How to Change the Language on the iPad

By Andrew Tennyson

The default system language on your iPad dictates what language your menus and other navigational elements appear in. That’s all well and good if your iPad is set to use a language you understand. But what do you do when you speak English and your iPad is suddenly set to Swedish or Urdu? To fix your dilemma, dive right into that Settings app and navigate by the location of menu items. After your language is set to something you can read, you can also change your default keyboard language.

Change Default System Language

To change the default system language on your iPad, start by tapping the “Settings” icon on the home screen to launch the Settings app. If your phone is currently in another language and you can't read the names of menu items, the Settings item is identified by the image of a mechanical gear. On the Settings screen, tap the “General” icon, which is the first option on the list. Next, tap “International” on the General screen -- it is the final option listed within the fifth group down on the page. Once you're on the International screen, tap “Language,” which is the first option on the list. Tap the language you want to use and then tap the “Done” button in the top right corner of the screen. After a few seconds, your iPad will return to the home screen and display all content in your new language.

Change Keyboard Language

To change your keyboard language, start by tapping the “Settings” icon on the home screen to launch the Settings app. From there, tap “General,” tap “Keyboard” and then tap “Keyboards” to display the Keyboards screen. Here you will see a list of available keyboard languages -- tap the one you want to use. If the language you want is not listed, tap “Add New Keyboard” and select it.

How iOS Uses Languages and Keyboards

You can switch back and forth between keyboard languages by touching and holding the “Next Keyboard” icon to display a list of all enabled keyboards. Keyboards are enabled by following the steps outlined in the Change Keyboard Language section above.The default keyboard language you use on your device dictates the default dictionary language on iPads running iOS 6 and iOS 7.