Changing your language settings on your iOS device is easy to do.  In the unfortunate event that you change the language to something that you can’t understand, you likely would have a hard time getting it back to something familiar.  Here are a few things you can do to change your language setting on your iPhone or iPad.

iOS Settings iconLanguage settings are found in the Settings app of your Apple device, under the General button, and then towards the bottom under the button for “International.”  When you tap that, the first setting that you see at the top of the list is Language.  Hopefully it is set to what you understand.  If you want to play around, you can tap it to switch to a different language, which will cause your iPhone to go black for a moment while the language change propagates through the system.  When it wakes up again after a few seconds, you’ll be back at the home screen, and you icons will be labeled with the language you selected.

Now, that’s well and good.  But what about changing it back to something that you can understand?  Thankfully, the button placement hasn’t changed at all, so you can navigate back.  Here’s what you look for:

  1. Open the Settings app.  It’s the same one with the gray icon of the gears.
  2. When Settings has opened, scroll down the list and tap on the button that has the same icon of the gears on it (for General, in English).
  3. When you tap into the General tab, scroll down until you come to the group of buttons that has four options.  Tap on the third option (in English, this is International).
  4. The first option in this screen is for Language, so tap that to bring up the list of languages that you can choose from.  Scroll through the list and tap on the one that you know (and recognize!).
  5. To set it, tap the blue button in the top right (done, or OK, or something similar).

If you have an iPhone 4S or newer, or a newer version of the iPad, you can also change the voice of Siri independently of the language of your device.  To do this, go into that same Settings app, then tap General, then tap Siri.  Midway down the screen, you can choose Siri’s language.  The available selection has been improved in recent updates, and it will very likely continue to expand as Apple programs Siri with additional languages and dialects.

Here is a tip that I have recently learned.  If your device is telling you that you have various units (such as money) in a form that you aren’t familiar with, this regional setting is connected to the language settings somehow.  To change this to be in line with your local area, go to Settings, tap General, then tap Accessibility.  Near the bottom is the Language Rotor.  Tap into that, and deselect any out of the ordinary languages that may be selected.  This is likely why some apps will report to you in terms of this language setting, rather than the one that you are used to.


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