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How to add another language to your computer keyboard

In Windows 10, you can install multiple languages and if available, you can install multiple keyboard languages and layouts. This lets you chose your favorite language and layout while typing. Generally, you can either use the language bar option in the taskbar or a keyboard shortcut to switch between keyboard languages. Though the language bar option is pretty unintrusive, the keyboard shortcut can be triggered accidentally. After all, the default shortcut is Left Alt + Shift, which is not that hard to press accidentally. If you are like me who have installed multiple languages and keyboard layouts, it can be frustrating when the keyboard language or layout is changed accidentally due to an unwanted key press. To avoid that, you can change the keyboard language shortcut with ease. Let me show you how.

Change Keyboard Language Shortcut in Windows 10

In the previous versions if Windows 10, you can use the Control Panel options to change the keyboard language switching shortcut. However, Microsoft removed that ability in the recent versions. Now, you need to dig through the settings app to find and change the keyboard language shortcut. The problem is, the option to change the keyboard language shortcut is buried so deep that unless you know where to look for, it is very hard to find. But, follow the steps below and you should be golden.

1. First, open the settings app by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + I . You can also search for the settings app in the start menu. In the Settings app, click on the “Devices” option.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

2. In the devices page, go to the “Typing” tab appearing on the left panel. On the right panel, scroll down, find the “Advanced Keyboard Settings” link under the More Keyboard Settings section and click on it.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

3. The above action will open the advanced keyboard settings page. Here, find the “Language Bar Options” link under the Switching Input Methods section and click on it.

4. As soon as you click on the link, the Text Services and Input Languages window will open. In this window, go to the “Advanced Key Settings” tab, select “Between Input Languages” option under Hot Keys for Input Languages and click on the “Change Key Sequence” button.

5. Windows will now show the keyboard shortcuts you can use to switch between keyboard languages under the “Switch Keyboard Layout” section. Select the keyboard shortcut of your choice and click on the “Ok” button to save changes.

6. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons in the main window and you are good to go.

That is all. It is that simple to change the keyboard shortcut to changing keyboard layout.

Conclusion

As you can see, though hard to find, it is nothing hard to change the keyboard language shortcut in Windows 10.

If you want to, you can even set custom keyboard shortcuts for specific keyboard language by selecting the specific language and then clicking on the “Change Key Sequence” button in step 5 . Next, select the “Enable Key Sequence” checkbox. Unlike the keyboard language switching shortcut, you can set almost any shortcut you want using the two dropdown menus. Just like before, click on the “Ok” button to save changes once you are done and you are good to go.

6 thoughts on “How to Change Keyboard Language Shortcut in Windows 10”

I have Windows 10 and followed all steps but when I input the short cuts on the keyboard, they do not work.

you need to sign-out from your account and sign-in again after that they’ll start to work as you assigned, although if you look at menu again it might show your hotkeys unassigned, but still work in way you assigned

The shortcuts for switching to specific languages work for me for a while. But if my computer goes to sleep the shortcuts no longer work after it wakes back up, and indeed have to be set up all over again.

Are you beginning to type in a foreign language? Do you often find yourself copy-and-pasting special characters like é and wish there was an easy shortcut? Thankfully, Windows 10 allows users to easily add and switch between different languages without having to buy a separate physical keyboard.

Personally, I often use the French and Japanese keyboards on my laptop. The French keyboard allows me to quickly enter letters with diacritics (à, ê, ï, etc.). The Japanese keyboard automatically translates Latin characters into hiragana (おはよう), katakana (サム), or kanji (日本).

The following instructions will help you add new languages to Windows 10.

  1. Navigate to Windows Settings by clicking on the gear on the left side of the Start Menu.
  2. Click on “Time & Language”, then click on “Region & language” in the left sidebar.
  3. Under “Languages”, click “Add a language”.
  4. Find the language that you would like to add. After clicking on it, you may be asked to specify a regional dialect. You will be returned to the “Region & language” page.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

Once you have followed these steps, a new icon will appear next to the date and time on the bottom-right of your screen. Most likely, it will say “ENG” for English, the current keyboard language. Click on this icon to open a window listing the currently added languages. From here, you can select a language to change your keyboard’s settings. You may also hold down the Windows ⊞ key and press Space to quickly change languages.

