Update 8/21/14: Google today made the feature official by announcing it on the Inside Search blog. Head over to Search -> Settings -> Voice -> Languages to pick your languages.

multilang (1)

Anyone who uses more than one language on a regular basis has probably felt some degree of annoyance with Google's voice search system on Android. You have to dig way into the settings to change the language, and there's no way to mix and match. It looks like Google is finally fixing that in these images we just received. Voice search on Android will soon have support for enabling multiple languages at the same time.

1 2 (2) 3

The new voice settings menu will let you select up to five languages with checkboxes. The version most people have currently only allows you to pick one option from a list. Adding more than one language lets you do searches by voice in any of them without diving into the settings. Perhaps the coolest aspect of this is that Google can even parse multiple languages in the same query. You can start a search in English, then lapse into German or whatever other tongues you have selected, and Google just gets it.

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That list of checkboxes also lets you pick your primary language with a long-press. Unfortunately, the Ok Google hotword detection still only works with English set as the primary language. This change hasn't hit any of our devices yet, so it might be a while before you see it. Still, it's pretty exciting.

[Thanks, +Frank Barten]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • oguzbilgener


  • motoridersd

    Even though this is not officially supported, I find Google Voice Search understand queries with Spanish words in them much better than it used to a while ago. I can say "Call *spanish name*" without having to pronounce it in an English accent, and it will understand what I said.

    • roberto.elena

      I don't remember when was the last time I tried it, but that has never worked for me.

  • Andrew

    I was waiting for this for дуже довго!

    • Adriano Tyler

      You can get it using the "Unleashthegoogle.apk"
      I did this to get Google Hot Word on everyscreen in PT_BR

      • Frank Barten

        I heard someone say that ain't working anymore, but I can't test it out, since I already have this new feature.

        • Adriano Tyler

          For me, it's working.
          I didn't get this new feature yet, so...
          I need to use this apk ;)
          Ps: Sorry for the english

          • João Victor Schiavo

            But man, the voice... wait... why am I talking in english?

            Cara, a detecção do Ok, Google já funciona em português E de qualquer tela do Google Now Launcher. =)

          • Adriano Tyler

            Na verdade, essa função estava sendo liberada aos poucos (de acordo com dispositivos, idiomas e algumas pessoas sortudas sendo "sorteadas")
            Até hoje de manhã, o meu não estava
            Recebi essa função agora a noite sem precisar usar o Unleashthegoogle
            Enfim... O programa só adiantou essa função pra mim de usar a partir de qualquer tela e com a tela bloqueada

          • Adriano Tyler

            Correção... Fui conferir agora, e ele só liberou essa opção de multi idiomas...
            Ou seja, posso até usar o google a partir de qualquer lugar, mas o inglês tem que estar como idioma principal

      • Andrew

        I have never rooted my Nexus 4, and frankly, have no intention to do so. )
        Before Nexus I've rooted every my Android phone, but with stock I just never saw the point.

        • Johnny Bravo

          ive rooted my nexus 4 and 5, but never changed the rom. I too have loved the stock rom, however ive always wanted to add to it. light a torch or change the order of qs, or some other minute options that doesnt change the rom. try installing gravity box after you install xposed

        • Serge Cebrian

          i would Root just because...
          when you want to change devices having root eases the pain of getting your apps and data form old to new...

          you can doit on some devices without root.. but is not as reliable as good ol' Titanium backup root ;)

          thats the only reason i need root anyway :)

        • Sebastian Lundgren

          Install Android L! I did this for 3 days ago. Before it so didn't I see the point of rooting but I know now! Try!!!

          • sweenish

            You don't need to root to run the L preview.

          • Sebastian Lundgren

            But he uses a Nexus 4 and me too. If you want to install Android L preview on it do you need root ;)

          • sweenish

            Even though it requires a custom recovery, you still don't have to root your phone to install a custom ROM.

            You unlock the bootloader, install the custom recovery, and then install the ROM. The ROM does not have to include root, and you don't have to root the phone if you don't want to.

          • Stephan Reich

            You have to be bootloader unlocked for the fastboot method. And to flash the zip you have to be running a custom recovery.

      • Gian Paolo Vecchi

        Can you please link a guide? I have some problems with latest Google Search version, as flags are now identified by numbers and not names...

    • Pavel Sikun

      Я також чекав цього for so long XD

  • Lion5

    Wow. I was just thinking about this a few days ago and wondering if it was possible. I'm anxiously awaiting the update. Wow.

