Can Google Home Speak Different Languages? (How to Set Up)


Google Home Mini smart speaker next to a laptop

Isn’t it nice to have a personal home assistant that can also speak your language? Contrary to popular belief, many homeowners do not prefer English and are more comfortable speaking in their mother tongue, and I will teach you how to do it in this article.

Yes, Google Home can speak in different languages such as French, Hindi, Indonesian, Portuguese, German, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Swedish, Spanish, and Mandarin. You can add any number of languages to your Google Home as long as it’s in the database.

In this article, I will be discussing the steps leading to such change and some other related topics on the subject, such as how to make it bilingual, install new languages, and much more. So without further ado, let’s begin.

What language does Google Home usually speak?

Google Home speaks in the default language you have set previously in your Google account. So if you saved a voice in the past, it would be loaded onto the (new/old)phone when you log into your account.

I use English(US) and Spanish, so whenever I am logged in, Google can recognize either of those spoken languages and respond in them as well.

Is Google Home limited to only two languages?

Yes and no. You can add numerous languages to your account, but only two are active simultaneously. So even if you have six languages loaded, Google Home simultaneously responds to one of the two activated languages.

Here is a short experiment I tried. So I downloaded the following languages on my phone – Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese. But I could set only two languages simultaneously, so I chose English and Spanish.

Google did not respond when I spoke in Portuguese but did respond when I spoke English and Spanish. I repeated the experiment in Spanish and Portuguese, and then it did not respond to English commands.

So I came to the conclusion that even if I have multiple languages downloaded on my device, Google can respond to only two at a time.

Here is a list of all the languages that Google Home supports:

LanguageDialect
DanskNone
DeutschDeutschland, Schweiz, and Österreich
EnglishCanada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, US.
SpanishArgentina, Chile, Colombia, España, Estados Unidos, México, Perú
FrenchBelgique, France, Suisse, Canada
IndonesiaNone
ItalianItalia, Svizzera
NederlandsBelgie, Nederland
NorwegianNone
PolishNone
PortugueseBrasil, Portugal
SwedishNone
VietnamNone
TurkeyNone
HindiNone
Bengali None
JapaneseNone
ChineseNone

How to add a new language to Google Home?

1. You can only add a maximum of two languages to your Google Home. 

2. To do so, install the Google Home app and log into your account.

3. Tap on your account icon in the top right corner and select Assistant Settings.

4. Look for Languages. Type in the search bar or scroll down until you find it.

5. You can now see two language options. One is already selected (according to your account’s preset language), and the others are for you to choose from.

6. Tap on Add a Language and choose one.

7. Once you’ve added the second language, close the application.

8. Google Home will now respond to both languages.

9. Restart the device if it does not work right away.

You can keep any variations of the two languages. However, I suggest that you delete the languages you do not use and only download them to test this feature to save space. I often downloaded a bunch of the different languages which hurt my device’s performance, so deleting unused language packs became a habit.

Why is Google Home not responding?

Google Home may not be responding for many reasons. It can have a bad/slow internet connection, or, a mic not working, a software glitch, or combined language usage.

I have seen that during slow internet connections, most of the commands time out. And there were times when I was using an old phone and when the mic broke. But in all of the cases, the hardware was at fault. Other than that, Google always responded appropriately. 

Imagine my surprise when the other day, my friend who bought a new phone three days ago, complained that Google Home was not consistently responding. He bought the Polk Audio Signa S2 the other day to try out the voice features and was frustrated at the lack of response.

It was pretty noisy outside, so we went in and he asked Google to switch on the lights. Oddly enough, it did not respond.

After a few tries, I noticed that it worked alright except for the times he was speaking in two languages, English and Spanish. “Hey Google, Encender the lights.” (switch on the lights)

After a quick search, I discovered that once I start speaking in one language, I will have to complete the sentence in the same language. It never occurred to me since I mostly use English commands.

He started speaking in one language once I informed him that Google was working fine. So if your Google is not working, try the above solutions to resolve the issue.

What to do if Google Home is not responding?

There are a variety of reasons why Google home may not be responding. I usually follow these steps to check for problems.

1. I Ensure the mic on the Google device is not muted.

2. I also check if the LED atop the device is blinking. Or if I am using a smartphone, I watch out for the activation music.

3. Check if the internet is still connected.

4. Reboot the device if everything above is in place.

5. Ensure the device is understanding me.

6. Finally, I adjusted the hot word sensitivity on the device.

If none of the above solutions work, I contact support for assistance. So far, I have encountered the problem once and it turned out to be a defective model. I had it quickly replaced with a new one and never had to look back.

Google Home devices do not usually break and can last for 5-6 years. The response rate may drop or the device can get a bit slower at which point you will have to buy a new one. But keep the old ones because you can use them in other rooms if they are still operational.

FAQ

Can Google speak in any language?

Google can speak and understand any language as long as they are in its database. 

I noticed there are different languages in Google’s Assistant settings. However, it does not have all the languages in the world, but it keeps on adding to this neverending list. Google has increased the number of recognized languages from 27 to 44.

Google search, on the other hand, supports 109 languages and I can only assume that Google will keep adding the rest until it supports all of them.

How to know if Google supports your language?

Google lists all the Interpreter mode languages (applicable in smart clocks, speakers, and displays) on their website.

I already knew my preferred language was on the list, but head over to the site if you want to double-check.

Can Google Home Assistant use two (or more) languages?

The Google Home Assistant can understand a plethora of languages, but only two at the same time. 

How many languages can Google translate?

Google can translate up to 109 languages in both iOS and Android, but not all of them are consistent. Even while activating some languages in the Assistant, you will receive a notification saying it’s a Beta feature and that your phone is still learning the language.

Google Assistant is a flexible application, and it’s mostly accurate in English. I have tried a few other languages and the assistant fared for the most part. I struggled when I referred to extremely specific and cultural references. However, for everyday tasks, I would say that it performed relatively well.

Conclusion

The fact that a Google Home device can speak many different languages only goes to show how far it has developed over the years. Although the accuracy varies, I would say it’s progressing in the right direction. Hopefully, my article on whether or not Google can speak different languages has answered all your questions. Stay tuned for more helpful tidbits in the future.

Difference between Bluetooth versio...
Difference between Bluetooth versions

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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