I am a bilingual specialist and educator - I am part of a department in southern Sweden with 240 teachers covering 15 000 pupils and over 50 (!) languages. Given that the city population is 350 000, it makes us one of the diverse cities by population on the planet.

My classes love Seek and iNaturalist, and I am encouraging and spreading the word to all and sundry.

At the moment the option is monolingual, or rather, Latin + one other language.

Perhaps, it would be a wonderful way to educate, connect, and bridge communities if the app site/app could offer multilingual options? Say, for example, Latin / Thai / French or Latin / German / Chinese, etc; in a simple checkbox option?

What does the hive brain think?


Maybe move this to Feature Requests?

I’m all up for it as a resident of officially bilingual country.

Can you maybe clarify exactly what it is you are asking, then if appropriate one of the mods can move it over to a feature request.

Are you asking that the species names should be able to be displayed in as many languages as you select ?

Are you somehow asking that the full interface show in multiple languages at once that the user can control ?

Are you asking that the interface and text show in one language but the species names in another (this can already be done FYI)

Something else ?


This would be great! My country is officially undecilingual (is that a word?) - 11 official languages.


I’m not sure if this directly addresses your question, but the iNat website is viewable in many languages already, with at least 30 languages (or regional variants). These can be found in the menu at the far bottom right of the screen. I don’t think it’s 100% flawless across all languages, but a nice feature is that if you’re viewing a taxon page in French, the French Wikipedia article comes up rather than English. There are some crowd-sourced efforts to translate iNaturalist: see Help us Translate. There are also apparently plans to eventually incorporate auto-translation into Comments, similar to what’s done in Facebook and Twitter, see iNaturalist 2019 Team Retreat Follow-Up, and this discussion. Translation or not, I also think it would be helpful to indicate a user’s native and/or preferred language, see this discussion.

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As a trilingual, this sounds great.

Perhaps move this to Feature Requests and not General?

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I use Chrome. I can read comments in German and Afrikaans.
With right click I can ‘translate to English’ when I need to. (That chosen language is a Google option)

Google has added so many new languages to Gmail for example, that South Africa is now covered from A to Z. Afrikaans to Zulu. (Not yet all 11 languages, but we don’t achieve that WITHIN our country)

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Sәlem, bawyrym! Aman-esen bol ;)

On the website, sure, but I don’t think the app has that support. Looking at the settings options for the (US-based) iOS iNat app, there’s not an option for changing the language to something other than English. Furthermore, it seems that changing language settings on the website in profile settings doesn’t change the language on the iNat app. Given that a lot of users are primarily or exclusively using iNat content through the iNat and Seek apps, other languages should be an option (which has been requested here).

If it’s doable, being able to see common names and such in two languages at the same time (which I think is what johnmontgomeryrouse was getting at) would be very cool, for both the multilingual and the trying-to-be-multilingual among us.

The app takes the system language of the phone. If this exists then it will show the app in the languague of the system. You cannot choose for it as far as I know.


Well, you kinda can. But for some reason between Basque and Gallician (i’m from Kazakhstan)

Would be great if the app could handle displaying common names in different languages better than it does at the moment. One can choose the “place” for common names on the website, this will influence the language of common names in the app. However this woks relatively inconsistently (I´m getting a mix of German (my “place”) and English names).

I hope iNaturalist will find a good way to address these issues, with an ever growing international community.

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If i’m not mistaken, this depends on names entered manually by the community for each individual species. I gave up on that and use only Latin. When i got time i do input local names if they’re missing.

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That is a bug which also includes Russian common names ( I see you are included in this topic as wel).

I believe those two are options because the site is translated into them, but they are not options on many devices to configure to.

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@johnmontgomeryrouse, this does sound like a percolating feature request but I’m not quite sure I understand exactly what feature is being requested…can you restate your request/ idea with specific language so that one of us mods can make sure the idea gets the proper staff attention by moving it to the “Feature Requests” category? Thanks!

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