    • wow


      • raazman


      • Tomáš Petrík

        Your name checks out.

  • Bahamut

    I actually just activated this in my Nexus 5 with "Ok Google: Multiple languages". It didn't have the checkboxes before that.

    • Tomáš Petrík

      I thought of that, tried that as a first thing after reading the article, but it didn't work.

    • André Queiroz

      Thanks @JorgeNasc:disqus ! It worked for me too!

    • André Ramos

      Thanks, that did the trick! :)

    • ozzysong

      That worked indeed ;)

    • Ionuț Leonte

      This worked for me as well, only had the single language selection option before searching for 'multiple languages'.

    • fjleon

      i can't believe this actually worked. Only way for me to activate this feature.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Awesome!!! I've been waiting for this for years! Recently, one of Google devs mentioned it in the AMA, and now here it is!
    Can't wait to test it.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    About time Гуглу было внедрить такую фичу

  • Bonnie


  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    Wait, so I can finally "Set an alarm for Cinco Cuarentaycinco"?
    Google Now doesn't let me do any voice commands in Spanish, it always does a simple Google search.

  • lj

    Yay (english US) hurra (German)

    • Luke2644

      Finally we can use all the nglish-only (US) commands as well!

  • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

    I've got it, but this "multiple languages in one sentence" thing doesn't work well - for example I can't do voice actions like call or send a text message (saying it in English US) with most of my contacts (who have names in Polish language). Dictating a message in Polish language after launching an action with English US also doesn't seem to work for me :(

    • João Victor Schiavo

      Please, send feedback!

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        I would but there is no feedback button on voice action screen. They put it only on web search results.

        • http://youtube.com/jedijens Jens Törnblad

          On the Google Now homescreen, scroll all the way down and click the "menu button" (the one with 3 dots, what is that called?) then there is an option to send feedback.

    • Frank Barten

      That's right, when using commands, you can't continue in another language, it will stick to English (or whatever language you started speaking in). In search queries it works though. I can start my question in English and continue in Dutch and it will work just fine.

    • Dario · 753 a.C. .

      can you use polish and english at the same time in voice dictation in whatsapp or facebook massage or sms? or this feature only works in gnow?

  • Manuel Mas

    I hope this is extended to the keyboard as well, being able to dictate to a text field using multiple languages on the fly.

    • João Victor Schiavo

      Thumbs up so much!

    • Prahlis

      SwiftKey can do that

    • Josh Crumley

      It does!

      • 0A05

        It really does!!!!! :D this is new right?? I just noticed it today...

        • Josh Crumley

          i first noticed it a day or two ago.

          • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

            You still need to switch languages when typing though.

  • Dovi

    Bilingual French-English search is more than welcome when you are in Montreal, Canada

    • Mayoo

      Except it's France French, not Canadian French. :(

      J'ai pas l'accent et certains mots sont bien différents au son.

  • http://dragonicus.tumblr.com Patryk Krygowski

    So how to enable this? I still can't choose more than one language.

    • rslh

      Yeah, I can't find it either under the Voice tab. It still only lets me choose one language?!

    • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

      play the waiting game till the update hits your phone

  • Mayoo

    Gah ... Google still haven't learned Canadian French is nowhere near France French ...

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      How many french fries can a Frenchman called French who speaks French French french?

    • jruasap

      Je sais! Je suis une Américain et je voudrais à ajouter Français Canadiens aussi. Désole si mon Français est mauvais.

      • Mayoo

        Pas si mal en fait! Mieux que beaucoup de gens en fait (jeune ou vieux).

      • Sam Hollis

        Pour moi, mon français est assez bon, mais le Google Now ne peut pas me comprendre parce que je parle comme un américain et pas comme quelqu'un qui vient de la France. Pour exemple, quand je dis "Bonjour", l'app pense que j'ai dit "banjo" en anglais! Non! Pas du tout! ._.

