Do you want to learn a new language on your Android device? If the language employs accents or uses a different alphabet than your primary language, you may need to add a new software keyboard to your phone.
Fortunately, Google’s standard Gboard keyboard includes a plethora of language-related keyboards; at the time of writing, it supported over 500 languages and 40 different writing systems. If you’ve already installed Gboard in the United States, you’re probably set up with US English. However, adding one or more new keyboards and quickly switching from one language to another is not difficult. Here’s how to install and use one or more of the many available languages.
To begin, navigate to the “Languages” page.
- To bring up the keyboard, open an app such as email or chat and tap in an area where you can type.
- Just above the keyboard, tap the settings icon (the one that looks like a gear). If you don’t see it, click the arrow to the left of the keyboard, just above the keyboard, to bring up the toolbar.
- Choose “Languages.”
You can also access the page from the main settings menu on your Android device. From the options:
- Choose “System.”
- Choose “Languages & input” > “Keyboard on-screen” > “Languages” > “Gboard.”
You can add a new language once you’ve reached the “Languages” page:
- At the bottom of the page, click “Add keyboard.”
- Scroll down and tap the language you want to add. (Because it’s a long list, you could save time by using the search icon at the top right of the screen.) If you’ve recently used a language-learning or other language-related app, the one you want may already be at the top of the list under “Suggested languages.”
- Depending on the language, you may be able to select from a list of various keyboards at the top of the screen. (For example, you may be able to select a QWERTY or Dvorak keyboard, as well as set handwriting preferences.) The most likely suggestion will be the first, but you can swipe across to see if there are any others. On the same page, under “Language settings,” the “Multilingual typing” option allows you to select whether you want to receive word suggestions in more than one language as you type. (Whether or not it is available depends on the language you are adding.)
- When you’re done, press the “Done” button. You’ll be taken back to the “Languages” page, where the new language will be listed. To exit the page, tap the left arrow in the top left corner.
The language of the keyboard will now be displayed on the space bar. (If multilingual typing is enabled, you will see abbreviations for both language names.) In addition, instead of the emoji icon, there will now be a globe icon to the left of the keyboard. (The emoji icon is now accessible by long-pressing the comma key.)
To switch keyboards, tap the globe; your keyboard will move to the next in line. You can also long-press the space bar and choose a language from the pop-up menu.
If you no longer use one of your languages and want to remove it from the list, do the following:
- To access the “Change keyboard” menu, long press the space bar.
- Select “Language settings.”
- Locate the language that you no longer require and swipe to the left to remove it.