I need my system to be able to display the characters of Chinese, Japanese, and Right-To-Left languages like Arabic. At the moment, it is not able to display the characters of those languages (e.g. the names of the files that are written in those foreign characters).

Having said that, I still want my main input method and my system language to be in American English.

I have tried to look for language support in the settings, but couldn't even the find the entry. Any solutions or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thanks.

My System Information:

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3 Answers 3


After several days of researching, I found out the following:

Step 1: Open your terminal and type:

sudo apt install language-selector-gnome

Step 2: Open the language selector using your terminal:


Step 3: Install the required the languages that you need then reboot your system and enjoy the new list of added languages. You might also need to install additional fonts depending on your requirements.

  • 1
    Thank you!! It works for me. I'm using Kubuntu 18.04 64bit
    – aserww106
    May 7, 2018 at 19:31

The above step-by-step answer is clear; and it also worked for me on Kubuntu 18.04. thanks!

I was however not 100% content with the solution for two reasons:

(1) As a self-styled 'linux evangelist to the common man', I like to use - and promote - solutions that don't require use of the command line.

I have an answer to this:

1.1: add the languages using the GUI: system-settings-> Personalisation:Regional Settings->languge... Copy required languages to right panel, click on 'Apply', log out and in.

This in itself isn't enough though. You also need to...

1.2: start the software manager: Applications->System->Discover. Search for and install 'Language Support', then launch it (you can do this from 'Discover'). When prompted to add missing components, click on 'OK'.

(2) I'm reluctant to add components which use a gnome GUI to what is essentially a KDE system. I have found that this can give problems when doing routine updates later. (Admittedly, problems are only likely if you make a complete hotch-potch of KDE and Gnome features!) Note that step 1.2 above also installs a GTK front-end, so is also not ideal.

I will re-work this post if I find a cleaner solution soon!


On Kubuntu 20.04 you can do the following: System Settings->Regional Settings->Language->Add languages... (Select your language)

If you need a native keyboard, go to: System Settings->Input Devices->Keyboard->Layouts(Tab). Configure layouts (checkbox), +Add (button). You may select the language!

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