  • roberto.elena

    I need this so badly... I have been using for years all Google Products (including Android and Google Now) in English(US) because this is the only way one can access the latest features, but my English pronunciation is pretty bad, so I can't use Voice recognition with good results. And there are other problems, like not being able to speak non-English names from my contacts list. Now I will be able to use Spanish for queries while retaining all other settings in English.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    This is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to Voice Search. Tears of joy come down on my face =')

  • Michael

    hmmm it seems i had the option to use multiple languages for a while now, but the ability to change the main language is new.
    i have a german htc one m8 and enabled german and english us & uk i would say a few weeks ago. after i read this article i remembered it, looked in my phone and german and english us & uk was set, but this time after i opened the selection it showed me the message about how to change the main language.
    now i'm finaly able to use ok google on any screen and do german searches ;)

  • serge_guatemala

    Will this work for in Android wear? I have set the google voice to spanish to reply hangouts, but I can´t make it to do actions like "Enviar mensaje a..." because my device language is set to english and it shows me a search for a garbled words...

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    so everyone can pick US and their real language and enjoy all the features (provided they speak US english for some)

  • jbh168

    It's been around for quite a while...

  • Alenym

    "Unfortunately, the Ok Google hotword detection still only works with English set as the primary language."

    No, proof in in the following recommended article: http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/07/02/ok-google-hotword-detection-now-live-for-9-languages-german-spanish-french-italian-russian-korean-japanese-and-more/ :D

    • Frank Barten

      You're right, but only from inside the Google Now app. Hotword detection from any screen still only works with English set as primary language.

  • Leif Sikorski

    If they could just add punctuation for German language - even Samsungs S-Voice supports it.

    And then people wonder why Samsung adds so much stuff to their Roms .... outside the US they seem to do it for a good reason.
    Google is just way too slow with their non US / English features. Can it be so hard to add support for punctuation or hot-words in a different language?

    • mork vom ork

      It is already there.

  • undercoverduck

    now all there's left for all 'em multilinguals is the ability to keep on typing in different languages without having to press that godverdomme kut button because holy shit that's messed up my dictionary so badly I got FUCK in all caps registered (automatically) as a Dutch word & the autocorrect for it is pushing me to the edge of disabling autocorrect altogether

  • Gabriel Barbosa Nascimento

    Now working on English and Portuguese at the same time. SWEEEEETTTT, the best thing that happened on Google Voice Search so far !

  • Moyako


  • Martin Nilsson

    Hopefully this makes Google Now more useful for non US users. Even with US English it still only works partly with system language set to Swedish. I know many run their phones in English just to have working Google Now.

    Worst bug so far, is reminders. It wont work on the phone, but going to "Google dot com" on desktop will get me the "remind me in Google Now" option. But clicking it DOES NOT add it to Google Now. I guess it's simply because it's missing that feature for Swedish. Thank you Google!

  • komrath

    Yay works for me now! :-) So happy :D

  • Daniel Marcinkowski

    Finnaly I can navigate to all of Warsaw street using only my voice!

  • siveZ

    Enabling multiple languages also enables Ok Google from any screen for me.

  • chokkan

    Thank you! Finally! This makes me so happy.

  • DubelBoom

    Didn't get the update yet. APK anyone?

    • Frank Barten

      This isn't an .apk update. It's pushed to some accounts from the Google servers. Including mine ;)

      • Dario · 753 a.C. .

        the five languages are only usable in gnow or in any apps? i give you an example.. now, can you write a whatsapp o fb massage in five languages? or you can use them all only in gnow?

        • Frank Barten

          Yes, it works in all apps.

          • Dario · 753 a.C. .

            ok. thank you. i was interesting in it because i like using voice dictation when i write messages in whatsapp, but in italian language search don't recognize "." "," "?". so can i dictate in italian and say "full stop" "comma" and "question mark"" and going ahead dictating in italian language?. i hope you got what i mean. i'm sorry for my bad english

          • Frank Barten

            Well, voice typing seems not to detect punctation like comma, full stop and question marks, also not in English. But you can indeed start in Italian, say something in English and then continue in Italian, in the same sentence.

          • Dario · 753 a.C. .

            ok thank you. anyway if i select english in gnow for me it recognizes punctation. i say " hi comma how are you question mark" and it writes"hi, how are you?". only if i select english it works. maybe does it work only in gnow and not in message apps? i hadn't tried in other apps, only in gnow.
            thank you so much again :D


    English and Klingon!

  • Dario · 753 a.C. .

    it'll be very useful for italians because now possiamo risolvere il problema della dettatura della punteggiatura :D

    • Gigi

      oh, what a surprise, pure qua stai :D

      • Dario · 753 a.C. .

        i'm everywhere ahahahhahahha.... joking aside, i come here really often, especially on night. here they post a lot of news on night because of the different hours (i guess they're americans). i wrote in english sennò pensano chissà che stiamo a dì ;)

  • Bruce

    I'm intrigued by the English (India) option.

