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How Google determines the language of search results

When you search on Google, you may get results in languages other than the one you searched in, especially in places where many people speak two or more common languages. This page explains how the language of results is automatically determined and how you can manually filter for a particular language.

How we determine the language of results

In many countries and regions, people use multiple languages to search on Google. To best serve multilingual people, Google uses several factors to automatically determine what language or languages would be most helpful to use for results:

Language the user searched in

The language someone uses when they search is an especially important factor that helps our systems understand if someone wants content in a language different from their language settings. For example, a person in France with French language settings can search in English, Arabic or other languages and receive content in those languages.

Helpfulness of content

Our systems understand if content in a particular language is helpful for users who search in different languages. This is very common in locales where people understand more than one language, especially if there isn’t enough info in the searched language.

Display Language setting

You can control the language used for buttons and other display text within Google search with the display language setting. This setting also helps Google determine what language to show search results in, but doesn’t filter all results to that language.

Browser and device settings

Some browsers and devices allow you to set preferred languages. If browsers or devices are able to communicate these preferences to Google, these may help determine what language to show search results in. But they don't necessarily filter all results to that language.  

Location and Region settings

Google also uses the locale a user searches from to help determine the language of search results. A user’s location is helpful when words are spelled the same way in different languages, like “taxi.” Google automatically determines your location, but you can change your region settings any time

Information provided by content creators

If you create multilingual content, you can tell Google which version should show up for particular languages

How to filter results to a particular language

There are two ways to manually filter the search results to a particular language:

  • Results Language Filter: This is a filter that appears above search results, and lets you  restrict results to a preferred language or languages. Learn more.
  • Advanced Search language filter: Filter results on the Advanced Search page.

Please note that language filters are designed primarily for web results. Some search features like Knowledge Graph displays and Top Stories might not change when you use them. They also might not work for web results if Google can’t detect the language of a page. This can happen for various reasons, such as if a page has more than one language on it or if the content doesn’t follow our guidance on how to help Google understand multilingual sites.

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