By default, some languages use a different keyboard layout than the QWERTY layout used for US English keyboards. Once you have switched to the new language, test it out by typing in Word, Notepad, or any other program that allows you to enter text. If the keys you type do not match the letters on the screen, the following instructions can help you fix this issue.

  1. On the “Region & language” page, under “Languages”, click the language you just added, then click “Options”.
  2. Scroll down to “Keyboards”, then click “Add a keyboard”.
  3. Scroll down to “United States-International” and click on it. This keyboard follows the QWERTY layout, but also supports some special characters in other languages.
  4. Under “Keyboards”, click the other keyboard, then click “Remove”.

Congratulations! You have now added another language’s keyboard to your computer. Feel free to add as many additional languages as you would like.

Here are a few diacritics you can type using the United States-International keyboard:

  • Acute accent (é) – Type an apostrophe (‘), followed by a letter.
  • Grave accent (à) – Type a grave accent (`), followed by a letter.
  • Diaeresis (ü) – Type a double quote (“) by pressing Shift + ‘, followed by a letter.
  • Circumflex (î) – Type a circumflex/caret (^) by pressing Shift + 6, followed by a letter.
  • Tilde (ñ) – Type a tilde (

You can add an input language in Settings. Adding an input language lets you set a language-preference order for websites and apps. It also lets you change your keyboard language.

Select Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

Under Preferred languages, select the language that contains the keyboard you want, and then select Options.

Select Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard you want to add. If you don’t see the keyboard you want, you may have to add a new language to get additional options. If this is the case, go on to step 4.

Return to the Language settings page, and select Add a language.

Choose the language you want to use from the list, and then select Next.

Review any language features you want to set up or install, and select Install.

You can add an input language in Settings. Adding an input language lets you set a language-preference order for websites and apps. It also lets you change your keyboard language.

Select Start > Settings > Time & Language > Language.

Under Preferred languages, select the language that contains the keyboard you want, and then select Options.

Select Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard you want to add. If you don’t see the keyboard you want, you may have to add a new language to get additional options. If this is the case, go on to step 4.

Return to the Language settings page, and select Add a language.

Choose the language you want to use from the list, and then select Next.

Review any language features you want to set up or install, and select Install.

To manage all aspects of the input and display language settings on your Windows 11 PC, use the following methods.

To switch the keyboard layout you’re using, press and hold the Windows key and then repeatedly press the Spacebar to cycle through all your installed keyboards. (If this doesn’t do anything, it means you have only one installed.)

You can also select the language abbreviation in your taskbar then choose the language or input method you want to use.

Note: In the input field, press the Windows logo key + period (.) to access the Emoji & more keyboard, if your language supports it.

If you can’t find the keyboard layout you want, you may have to add a new keyboard.

Adding an input language lets you set a language-preference order for websites and apps, as well as change your keyboard language.

Select the Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

Select the language that has the keyboard you want, then select Options.

Select Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard you want to add. If you don’t see the keyboard you want, you may have to add a new language to get additional options. If this is the case, go on to step 4.

Return to the Language settings page, go to Preferred languages, then select Add a language.

Choose the language you want to use from the list, then select Next.

Review any language features you want to set up or install, and select Install.

The display language you select changes the default language used by Windows features like Settings and File Explorer.

Select Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

Choose a language from the Windows display language menu.

If a language is listed under Preferred languages but doesn’t appear on the Windows display language list, you’ll first need to install its language pack (if it’s available).

Select Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

In Preferred languages, select Add a language, enter the language you want, then select Next.

Select Download from the Download language pack option.

After the language pack is installed, select Back.

Choose a language from the Windows display language menu.

If you receive an “Only one language pack allowed” or “Your Windows license supports only one display language” message, you have a single language edition of Windows 10. Here’s how to check your Windows 10 language edition:

Select Start > Settings > About, and then go to the Windows specification section.