    Google Now never worked well for me at all even though I don't have a particularly thick Indian accent. Amit Singhai who heads Google Search certainly has a significantly thicker accent than I do :-)

    But it's been getting better over the last year or so. It's beginning to recognize names from my phone book - at least the ones I call more often. It's also getting decent at US names and events with my accent. But it's totally useless with any Indian names and events. It will be interesting to try it with that option enabled.

  • http://anaershadowynomaly.deviantart.com Farran Lee

    "Unfortunately, the Ok Google hotword detection still only works with English set as the primary language."

    Just like to point out for all is actual *English* users that this still remains "English (US)". In case you couldn't guess such a thing. ;)

  • http://janakyadav.blogspot.com/ Janak Kumar Yadav

    I was waiting for this, wish Google adds "HINDI" also in the list of selected languages so that experience doubles on Moto X.

  • Victor QuyUy

    Anyway to change the hot word, I wonder :)

  • Daniel zalazar

    Multilanguage Hi folks, for days down this latest update of Google search. and did not have the option of having more than one active languages​​. Minutes ago I had to make a Hard reset my kitkat note 3 to 4.4.2 and re-update all applications. One of them was big surprise is it and when I take the set gave me the option of having more than one language activo.Soy Argentina so active.Como principal's English UU.EE to activate my voice from any screen and Spanish of Argentina, mexico españa.Esto and was due to be back to factory and re-download the latest version of google search initially contact me FRANK BARTEN, that he shared the same catches screen arriba.Me commented that these options were the result of the same server google and had nothing to do with this last version.Solo pass to share this discovery and you can serve all of you.

  • Bœuf

    Deleting data of Google search app and rebooting worked for me. Beware that if you're using Google Now launcher, deleting all data will reset your home layout.

  • almousawi

    As a native Arabic speaker, I can finally say FINALLLY 💃💃

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Zが現れた!

    As someone that speak Portuguese, English and Japanese I'm very happy with this.

  • Ali

    They dont support Farsi, or persian, but arabic is on there. smh

  • Ben Said

    Finally, my gran can talk into her Nexus 7 in English and Italian at the same time.

  • Andreas Otte

    No need to wait for the server to enable this.

    Just search for "multiple languages" in google now search box. Thereafter the new options will be available in the settings

    • Josh Head

      I can confirm that this works, cheers!

  • Erik

    Is it possible to use Google Maps navigation with different language than the system language? I would like to set system language to English, but I would use navigation in Hungarian...


    Finaly, workaround to get "Ok Google" in Polish ;_;

  • Simon Belmont

    Awesome. Now bring on KITT.

    Seriously. I want hands free interaction with my phone now, Google.

  • Peter Papoulakos

    Add Greek and fix the bluetooth for connecting in the car and I might get excited.

  • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

    Good. Now I have Google Now everywhere in PT_BR.

  • diem

    What the hell is wrong with Google not supporting Greek for voice search and voice typing??! They support LATIN for Caesar's sake!! :P

  • miri

    Not working for me. I can select multiple languages but it still tries to interpret everything as English unless I disable it.

  • Badouken

    Freaking FINALLY... I live in southern California and tons of places / streets are named in spanish. When talking to Google Now it doesn't know when im referring to a street with a spanish name! but now finally!!!

  • letsplaaay

    Oh.My.God. I love the new Korean Voice. (Is this new?)

  • JG

    WTF Google.... I can select multiple languages (supposedly just added today) but I still don't seem to have Google Now everywhere that came out months ago?!?

  • Ricardo

    OMG! where's the success kid meme when you need it? This is awesome! I tried it and it works!

  • Dmitry Novikov

    What a surprise.
    My M8 on the official ROM already has this.

  • Amit Singh

    This update is not working properly.

    I use two languages English (India ) and Hindi. It keeps confusing between two scripts. :(

  • Stripes

    I hope Google manages to do this for keyboard text input to. SwiftKey already does it.

  • Rob Forbes

    Still no 'ok google everywhere' for UK English though.

  • 16Bitz0r

    Probably the best thing that happened to Android since Jelly bean.

  • Jimmy Rocket

    It works for me with German and English but so far no luck with Russian.

    • miri

      Same here. Between Russian and English, whichever language I start with it just gets 'stuck' there and tries to interpret everything that way.

  • Gian Paolo Vecchi

    I still haven't got this... :-(