How To Type in Indian Regional Languages on Most Android Phones

by Vishal Toshiwal 0

Sometimes language is the only barrier keeping you from growing and using new things. Did you know as per Census 2011, there is only 12% of the Indian population that speaks English, while staggering 88% of them don’t speak English at all. You must be aware of the fact that India is an immensely populated country, which has around 125 Crore (1.25 Billion) people as of July 2015. Now if we put things in perspective, there is a large part of India that won’t be able to use the latest services despite their availability.

Google, the search engine giant, identified this issue quite a while back, and that’s why they have added support for up to 11 Indian languages. The Mountain View Company has even launched a Google Indic Keyboard app, which empowers its users to input words in these languages. It all started when they formed the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) in 2014 with 30 partners. With an aim to making the web more useful to Indic language speakers.

Today, we are guiding you how you can enable these languages on your Android smartphones. Note that it depends on the manufacturer that how many Indian languages they have packed in their smartphones. It varies brands to brands, as some offers customized interfaces, while some don’t and rely on stock UI.

Fact: Android Marshmallow has added system level support for Urdu and Gujarati, while you might see these two languages on some Android Lollipop enabled handsets if their interfaces are customized. To know more, follow below steps.

Note: The below steps would guide you to change the default English language on your Android smartphone to Hindi, Marathi, Bangla, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Urdu and up to seven more other Indic languages. There are currently up to 14 languages that Android supports at the system level. We have used a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone with TouchWiz UI based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow for instance below.

Table of Contents



Type & Read in Your Regional Language:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your smartphone from app drawer or from the notification shade.
  2. Once you’ve launched the app scroll down to find out Language and input option.
  3. Tapping on that option would lead you to a new list, where you’ll find Language option.

If you tap on that, a list will open in a new window. There you can select that language you want. You’ll find up to 14 Indian languages there. But note once you tap on any other language, it will change the language on a system level. If you just want to change the language for keyboard, follow the below steps.

Type in Your Regional Language:

  1. If continuing from above steps, then skip to the second step. If not, launch the Settings app and scroll down the list to find Language and input option. Tap on that option, it will open a new list.
  2. Tap on Samsung keyboard mentioned under Keyboard and preferences.
  3. There you can add many input languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, etc. Just tap on Add input languages and you can enable from the 14 downloaded languages by just toggling the button in front of them.

Now these two instruction guides mentioned above talks about reading and writing with your regional languages on your Android smartphone. For the most Android handset, these instructions should work. Unless you have a handset with Android version lower than Lollipop 5.0, you might not have up to 14 languages or even any Indian language if your device runs on ages old Android OS version. But you can still read and write with the Indian regional font on your smartphone. For that, you can follow the below guides. They’re languages specific tutorial on how you can change the font on your Android smartphone with Indian language.

Hindi

Hindi is a standardized Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language; one may even argue that it is not an official language of the India, it sure is the union of India. As per the 2001 census, around 258 million (25.8 Crore) people reported that their native language was Hindi. Though, you can increase that number as tens of millions of people who are native speakers of related languages considers that they speak a different kind of dialect of Hindi. On top of that, it is also the fourth most natively speaking the language in the world after Mandarin, Spanish and English.

Ways to read & write in Hindi:

Download this Swarachakra Hindi Keyboard App

Marathi

Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language, which is chiefly spoken by Marathi people in Maharashtra. It is an official language of the Maharashtrian state as well as in Goa. It is one of the 22 languages widely spoken in the country. Note that there are approximately 73 million people who speak this language as of 2001. Ranking 19th in the list of most spoken languages in the world, it has the fourth largest speakers in India. Moreover, the literature period of this language dates as back as 900 AD, which makes it one of the oldest modern Indo-Aryan languages of all. Its writing system is Balbodh style of Devanagari

Ways to read & write in Marathi:

Download this Swarachakra Marathi Keyboard App

Gujarati

Gujarati is another Indo-Aryan language that is native to the state of Gujarat; it is a part of the greater Indo-European language family. Molded for the modern language, the Gujarati comes from old Gujarati, which was spoken from during 1100-1500 AD period. Apart from being an official language in the state of Gujarat, it is also an official language for Union territories of Daman and Diu, as well as Dadra and Nagra Haveli. According to the 2011 census, it is spoken by around 54.6 million speakers in India, while there are around 65.5 million speakers of this language worldwide. It is the 26th most spoken native language in the world.

Ways to read & write in Gujarati:

Download this Swarachakra Gujarati Keyboard App

Tamil

This language has an honor of being the official language of two countries outside India, i.e. Singapore and Sri Lanka. Spoken by around 70 million people up until 2007, Tamil is an official language of one Indian state (Tamil Nadu) and one union territory (Puducherry). Also used as one of the languages for education in Malaysia, and spoken in the states like Kerala, as well as in minorities by people in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The Tamil literature goes as far as 300 BC – AD 300, makes it the oldest extant literature among Dravidian languages. It was the first language declared as the Classical language by Government of India in 2004.