If you see Windows 11 Home Single Language next to Edition, you have a single language edition of Window 11, and you can’t add a new language unless you purchase an upgrade to either Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro.

Select Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

Under Preferred languages, select the language you want to remove, and then select Remove.

To remove an individual keyboard, select the language (see step 2), select Options, scroll down to the Keyboards section, select the keyboard you want to remove, and select Remove.

To manage all aspects of the input and display language settings on your Windows 10 device, use the following methods.

To switch the keyboard layout you’re using in Windows 10, press and hold the Windows key and then repeatedly press the Spacebar to cycle through all your installed keyboards. (If this doesn’t do anything, it means you have only one installed.)

You can also select the language abbreviation on the far right of the taskbar and then choose the language or input method you want to use.

Note: In the input field, press Windows +period (.) to access the emoji keyboard, if your language supports this.

If you can’t find the keyboard layout you want, you may have to add a new keyboard.

Adding an input language lets you set a language-preference order for websites and apps, as well as change your keyboard language.

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Time & Language > Language.

Under Preferred languages, select the language that contains the keyboard you want, and then select Options.

Select Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard you want to add. If you don’t see the keyboard you want, you may have to add a new language to get additional options. If this is the case, go on to step 4.

Return to the Language settings page, and select Add a language.

Choose the language you want to use from the list, and then select Next.

Review any language features you want to set up or install, and select Install.

The display language you select changes the default language used by Windows features like Settings and File Explorer.

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Time & Language > Language.

Choose a language from the Windows display language menu.

If a language is listed under Preferred languages but doesn’t appear on the Windows display language list, you’ll first need to install its language pack (if it’s available).

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Time & Language > Language.

Choose a language from the Add a language list under Preferred languages, and then select Options.

Select Download from the Download language pack option.

After the language pack is installed, select Back .

Choose a language from the Windows display language menu.

If you receive an “Only one language pack allowed” or “Your Windows license supports only one display language” message, you have a single language edition of Windows 10. Here’s how to check your Windows 10 language edition:

Select the Start button, select Settings > About, and then scroll down to the Windows specification section.

If you see Windows 10 Home Single Language next to Edition, you have a single language edition of Window 10, and you can’t add a new language unless you purchase an upgrade to either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro.

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Time & Language > Language.

Under Preferred languages, select the language you want to remove, and then click Remove.

To remove an individual keyboard, select the language in question (see step 2), select Options, scroll down to the Keyboards section, select the keyboard you want to remove, and click Remove.

In Windows 7 you can change both the language of the keyboard you use to type things and the language of the visual interface (the latter only in Windows 7 Ultimate). In this tutorial, we show you how to manage the keyboard input languages on your Windows 7 computer. We explain how to add or remove a language, preview the keyboard layout of a language, customize the language bar, and switch between keyboard languages. Let’s get started:

How to add or remove a keyboard input language in Windows 7

All the settings related to the keyboard input language are found in the Region and Language window. The fastest way to access it is to search for “change keyboard” in the Start Menu search box and click the “Change keyboards or other input methods” search result.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

Another way is to access the Control Panel, where you click the “Change keyboards or other input methods” link from the “Clock, Language, and Region” category.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

In the “Region and Language” window, click the “Change keyboards” button.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

In the General tab from the “Text Services and Input Languages” window, you should see the list of currently installed input languages. To add a new one, click the Add button.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

From the long list of available languages, select the one(s) you want. To see how a specific language looks on your keyboard, select it and click Preview.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

On the screen, you should see a virtual keyboard with the keys specific to the selected input language. When done, click Close.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

After you have selected the languages that you want to add, click OK and you are taken back to the “Text Services and Input Languages” window.

If you want to change the order of the installed input languages, select them using your mouse to click the Move up and Move down buttons.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

If you want to remove a keyboard input language, select it and click the Remove button. The keyboard input language is removed immediately, without any additional confirmation.

