August 13, 2021

Android multi-language support

By lj007

In this article we are going to build multi-language supported app. We are going to support Gujarati language strings in our android application.

How String localisation works:

By default android considers English as primary language and loads the string from res->values->strings.xml. When you want to support another  language, you need to create a values folder by appending an Hyphen and the ISO language code. You can check list of ISO codes from Wikipedia.

Different resources for different language:

English strings (default locale), /values/strings.xml:

    <string name="hello_world">Hello World!</string>

Gujarati strings (gu locale), /values-es/strings.xml:

    <string name="hello_world">હેલો વર્લ્ડ!</string>

User String resource in our app:

In source code to get any resource use this syntax : R..


// Get a string resource from your app's Resources
String hello = getResources().getString(R.string.hello_world);
// Or supply a string resource to a method that requires a string
TextView textView = new TextView(this);


Check gujarati language supported on device:

It is important to know that device which runs our app is able to support Gujarati language. to check that use this function:

public static boolean isSupported(Context context, String text) {
        final int WIDTH_PX = 200;
        final int HEIGHT_PX = 80;

        int w = WIDTH_PX, h = HEIGHT_PX;
        Resources resources = context.getResources();
        float scale = resources.getDisplayMetrics().density;
        Bitmap.Config conf = Bitmap.Config.ARGB_8888;
        Bitmap bitmap = Bitmap.createBitmap(w, h, conf); // this creates a MUTABLE bitmap
        Bitmap orig = bitmap.copy(conf, false);
        Canvas canvas = new Canvas(bitmap);
        Paint paint = new Paint(Paint.ANTI_ALIAS_FLAG);
        paint.setColor(Color.rgb(0, 0, 0));
        paint.setTextSize((int) (14 * scale));

        // draw text to the Canvas center
        Rect bounds = new Rect();
        paint.getTextBounds(text, 0, text.length(), bounds);
        int x = (bitmap.getWidth() - bounds.width()) / 2;
        int y = (bitmap.getHeight() + bounds.height()) / 2;

        canvas.drawText(text, x, y, paint);
        boolean res = !orig.sameAs(bitmap);
        return res;

Now to change language just use this function :

Call this method in activity: (I have spinner and on spinner’s item selected method I have wrote this)

switch (position) {
    case 0:
       Utils.changeLanguage(this, "en");
       startActivity(new Intent(this, ProfileActivity.class));
    case 1:
       if (isSupported(this, "વિષય")) {
          Utils.changeLanguage(this, "gu");
          startActivity(new Intent(this, ProfileActivity.class));
} contains this :

public static void changeLanguage(Context context, String lang) {
   Locale myLocale = new Locale(lang);
   Resources res = context.getResources();
   DisplayMetrics dm = res.getDisplayMetrics();
   Configuration conf = res.getConfiguration();
   res.updateConfiguration(conf, dm);

Now our app is ready with Gujarati language support. You can add other language also, check iso code list and make resources for that.