translate words and phrases into your native language. You can select the language you want and choose whether you want a male or female voice, and even an accent if you prefer one.
However, this only works if you have trained Siri to recognize your voice and know your commands. If Siri doesn’t respond to you, it may be because something is wrong with your microphone or your device’s OS.