Question for people from non-English speaking countries

It’s interesting to know whether you use your devices in English or in your native language?

Personally, I use everything in English, just seem to be used to it.

I do use my devices in my native language, for several reasons:

  1. Very often I do enter data using dictation and this feels weird to do it in English if I am not alone.

  2. Especially with my iPhone I sometimes feel the need to show stuff to people.

  3. The German localization usually is very good, not only on a system level, but also inside of apps.

I have to say that I did try using my Apple devices in English before and it worked just great. Especially with dictation. I even have experienced that dictation works way better in English than it does in German.

Then again, almost all of my communication in my daily life is happening in German, and I find it to be a hassle to some degree if I have to enter German on devices that are being set to English as a standard. I keep changing stuff like the keyboard. :blush:

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Everything in English. Using any other language for a device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) feels strange to me.

iPhone and iPad in native language, Mac and PC in English.

It’s been like this for quite a while, but I can’t remember why…

Everything in English as translations are sometimes widely inconsistent across apps and operating systems (e.g. Apple vs Microsoft vs Google etc.) so after all these years it’s just less of a mental effort to just use everything in English and, moreover, not all apps have a localised version so the inconsistency then bothers me.

Helping friends who have their devices set to Croatian is sometimes downright confusing (though Apple’s translations are generally fine, but some others are not or resort to using confusing unnatural and unintuitive abbreviations when the localised text would otherwise not fit the available UI space etc. as the localised text in Croatian tends to be longer than English). It’s sometimes even worse with open-source apps and community-provided translations.

I use everything in English.

  • I feel like translations are not very good, and often too long or too convoluted
  • It helps me learn English
  • When I need help with something, there are usually more ressources available in English out there

I am a Dutch native speaker but have never, I think, seen Apple local language settings for Dutch. I work and live in the UK though, so am biased. UK English all the way :slight_smile:

Everything in English. Brain is hardwired and translation to Portuguese is bad at times.

I have a fun follow-up question, which is: do you use an English keyboard or your native language keyboard?

I’ve always had my devices set to English, but for ages my default keyboard on my phone was the French keyboard because that was the device where I was most likely to be writing in French. Eventually it got to be annoying having a different keyboard my phone to other devices and I stopped.

I guess the answer probably depends on what your native language is, and whether you are usually writing in your native language or English. French writing and English writing are similar enough that you can do them both on either keyboard (albeit frustratingly), but I suppose having a Cyrillic keyboard as default is completely impractical if you primarily write in English :joy:

My native language is Russian, so it is Cyrillic, but my default keyboard was always in English, because it was more convenient to use Spotlight. On my computer, I also set Alfred to always be activated in English, because it’s faster to launch applications. Otherwise, I’m just used to constantly switching between keyboards.

But in fact, after I asked this question, I became interested and, out of curiosity, I tried to switch everything to my native language. But my default keyboard is still in English, because even when the language of the Mac or iPhone is Russian, I can launch applications from Spotlight or Alfred by their English names, but not vice versa, that is, with the Cyrillic layout I cannot launch Safari or Google Chrome from the search, because their names are always in Latin.

I think Apple needs to fix this somehow, because if your default keyboard isn’t Latin, you’ll have to switch between layouts just to open some (even first-party, like Safari) apps via search. This is especially strange because in Russian there is a word Safari, which has exactly the same meaning and is read exactly the same, just written in Cyrillic, I don’t understand why they don’t just rename it.

That’s really interesting, thank you for sharing your testing! It does seem a limitation that Apple isn’t switching app names based on the device’s language settings.

I would say that about 90 percent of the app names have been translated, but it is not always clear why not the others, for example, there is no translation for the name of the “Wallet” app, it’s just “Wallet” even in Russian UI, although I have a suspicion that the word “Wallet” has an clear analogue in almost every language in the world and this is not some unique term that Apple came up with.

I used Android phones before and it seems to me that the more things were translated there, and in general it seems to me that to use Apple’s systems you sometimes need to know English at a slightly higher level (even if you use it in your native language) than to use Windows or Android, because Apple really likes to come up with their own terms to name various elements in the system, but they don’t always translate them into other languages, because now it seems to be a proper names.

On the iPad, for example, there is no translation for the “Split View” and “Slide Over” features (although it seems to me that it is not so difficult to translate clearly), so if I didn’t know how these words were translated and I clicked on the three dots at the top of the screen, I would understand what these things even do only by symbols.


Everything in English, but the keyboard layout --that’s Spanish for me. In my University years I could work with a US layout keyboard from all those assignments on ancient VAX minis using Perkin-Elmers serial consoles, but fortunately that’s not the case any more XD

I keep my devices in German - mostly out of habit and also because I often do support for our family and English is confusing for them when I do screen-sharing and its easier to use the German words for display items. I also use the German keyboard most of the time for the “Umlaute” - besides Japanese - as macOS and iOS hardly ever complain when I write in English. And as @Christian mentioned, I find the German localization to be pretty good most of the times (besides some words being too long).

As for work I tend to keep the servers in English whenever possible and I’m always getting confused when I see a German SharePoint :sweat_smile:

All devices are set to my native language, German. The localization is good, even in most third-party apps. Obsidian is a little bit bilingual, if you use some third-party plugins. My hardware keyboards have a German layout. As far as software keyboards are concerned, I use the one in the language I’m currently writing in.

Did some work with a Dutch company. And of course the “let me add this to the document on your Mac”-thing happened often enough. While I speak some Dutch, it took a while to get used to “Bestand”, “Invoegen”, etc.

I used English OS/software for a long time, moved back to German years ago.

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To be honest I’ve used Macs so little in my own language that I’d be totally at sea!

I am from Puerto Rico, and I use English almost all the time. I only use voice for audio and I can send them on English or Spanish. I am trying to use the type with voice feature but that is more tricky because I need to make sure that the correct language on the keyboard is selected, with typing my phone no matter the language is selected, it knows what I am trying to type.

For my phone menus are completely on English and if someone has it on Spanish, I need to change it to English first to be able to help, is hard for me to read menus and settings on Spanish.

I’m from Sweden and have Swedish on everything, except:
• Filemaker. As Filemaker developer it’s extremely disturbing to program in anything else than English. Besides, someone at Filemaker Inc decided to change the shortcuts to something more “Swedishy” and that effed up a lot of things (this was 20+ years ago, and I don’t know how it is today).
• Adobe suite.
• My Filemaker Server OS is also in English.

I think the Swedish translation in macOS and iOS/ipadOS is very good. They miss something sometimes, but at least 99% is as good as it can be.