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Bored of Wordle? Try playing it in Russian, Tamil or Turkish

Non-English-language versions of the viral word game are popping up around the world

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

If you’re finally over your Wordle addiction (fat chance!), you now have another challenging five-letter-word guessing game to contend with. In fact, you’ve got dozens.

After the game took the online world by storm, developers across the globe have had a stab at making the game work in other languages. You can now play equivalents in French (as Le Mot), Italian (Verba), Spanish (Wordle), Portuguese (Termo), Swedish (Ordlig) and German (Wordle), with the number of translations is increasing by the day. Tamil, Turkish, Russian, Hungarian are the latest additions. 

Needless to say, creating Wordle in other languages can be complicated, and it raises some really interesting questions. How much harder is it if an alphabet has more characters in it than English? Do some languages have a higher or lower frequency of five-letter words? Is it even possible in some languages?

Translating Wordle into certain languages – mostly those with a Latin alphabet – has been pretty straightforward. By using a different word bank and allowing for extra letters with accents, umlauts and the like, developers have been able to pretty much directly copy the format. The Portuguese version, Termo, did exactly that, and reached more than 200,000 daily players in just three weeks.

Other languages, however, have been forced to make more significant changes to the traditional Wordle format. The Tamil version, for instance, had to get rid the limit of six guesses. The language apparently has too many potential syllable combinations to be limited to so few attempts. According to Rest of World, Tamil guessers frequently reach double digits, and the developer even posts daily hints on Twitter.

Some languages are unlikely ever to have their own versions, namely those where a single character can represent an entire word or phrase like Mandarin, Japanese or Korean. The average Chinese person knows around 8,000 unique characters – which makes guessing even one of them pretty difficult, to say the least.

But if you do fancy putting your Swedish, Tamil or Hungarian knowledge to the test, a handy guide to all the international versions of Wordle can be found here. So what are you waiting for? Get guessing! 

Back to basics: what the hell is Wordle – and how do you play it?

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