How to customize the language bar in Windows 7

When you have installed more than one keyboard input language in Windows 7, the language bar is activated by default. To customize it, click the “Language Bar” tab of the “Text Services and Input Languages” window. In the first section of the window, you can customize the position of the bar.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

You can choose to have it floating on your desktop, docked in the taskbar or hidden from view. Below you can find a screenshot showing how it looks on the desktop:

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

The language bar can also reside on the taskbar:

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

If you choose to hide it, you do not see it anywhere on the desktop. In the “Text Services and Input Languages” window, you also have options for:

  • Setting the transparency of the language bar
  • Showing additional icons for help, options menu, and minimize or restore
  • Showing or hiding the text labels on the language bar

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

When you are done making the settings you want, click on OK.

How to change between keyboard input languages in Windows 7

To switch between the keyboard input languages, you can use the Language bar to select the language you want to use. In the language bar, click on the name of the language that is currently selected. Then, in the menu that pops up, with the list of installed languages, click on the new language that you want to use.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Left Alt + Shift to achieve the same result.

NOTE: One thing you should keep in mind is the fact that, when you change the active keyboard input language, this is done for the application which is currently opened. If you open another application, the input language used is the default one and you have to switch it again.

How to change the shortcuts for keyboard input languages

If you want to change the shortcuts for changing between keyboard input languages, click on the “Advanced Key Settings” tab of the “Text Services and Input Languages” window. You will see there the list of key sequences defined for changing between languages. If you want to change one of them, select it and click on “Change Key Sequence“.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

In the “Change Key Sequence” window, select the combination you prefer and click OK.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

From now on, the new combination of keys will be valid for switching between languages.

What is your preferred way to change keyboard languages in Windows 7?

As you can see, managing your keyboard input languages is easy once you learn how to do it. Read this guide if you want to learn how to install & change to a new display language in Windows 7 Ultimate. What is your preferred way to change keyboard languages in Windows 7? Let us know in a comment below.

If you’ve added more than one language to your PC you can switch between different input languages by using one of the following methods:

    Method 1: Click the language abbreviation button on the taskbar (bottom right corner of your screen, next to the clock) and then click the input method you want to switch to

Instructions for Windows 8

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to access the Charm Bar, then move the pointer down and click Search
  2. In the search box enter “language”, then select Region and Language Settings from the search results
  3. Click Add a language
  4. Choose the language that you want to add

Switch between different input languages

If you’ve added more than one language to your PC you can switch between different input languages by using one of the following methods:

    Method 1: Click the language abbreviation button on the taskbar (bottom right corner of your screen, next to the clock) and then click the input method you want to switch to

Instructions for Windows Vista

  1. Click Start and then Control Panel
  2. In Control Panel, if you are in Classic View, click on Control Panel Home (top left corner)
  3. Open Clock, Language, and Region
  4. Click on Regional and Language Options .
  5. Click the Keyboards and Languages tab and then click Change keyboards .
  6. Under Installed services , click Add .
  7. In the Add Input Language dialog box, select the keyboard layout you would like to add from the list available and click OK .
  8. The keyboard layout you added will be included in the list. To set the new layout as your default, select it from the list. Click OK to save your changes
  9. You can switch between different input languages (= keyboard languages) by clicking on the Language Bar button or by pressing the Alt + Shift keys

Instructions for Windows XP

  1. Click Start and then Control Panel
  2. In Control Panel, if you are in Category View, click on Switch to Classic View (top left corner)
  3. Open Regional and Language Options .
  4. Click on the Languages tab.
  5. Under Text services and input languages , click on the Details button.
  6. Under Installed services , click Add .
  7. In the Add Input Language dialog box, choose the input language and keyboard layout or Input Method Editor (IME) you want to add.
  8. Click OK twice. You should now see a language indicator in the System Tray (located at bottom right hand corner of the desktop by default). You can switch between different input languages (= keyboard languages) by pressing the Alt + Shift keys

If a language does not appear in the Input language list, the fonts for that language might not be installed. If that is the case, follow the instructions below.

