Internet Productivity

How to Type Non-Latin Characters Without Installing Language Packs

Nancy Messieh 19-05-2017

Installing language packs on your computer can be a hassle, particularly if you don’t use those languages on a regular basis. Luckily a series of online tools make it easy to type in non-Latin languages without installing a thing.



Lexilogos has an impressive collection of non-Latin languages in its arsenal including the most wide spoken of them: Arabic, Russian, and Chinese. It even includes little known languages indigenous to North Africa like Coptic and Berber. With Lexilogos, you have an on-screen keyboard you can click to write out the words you wish to type.

Not all languages are as straightforward. For Chinese speakers, you’ll have to type syllables using the Pinyin table, while Japanese speakers must pick from a drop-down menu of strokes and radicals.

How to Type Non-Latin Characters Without Installing Language Packs Lexilogos 670x275


An Arabic-only option, Yamli is a great choice for those looking to write in Arabic on their computers. Type the Arabic word transliterated in English, and Yamli will automatically detect what you’re typing and will convert it into Arabic. You can also search in Arabic directly from Yamli and add the service to your site.

Arabic speakers using Yamli will probably already be familiar with the method of substituting numbers for Arabic letters that do not exist in English, and this will come in handy if you want Yamli to get the word right the first time around.


How to Type Non-Latin Characters Without Installing Language Packs Yamli


Google Translate

Google Translate also offers transliteration options for several languages including Arabic, Amharic, Hebrew, and Russian. Just type in English and Google will convert it for you. It also has an on-screen keyboard available for typing in Armenian, Pashto, Yiddish, and more.

How to Type Non-Latin Characters Without Installing Language Packs GoogleTranslate

The best thing about Google Translate is that you can use your own handwriting on Google Translate for any language. Use your mouse on your computer or your finger on your phone to write out the letters and words. Even if you’re handwriting isn’t very good in that language, Google is able to detect the word, and suggest several options based on your handwriting.

Do you have any tips or tricks for using foreign languages on your computer? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: cybrain via Shutterstock

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