Ways to read & write in Tamil:

Download this Swarachakra Gujarati Keyboard App

Telugu

Ranks among one of the six languages declared as classical by Government of India, Telugu is a Dravidian language native to the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is an official language of Telangana state and Yanam town. Spoken by around 74 million people according to 2001 census, it is the most widely spoken Dravidian language. It comes under 22 scheduled languages in Indian republic. The earliest records of Telugu inscriptions date back to 400 BC to 100 BC in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Ways to read & write in Telugu:

Download this Swarachakra Telugu Keyboard App

Kannada

Kannada is also known as Canarese, is another Dravidian language that is spoken in the Republic of India. Commonly spoken in by Kannada people in South India, mainly in the state of Karnataka, as well as by linguistic minorities in states like Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. There are roughly 40 million people whose natively language is Kannada, which approximately around 50.8 million people who can speak this language, according to a census 2001 report. It is written in Kannada script, which is evolved Kadamba script that is dated 5th century.

Ways to read & write in Kannada:

Download this Swarachakra Kannada Keyboard App

Malayalam

Referred to as Kairali, Malayalam is a chiefly spoken language in the Indian state of Kerala. It was declared as a Classical language in India in 2013. It also belongs to the Dravidian family of languages and is spoken by around 38 million people. The language is stated to be eliminated from Middle Tamil (Sen-Tamil) that was in the 6th Century. It’s interesting to note that, Malayalam’s lineage is derived from Tamil and Sanskrit, so it’s Alphabet has the largest number of letters among the Indian languages.

Ways to read & write in Malayalam:

Download this Swarachakra Malayalam Keyboard App

Bangla/Bengali

Bangla or Bengali is spoken predominantly in the Indian State of West Bengal and the country Bangladesh. There are around 250 million natives and about 300 million total Bangla speakers worldwide. Moreover, it has been ranked seventh among the most spoken languages in the world by total native speakers, while it ranks 10th regarding the total number of speakers. You judge the importance of this language as the original national anthem of India and Bangladesh was first composed in the Bengali language.

Ways to read & write in Bengali:

Download this Swarachakra Bengali Keyboard App

Oriya/Odia

Odia or Oriya is a native language to the people in the Indian state of the Odisha, where native speakers add up to 80% of the population. It is also spoken is parts of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and in fact the second official language of Jharkhand. It is spoken by at least 38 million people, the oldest evidence of the language dates back to the 3rd century BCE. It is named the sixth Classical language by Government of India since it has a long history of literary.

Ways to read & write in Oriya:

Download this Swarachakra Odia Keyboard App

Punjabi

The Punjabi Language is world’s tenth most spoken language as of last year’s data. It is a native language of the Punjabi people inhabiting the state of Punjab region in India as well as Pakistan. Note that it is the only living Indo-European language that has a fully tonal language. The language has a significant presence in the countries like United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Australia. This Indo-Aryan language is spoken by over 100 million native speakers worldwide.

Ways to read & write in Punjabi:

Download this Swarachakra Punjabi Keyboard App

Sanskrit (Devanagari Script)

The primary sacred language of Hinduism, while a philosophical language in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and a literary language that is being used as a lingua franca in Greater India. Listed as an official language of the state of Uttarakhand, it is among 22 scheduled languages in the country. Termed as one of the oldest Indo-European languages as there is a substantial written documentation exists, it holds a prestigious position in Indo-European studies.

Ways to read & write in Sanskrit:

Download this Sanskrit Keyboard App:

Sanskrit Keyboard
Sanskrit Keyboard
Developer: Fancy Font For U
Price: Free

Google Translate

If you are not ready to install a particular app for writing in a regional language, then, there is a way for you to still read and write in any regional language. For that all you have to do is, install a Google translate app, with the recent update you can copy any sentence or word from WhatsApp, text or from any app and translate it in a floating Google Translate window. With this usage, you don’t have to change the keyboard into another regional language, because not everyone can type and read in those Indian language.

While with the help of Google translate all you have to do is copy the word and paste it on the translate app of Google. Moreover, you’ll also understand the meaning of that language if you don’t speak it or know it. Let’s face it, we all have some friends who belongs from different parts of the country. This way is quite easier and convenient, if you’re conversing on texting in their regional language as a goodwill gesture.

Google Translate
Google Translate
Developer: Google Inc.
Price: Free

We hope this guide was helpful to you in understanding how you can read and write on your Android smartphone in your regional language.

Vishal Toshiwal

Born in West India, raised in the North and currently chasing dreams in the southern part of India- Vishal is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tech enthusiast and a writer by profession, who is busy taking pictures when he is not writing. He would love to talk to you about the latest movies, TV shows and DC/Marvel comics. As a personal rule, he doesn't let a day get by without at least one dessert. Because, why not?

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