After you enable the keyboard layout for two or more languages in the Windows operating system, you can use the Language bar to switch between languages that use different keyboard layouts.

Note: If you just want to insert a few symbols or foreign characters, and you only type in languages with a Latin alphabet, such as English or Spanish, you can insert symbols without switching to a different keyboard layout.

For more information about adding additional editing languages and keyboard layouts see Change the language Office uses in its menus and proofing tools.

Using the Language bar to Switch Keyboard Layouts

When you switch a language by using the Language bar, the keyboard layout changes to the keyboard for that language.

Use the Language bar when you:

Want to switch between languages with a Latin alphabet, such as English, Spanish, or French, and a language with a non-Latin alphabet, such as Arabic or Chinese.

Want to switch between languages with a non-Latin alphabet, such as Greek or Russian.

Prefer to use native keyboard layouts when you type in different languages that have a Latin alphabet.

After you have enabled the keyboard language that you want, open your document and place the cursor in the document where you want to start to type text in a different language.

Click the language icon on the Language bar, which should appear on your task bar near where the clock is, and then click the language that you want to use.

Keyboard shortcut: To switch between keyboard layouts, press Alt+Shift.

Note: The icon is just an example; it shows that English is the language of the active keyboard layout. The actual icon shown on your computer depends on the language of the active keyboard layout and version of Windows.

If you have set up more than one keyboard layout for a single language, you can switch between layouts by clicking the keyboard layout icon on the Language bar and then clicking the keyboard layout that you want to use. The name on the indicator changes to reflect the active keyboard layout.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 to switch between different languages.

I don’t see the Language bar

In most cases, the Language bar automatically appears on your desktop or in the taskbar after you enable two or more keyboard layouts in the Windows operating system. You cannot see the Language bar if it is hidden or only one keyboard layout is enabled in the Windows operating system.

If you don’t see the Language bar, do the following to check to see if the Language bar is hidden:

In Windows 10 and Windows 8

Press the Windows logo key and type Control to search for the Control Panel app.

Click Control Panel.

Under Clock, Language, and Region, click Change input methods.

Click Advanced settings.

Under Switching input methods, select the Use the desktop language bar when it’s available check box, and then click Options.

In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click the Language Bar tab, and make sure that either the Floating On Desktop or the Docked in the taskbar option is selected.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

In Windows 7

Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

Under Clock, Language, and Region, click Change keyboard or other input methods.

In the Region and Language dialog box, click Change keyboards.

In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click the Language Bar tab.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

Under Language Bar, check if the Hidden option is selected. If it is, select either Floating on Desktop or Docked in the taskbar.

In Windows Vista

Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

Under Clock, Language, and Regional Options, click Change keyboard or other input methods.

In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, click Change keyboards.

In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click the Language Bar tab.

How to add another language to your computer keyboard

Under Language Bar, check if the Hidden option is clicked. If it is, click either Floating on Desktop or Docked in the taskbar.

You can use different keyboard languages, sometimes called input methods, on your Chromebook to:

  • Change your typing language
  • Use special characters, like accent marks or currency symbols

Set your keyboard languages

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. On the left panel, select AdvancedLanguages and inputs.
  4. Under “Languages and inputs,” select Inputs.
  5. Under “Input methods,” select Add input methods.
  6. Select the keyboard languages you want to use Add.
  7. “Enabled” is listed under the current keyboard.
  8. To set a different keyboard language, use your cursor to point to and select another keyboard.

Switch between keyboard languages

If you add more than one keyboard language, you can switch between languages from the shelf, next to the time.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. On the left panel, select AdvancedLanguages and inputs.
  4. Under “Languages and inputs,” select Inputs.
  5. Turn on “Show input options in the shelf.” Your current keyboard language code appears on the shelf, next to the time.
  6. Select your keyboard language code.
  7. In the “Input methods” box, select the language you want to switch to.

Tip: You can also switch your language by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Space until the language you want is selected. To switch back, press Ctrl + Space.

