I recently bought a chinese smartphone (SM-G3858) and there are only 3 languages available. English, Chinese and Korean. I tried to add another language (e.g. german) with the apps morelocale2, any locale, raygional, localeswitch, language picker widget... as already suggested in:

Is it posible to change the locale of my device?

but the system language remains in the language I initially set up the phone with (English). Only the apps itself (e.g. the manually installed googleplay- so not system apps) are changed to german. The settings menu and the whole framework is still in English. No custom rom exists for that phone so thats out of the question. I tried via adb the command:

pm grant jp.co.c_lis.ccl.morelocale android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION

But that didnt work. I have root and run on 4.2.2 JB. Also tried to contact the dev of morelocale 2 but no answer. Also asked on xda, no answer. So I´m stuck. Im not interested in changing the keyboard language, cuz that works fine. I want to change the system language. I guess there is some kind of language lock on that phone. Now how can I override that lock? What do I need to change in order to have the whole system in the new locale language? And by the way. That phone works worldwide, so I guess that means that there is no region lock?

I could not find a thread with the exact same specifications mentioned. If one exists I would appreciate a link. Thank you

1 Answer 1


It's not that the locale is locked, it's just that it's only useful to change it to a language that's already on your phone. If the phone doesn't have a translation and other needed files for German, changing the locale to German won't have any effect. It's just like if you have a German phone and you install an app that's not translated into German: you'll get the app's default language.

You can only add a new system language by installing a custom ROM that supports that language, and as you've noticed, it's hard to find custom ROMs for Chinese phones.

  • Thank your for your reply. So basically what I would need is a translated file/s to have a German language framework. And that implemented into a custom rom. Do you know where the translated English files (the English system translations) are generally located? I guess somewhere in /system? Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 18:37
  • It wouldn't help even if you knew. The IDs for each string are generated during the build process, so they have to be built from the same source tree as the rest of the ROM. You can't just drop in a file from a different ROM and expect it to work.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 21:26
  • I appreciate your answer Dan. I found a program now that can add languages into a current running os via adb. Its pretty unknown and very specific, but it seems my problem will be solved with that. For the records the program is called Android language project. See the developers website here www.androidlangproject.com and his yt video here youtube.com/watch?v=-0BeQUNJ67M Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 8:42

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