How to change the language on your iPhone, and separately change the language that Siri speaks and understands

iPhone XR

  • It’s easy to change the language of your iPhone, which will change the language that most menus and many apps display text in.
  • You can also set up your iPhone to use dictionaries from multiple languages at once, and toggle between them.
  • You’ll have to change the language that Siri speaks separately.
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If you want to communicate in a new language, the iPhone can help you out.

Rather than wrestle with auto-correct when you try to write in a different language, you can simply change the language of your phone, or make your iPhone multilingual.

How to change your iPhone language

To change your iPhone’s basic language, start in the Settings app.

1. Choose “General.”

2. Scroll down until you see “Language & Region.” Tap that tab.

3. On the Language & Region screen, tap “iPhone Language.”

4. Choose the language you want from the list. Several languages include multiple choices — for example, you can choose English (US) or English (UK), which changes some spellings slightly.

5. Tap “Done.” A window will pop up asking you to affirm your language change.

IMG_2476

6. Your iPhone screen will go black for a few moments while Apple updates your settings. You’ll get a message that your settings are being updated in the language you chose.

Once your settings have been updated, everything on your iPhone will be in the language you chose. You’ll notice different names for some apps, and instructions and functions will all be in your new language. The only thing that won’t change is Siri (see below).

Changing your iPhone language setting can be for navigating different dialects of your native tongue as well. For example, if you need to write with British rather than American English spellings, changing your iPhone’s language setting can give you the appropriate spellchecking dictionary.

How to toggle between languages on your iPhone

If you want to communicate in more than one language, you can add multiple languages to your phone without changing the language of your iPhone.

1. Go to Settings > General.

2. Scroll down until you see Language & Region.

3. On Language & Region screen, tap Add Language.

Language settings with phone set to French

4. Choose the language you want from the menu. You can add more than one language.

After you add multiple languages, your apps and instructions will appear in your default language, but you can dictate and use spell check in other languages. Your keyboard will toggle between your chosen languages. Simply tap the globe icon on your keyboard to change the keyboard language.

Keyboard set to Spanish

When you have multiple languages on your phone, you have another option for changing the base language of your iPhone.

1. In the Language & Region menu, tap Edit in the upper right hand corner.

2. Tap and hold the three-bar icon next to the language you want to make primary.

3. Hold the three-bar icon and drag the language to the top of your list.

4. You’ll get a pop-up asking you to confirm the language change and your phone will update your settings.

Change iPhone language using previously chosen language

How to change Siri’s language 

When you change the language on your iPhone, Siri’s language doesn’t change. But you can change Siri to speak and understand a different language. Siri’s language doesn’t have to match the language settings of your phone.

To change Siri, go to Settings > “Siri & Search.”

1. In the ASK SIRI menu, tap “Language. “

2. Choose a language and dialect for Siri from the list.

3. Once you have chosen the language, you can tap Siri Voice to choose a male or female voice (the default is male).

Once you have changed Siri’s language, your Siri command will change as well. For example, instead of “Hey Siri” in English, you’ll wake Siri up with “Dis Siri” in French.

Siri in French_ iPhone language is English

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to lock your iPhone with a passcode and make it ‘virtually impenetrable’ to strangers — from your phone or remotely, if it’s lost or stolen

  • How to change or customize the alarm sound on your iPhone, and customize the way it vibrates

  • How to backup an iPhone to iCloud, your computer, or an external hard drive

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone turn on?’: 3 ways to troubleshoot an iPhone that won’t restart

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

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