How to Change the SMS Language on the iPhone

By Jefe Nubarron

Apple sells the iPhone internationally in countries across the globe. The same iPhone hardware and iPhone operating system (iOS) are in use throughout the world. The iOS is designed to allow support for multiple international languages through simple configuration options. If you are multilingual and you communicate with friends in other languages, you may wish to enable these international features on your iPhone. For example, you may wish to send Short Message Service (SMS) text messages in languages other than English. The process to enable alternate keyboards on your iPhone is easily configured, if you know where to look.

Step 1

Navigate to the home screen on your iPhone. The simplest means to do this is to press once on the home button at the bottom center of your phone.

Step 2

Locate the Settings icon and tap it once. The Settings icon is gray and contains images of gears. If it is not on your home screen, you will need to swipe forward to the screen where it is located.

Step 3

Within Settings, scroll down to the menu item entitled General and press once.

Step 4

Scroll down under the General Settings menus to the item named International and tap it once.

Step 5

Choose the Keyboards menu by tapping it, and then proceed to turn on any additional languages you would care to use when sending SMS text messages. You can turn on multiple keyboards and select between them when entering text.

Step 6

Press on the button named International in the upper left corner to navigate back to the previous menu.

Step 7

Select an alternate language for your iPhone, only if you want all app titles and menus to be shown in a different language. You can undo this option, but you can only select one language at a time for your iPhone.

Step 8

Press the home button to exit from Settings and then open the Messages app. When you enter text to compose a message, you can press the globe button located next to the space bar to sequence through the international keyboards you have enabled on the iPhone.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can enable multiple language keyboards on your iPhone, and cycle through them when you press the globe button located next to the space bar on your iPhone's virtual keyboard.
  • There is no mechanism by which you can change just the language for SMS message entry on an iPhone. Once you change the language and keyboard on your iPhone, the change will apply across all apps and interfaces that support internationalization.