Language support

Language size and display style vary based on whether a character set is English-like, tall, or dense.


Language considerations

Glyphs

Each written language uses its own set of characters called glyphs. If your UI uses multiple languages, then your typography layout should vary depending on...

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Each written language uses its own set of characters called glyphs.

If your UI uses multiple languages, then your typography layout should vary depending on the language. Languages have different average word lengths and heights, affecting how it appears across UIs.

Typographic glyphs

Length

Word length can vary greatly across languages, even those that use similar glyphs, such as English and German.

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Word length can vary greatly across languages, even those that use similar glyphs, such as English and German.

English is often shorter than other European languages. For instance, German has many compound words that are longer, requiring more lines or line spacing.

Alignment

Some writing systems, like Arabic and Hebrew, are displayed with characters appearing from right to left. Those fonts may appear smaller than Latin ones at...

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Some writing systems, like Arabic and Hebrew, are displayed with characters appearing from right to left. Those fonts may appear smaller than Latin ones at the same font-size, requiring adjustments to line spacing and alignment so that the typography works well in that UI for all languages.

Hebrew alignment appears right to left

Height

Many writing systems require more vertical space than English, so your UI should provide sufficient vertical space for these different systems.

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Many writing systems require more vertical space than English, so your UI should provide sufficient vertical space for these different systems.

While Vietnamese is written with Latin, it has accents that add height to some letters, such as ớ.

Vertical typesetting

Vertical typesetting, though rarely used, can display characters vertically instead of horizontally. The typography of China, Japan, and Korea is typically monospaced, which means each...

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Vertical typesetting, though rarely used, can display characters vertically instead of horizontally.

The typography of China, Japan, and Korea is typically monospaced, which means each letter occupies the same amount of space as other letters. It is often set left-to-right, top-to-bottom. It can also be set vertically: top-to-bottom and right-to-left.

Horizontal and vertical styles of typesetting

Language options

More than one typeface may need to be used in the same UI to display multilingual content, when each language uses a different writing system....

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More than one typeface may need to be used in the same UI to display multilingual content, when each language uses a different writing system.

Writing systems can be grouped into three categories:

  • English-like
  • Tall
  • Dense

English-like typefaces

The languages of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe and much of Africa are typically written in the Latin alphabet. Vietnamese is a notable exception in that, while it uses a localized form of the Latin writing system, its accented glyphs can be much taller than those found in Western European languages. The Greek and Cyrillic writing systems are very similar to Latin.

Tall typefaces

Language scripts that require extra line height to accommodate larger glyphs, including South and Southeast Asian and Middle-Eastern languages, like Arabic, Hindi, Telugu, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Dense typefaces

Language scripts that require extra line height to accommodate larger glyphs, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


Noto guidance

Noto is the default typeface for all languages not covered by Roboto. Derived from Droid, it’s designed to be visually harmonious across languages and scripts with compatible heights and stroke thicknesses.

The family has 93 scripts defined in Unicode version 6.0.

Dense script considerations

Noto Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) have seven weights that match Roboto, with the same weight settings as English. Type sizes smaller than title styles...

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Noto Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) have seven weights that match Roboto, with the same weight settings as English.

Type sizes smaller than title styles should make adjustments to the Latin type scale.

Chinese and Japanese

Line height is slightly larger than Latin-based characters.

Line height pairing, Chinese and Japanese

Tall script considerations

Noto supports tall scripts used in South and Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern languages, including Arabic, Hindi, and Thai. Use regular weight, as medium weight...

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Noto supports tall scripts used in South and Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern languages, including Arabic, Hindi, and Thai. Use regular weight, as medium weight is unavailable in Noto. Avoid using the bold weight, as bold is too heavy.

Type sizes smaller than title styles should make adjustments to the Latin type scale.

Thai and Devanagari

Tall script line height is slightly larger than Latin-based characters.

Line height pairing example, Thai and Devanagari


Language categories reference

Language categories reference

For ease of internationalization, Google has categorized languages into three categories: English-like, tall, and dense. English-like: Latin (except Vietnamese), Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Armenian, and Georgian....

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For ease of internationalization, Google has categorized languages into three categories: English-like, tall, and dense.

English-like: Latin (except Vietnamese), Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Armenian, and Georgian.

Tall: Language scripts that require extra line height to accommodate larger glyphs, including South and Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern languages, like Arabic, Hindi, Telugu, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Dense: Language scripts that require extra line height to accommodate larger glyphs but have different metrics from tall scripts. Includes Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Code

Description

Category

af

Afrikaans

English-like

am

Amharic

English-like

ar

Arabic (Modern Standard)

Tall

az

Azerbaijani

English-like

bg

Bulgarian

English-like

bn

Bengali

Tall

ca

Catalan

English-like

cs

Czech

English-like

cy

Welsh

English-like

da

Danish

English-like

de

German

English-like

el

Greek

English-like

en

English (US)

English-like

en-GB

English (UK)

English-like

es

Spanish (European)

English-like

es-419

Spanish (Latin American)

English-like

et

Estonian

English-like

eu

Basque

English-like

fa

Persian

Tall

fi

Finnish

English-like

fil

Filipino

English-like

fr

French (European)

English-like

fr-CA

French (Canadian)

English-like

gl

Galician

English-like

gu

Gujarati

Tall

hi

Hindi

Tall

hr

Croatian

English-like

hu

Hungarian

English-like

hy

Armenian

English-like

id

Indonesian

English-like

is

Icelandic

English-like

it

Italian

English-like

iw

Hebrew

English-like

ja

Japanese

Dense

ka

Georgian

English-like

kk

Kazakh

English-like

km

Khmer

Tall

kn

Kannada

Tall

ko

Korean

Dense

ky

Kirghiz

English-like

lo

Lao

Tall

lt

Lithuanian

English-like

lv

Latvian

English-like

mk

Macedonian

English-like

ml

Malayalam

Tall

mn

Mongolian

English-like

mr

Marathi

Tall

ms

Malay

English-like

my

Burmese (Myanmar)

Tall

ne

Nepali

Tall

nl

Dutch

English-like

no

Norwegian (Bokmål)

English-like

pa

Punjabi

Tall

pl

Polish

English-like

pt

Portuguese (Brazilian)

English-like

pt-PT

Portuguese (European)

English-like

ro

Romanian

English-like

ru

Russian

English-like

si

Sinhala

Tall

sk

Slovak

English-like

sl

Slovenian

English-like

sq

Albanian

English-like

sr

Serbian (Cyrillic)

English-like

sr-Latn

Serbian (Latin)

English-like

sv

Swedish

English-like

sw

Swahili

English-like

ta

Tamil

Tall

te

Telugu

Tall

th

Thai

Tall

tr

Turkish

English-like

uk

Ukrainian

English-like

ur

Urdu

Tall

uz

Uzbek

English-like

vi

Vietnamese

Tall

zh-CN

Chinese (Simplified, Mandarin)

Dense

zh-HK

Chinese (Mandarin, Hong Kong)

Dense

zh-TW

Chinese (Traditional, Mandarin)

Dense

zu

Zulu

English-like