A Guide to Changing Your Computer's Keyboard Language

How to Change a keyboard's language

If you are learning a new language and want to make it easier to practice on a computer using a website or app like Babble or Duolingo, you may want to know how to change the keyboard language. In addition, many people use more than one language regularly in their professional and personal interactions. Therefore, computer and mobile phone operating systems facilitate switching between various keyboard languages. We'll break down the process of switching languages on your keyboard and give you some compelling arguments for doing so.

Because the keycaps on a computer keyboard are permanently installed, switching the language setting is more labor intensive than on a mobile device. There's a chance it won't work at all on a laptop or membrane keyboard. In this case, you won't be able to rely on a visual aid while you train your muscle memory to become proficient with the layout of the keyboard for the language you've chosen.

Language Selection for the Windows Keyboard

There are subtle differences between Windows versions when it comes to changing the keyboard language. On Windows 11, switching languages is a breeze; on Windows 8 and 10, it's nearly as easy but necessitates a few extra clicks.

Change Windows 11 Keyboard Language

  1. First, select the Settings button from the Start menu.  
  2. Then, choose Language & region under the Time & language tab.
Windows Keyboard Language is Under Time & Language, Speech, region, date
  1. To use a different language's keyboard layout on your personal computer, go to the "Add language" menu and click on the language you want to use.
Add a keyboard language Windows 11
  1. When you're ready, choose the language you want to add and proceed.
How to select a keyboard language in Windows 11

What You Need to Know About Changing the Windows 8 or 10 Keyboard Language

  1. In order to access the Control Panel, press the Windows logo key and then type "Control."
  2. Select "Add a language" from the "Clock, Language, and Region" drop-down menu. ”
  3. Select "Add a Language" to continue. ”
  4. Use the search bar to locate the language you wish to add, then select it and hit "add."
  5. You should now see your newly added language in your available options.
  6. When you're ready to start typing in a new language, open your document and put the cursor where you want to start typing.

You can add multiple languages to the language bar on your desktop, allowing you to switch between them with a single click, or you can use the shortcut "Alt Shift" to toggle between them.

  1. To access the Control Panel, hit the Start button and type "Control."
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. To alter the input methods used, select "Change input methods" from the "Time, Language, and Region" menu. ”
  4. A more in-depth menu will appear; select "Advanced settings." ”
  5. Check the box labeled "Use the desktop language bar when it is available" under "Switching input methods," and then click Options.
  6. Select "Floating" On Desktop or "Docked in the taskbar" for the Language Bar's placement in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box's Language Bar tab.
  7. Select the language you want to use by clicking its icon on the Language bar, which should appear on your taskbar close to the clock.
  8. Select the desired language by clicking its icon on the Language bar, located on the taskbar beside the clock.

The Precise Step-by-Step Procedure for Changing the Language of Your Mac's Keyboard

If you're using a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac, switching the keyboard language is a breeze:

  1. For System Preferences, access it via the Apple menu.
Keyboard language is in System Preferences on macOS
  1. After that, select Language & Region.
Click Language & Region on a Mac to change keyboard language
  1. The "+" button is used to add a language.
Add language on Mac press plus
  1. If you'd like to add more than one language, simply check the boxes next to them.
Select keyboard language
  1. If you tell macOS that you want to switch the default language, it will prompt you to do so. A primary language can be chosen.
Preferred language on keyboard language
  1. To make a different language your primary one, just move it to the top of your "Preferred Languages" list. The minus button can be used to remove a language from the list after it has been selected.
Primary keyboard language on Mac

Tutorial: Changing the Language of the Linux Keyboard

Here's how to switch the language of your Linux keyboard:

Even though the screenshots below are from Elementary, they should look identical in LinuxMint, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions.

  1. Navigate to the Settings menu, then click the "Hardware" tab, and finally click "Keyboard."
How to change keyboard language on Linux
Add a keyboard language on Linux
  1. Feel free to use any language you like while typing.
Linux Keyboard Languages

Changing Your Phone's Language Keyboard

If you switch the keyboard language on your phone, not only will the keyboard language switch, but so will the word prediction and autocorrect for the language you're using. Sometimes, your phone will even suggest the correct conjugations as you type.  

IOS: Changing the Language of the Keyboard

With the iPhone being the most widely used smartphone, Apple has made it simple to switch the keyboard language.

  1. You must first configure your phone to use the appropriate language keyboard.
  2. In the menu that appears, select General and then Keyboard and then Keyboards.
  3. Select a keyboard by tapping the Add New Keyboard button.
  4. When you add a new keyboard, you'll have the option to switch between keyboards in any app that supports this feature.

Samsung Mobile Devices: Changing the Language of the Keyboard

If you have a Samsung smartphone and want to switch the keyboard language, you can do so in just four simple steps by going to Settings > Language & input > Keyboard.

  1. To start, select the settings cog in the upper right corner of your Samsung keyboard while in any app.
  2. To select a language, go to your device's settings and look for the "Languages and types" option.
  3. You can customize your device's keyboard to support a variety of languages by tapping "Manage input languages" Here, if you choose multiple languages, you can easily toggle between them with a swipe across the space bar.
  4. To see newly added languages for download, click Update.

Why Should I Switch Keyboard Layouts

You might be wondering if switching keyboard languages is even worth your time. Alternatively, do we really need it? Changing the keyboard language can be useful in a few different ways, and here are a few of them:

Improved Speed of Typing

As the saying goes, "speed kills" when typing. So that you can type faster, the most frequently used letters of a given language are typically positioned closer to the keyboard's surface. You can greatly improve your typing speed by switching the language setting on your keyboard. As an illustration, the letter Q is located in a less frequented position on an English keyboard (top left). When switching from English to French on a keyboard designed for the former language, Q replaces A because the letter A is rarely used in French.  

Accent Marks Made More Convenient in French and Spanish

Typing French and Spanish often requires the use of accent marks. Six letters in French and five in Spanish have accents added to them.  

You'll need to use three separate keys to insert accent marks if French or Spanish isn't your default keyboard language. If you type primarily in French or Spanish, switching your keyboard's language will save you a ton of time because you won't have to use a combination of three keys to type accent marks and punctuation symbols.  

Typed Accents in French

The grave accent (à, è, ù) and the acute accent (é) on a French keyboard are combined into a single key. Other accented letters are typed by pressing a pair of keys together:

  • In order to use a circumflex (â, ê, etc.), simply type followed by the vowel.
  • When you need a tréma (ä, ö, etc.), just press followed by the vowel you want to use.

Typed Spanish Accents

Changing your keyboard's language to Spanish will place the to the right of the L, so you won't even need to press any other keys to write the letter. To add an accent to a vowel, simply press the apostrophe (') key on your keyboard and then the vowel you want to accent.

Changing your keyboard language to that of a language you are learning or are already fluent in can be helpful if you are a typist who needs to switch between languages frequently. If you rearrange your keyboard in this way, the keys that you use most often will be closer at hand, reducing the amount of time you spend typing. You'll also save time by not having to use three keys for each punctuation or accent mark.

We have a wealth of information on our blog about keyboards, productivity tricks, typing tips, and more. Browse our mechanical keyboards now if you're ready to upgrade to the next generation of keyboards.

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