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The DETECTLANGUAGE formula is used to automatically detect the language of a specified text or range of cells in Google Sheets. This formula can be useful for analyzing large amounts of text data to determine the language distribution or for filtering and sorting data based on language.


Use the DETECTLANGUAGE formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:

  1. text_or_range (required):
    The text or range of cells to analyze for language detection. Must be enclosed in quotation marks if it is a text string.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the DETECTLANGUAGE formula in Google Sheets.

Detecting language in a single cell

By using the DETECTLANGUAGE formula on a single cell, you can quickly determine the language of the text in that cell.

Analyzing language distribution in a range of cells

By applying the DETECTLANGUAGE formula to a range of cells, you can generate a language distribution report that shows the percentage of text in each language.

Filtering and sorting data based on language

By using the DETECTLANGUAGE formula in combination with other formulas, you can filter and sort data based on language, allowing you to quickly identify and analyze data in a specific language.

Common Mistakes

DETECTLANGUAGE not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the DETECTLANGUAGE Google Sheets Formula:

Wrong input type

The DETECTLANGUAGE formula only works with text or range inputs. If you input a numeric value or a non-text value, it will return an error. Make sure to input a text or range value.

Invalid range input

If you input a range that contains non-text values, DETECTLANGUAGE will return an error. Make sure the range you input contains only text values.

Unsupported language

DETECTLANGUAGE only supports certain languages. If you input a text in an unsupported language, it will return an error or an incorrect language code. Make sure the language you input is supported by Google Sheets.

The following functions are similar to DETECTLANGUAGE or are often used with it in a formula:


    The GOOGLETRANSLATE formula is a Google Sheets function that can be used to translate text from one language to another. This formula uses Google's translation service to automatically detect the source language and translate it to the target language specified by the user. This function is most commonly used to translate text from one language to another without leaving the Google Sheets application.


    The REGEXEXTRACT formula is used to extract a portion of a text string that matches a regular expression. This is useful when you need to extract specific information from a text string that follows a certain pattern.


    The FILTER formula in Google Sheets is used to filter a range of data based on specified conditions. It returns a new range that only includes the rows that meet the specified conditions. This formula is commonly used to extract specific data from a larger dataset.

Learn More

You can learn more about the DETECTLANGUAGE Google Sheets function on Google Support.