Add accent marks

The U.S. International keyboard has the following accent marks:

Use the following combinations to type specific international characters on the US International keyboard.

Important: The AltGr key is the Alt key on the right of the keyboard.

There are two methods to adding multiple languages to your form. You can either add and manage them directly through the online Project Dashboard or you can add them in an XLSForm and upload it to KoBo.

Here are detailed instructions on how you can add another language to your form:

Create your form in the default language. This should be the language that the person responsible for designing the questionnaire is most comfortable with. When you are done, or when a portion of the form has been created, save it. You’ll be returned to the draft form’s project dashboard.

Export the form to XLS.

Open the file in Excel (Google Spreadsheet, Open Office Calc, etc will all work) (If you’re in Excel it’s possible you have to take the file out of Protected View first. See here.) Your spreadsheet will have three sheets (see the little tabs at the bottom): survey, choices, settings. Stay in the survey sheet for now.

Find the column called label . This is where your original question labels are stored. Insert another column to the right of label. In the header (first row) of this new column, write label::language (code) , for example label::Français (fr) or label::English (en) .

You can change the size of your columns, add colors or change the font size, none of these will affect your form.

Then, if you have hints in your form, the same needs to apply to the hint column, for example hint::Français (fr) or hint::English (en) .

survey

Now add your translations for every row inside the label::language (code) column. When you are done, make sure you didn’t skip any questions (for every field that has text inside the label column there should be text inside the label::language (code) column). You can find the official 2-character language codes (subtags) here.

Tip: Copy-paste the original label column and then make changes to the translations so you don’t leave anything blank by accident: It’s better to have something showing in the wrong language than not having a blank question in some language. You can repeat this step and add as many languages as you like, each in their separate columns and with a different name inside label::language (code) .

survey

Now switch to the choices sheet of your file, if you have one.

In the choices sheet you have another column called label . Repeat steps 5 and 6. Make sure that you use the exact same spelling for label::language (code) . For example, label::Francais (fr) and label::Français (fr) are not identical.

choices

In the settings sheet, underneath form_title edit the text of your form’s title to something like “My form (English and French)” so you can easily identify it later.

settings

Save your file and close Excel.

Return to KoBoToolbox and click on Replace with XLS, then upload your updated XLSForm. Choose the file you just finished editing and click OK.

Open the form you just uploaded and click on Preview Form. At the top next to Choose Language click on the dropdown. It will have a default (your original language) as well as the new languages you just added.

Translating to Tamil, Nepali, Hindi, etc. scripts¶

When translating to non-Latin scripts, such as Tamil, Nepali, Hindi, etc, please make sure you do not use a so-called pseudo font. When writing in these languages make sure you only use the proper Unicode characters. To write proper Unicode characters you don’t have to install any particular fonts. Instead, you (or your translator) need to set your keyboard to use the respective script (Tamil, Nepali, etc.) and then write normally. The correct keyboard setting will produce the actual script letters in Unicode instead of some Latin phonetic equivalents. (This would also be the same way as writing these languages into an email, KoBoToolbox, or any other Web application.

For help with adding the correct system keyboard, check this link (Windows only).

Pseudo fonts allow writing in these scripts and are commonly used in many countries, particularly in South Asia. But while they work on the computer that has a specific font installed, they will not work on any other computer that doesn’t use that particular font. That is because these fonts just disguise regular Latin characters and symbols and make them appear in a different shape. For example, when writing “Hello” with the Nepali pseudo font ‘Preeti’, it will look like this: हेल्लो. But what is really written there remains the letters H e l l o. For some people using these fonts which often use phonetic equivalents to English, may be easier. Another reason they are being used widely is that many computers used to not have support for these scripts and thus needed pseudo fonts as a “hack”. Either way, Unicode characters are the best way to go – and the only way for use in KoBoToolbox.

Translating right-to-left scripts¶

When adding a language that uses right-to-left script it is important to use the correct language code, however even if the correct code is used, if the first question, hint, or note is written in a left-to-right script the form will automatically format the rest of the translation to a left-to-right format.