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Languagelayer VS Detect Language – Language Detection APIs Compared

Automatic Language Detection (ALD) involves classifying documents according to their language and the character encoding they use. Although the reasons for identifying a document’s language can vary, generally speaking, identification is useful to index, process, and filter documents, usually on a large scale.

For this reason, language detection is one of the more-up-and coming applications of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in today’s market. Despite the many language detection APIs on offer, however, two stand out. They are the Languagelayer API and the Detect Language API.

Languagelayer and Detect Language both have the same purpose – they help you harness the power of artificial intelligence to detect languages on the fly. With that said, the two APIs aren’t 100% identical – they have subtle distinctions that may suit them to different situations. Another great API to pair with a language API is a geolocation API.

Read on to find out which language detection API is the right choice for your use cases.

What are the Languagelayer VS Detect Language comparisons?

Language detection APIs can vary according to a number of criteria – languages supported, Pricing and API request limits, as well as flexibility and functionality all, play a part in choosing the right API for you. In addition, there are relevance scores, programming language compatibility, and, finally, the quality of the API’s documentation to consider.

Let’s take a look at how each API stacks up against the competition.

What about Language Support?

When you compare language detection APIs, it’s pretty obvious that the number of languages they can recognize plays a big role in the selection process.


Detect Language

As of late June 2021, languagelayer supported more languages than Detect Language – 173 vs 164.

Granted, it’s a small difference, especially considering that both APIs support major languages like English, Russian, German, Greek, and Arabic. However, with its larger library of languages, Languagelayer satisfies a wider range of users.

Note: that languagelayer does not support all of Detect Language’s 164 languages. For example, the Dzongkha or Cherokee languages.

What are the Pricing and API Request Limits?

As always, price matters. Read on for a comparison of each language detection API’s pricing model.

Detect Language


The affordable Detect Language beats out languagelayer in terms of pricing and API request limits.

There are four subscription plans for languagelayer – one free and three paid.

The free plan includes 5,000 API requests per month (excluding a 20% tolerance). it also features low-priority technical support. Finally, languagelayer doesn’t allow you to perform batch or HTTPS queries.

Once you upgrade to a paid plan, however, you get personalized and prioritized technical support. In addition, you get batch queries, 256-bit HTTPS encryption for sensitive information, and, lastly, higher API request caps – up to 2 million per month (excluding 20% tolerance).

There are no data caps in any of the plans.

The paid plans cost between $4.99 to $39.99 per month. If you pay annually, you get 20% off the subscription fee.

In contrast, Detect Language’s plans look like this:

The first to consider here is that the Detect Language plans API request limits are daily, not monthly. Not only that, but Detect Language’s request limits are much higher – from 1,000 per day in the free plan to 100 million a day in the Premium 100M plan.

All in all, Detect Language may be cheaper than languagelayer when you account for API request limits. Moreover, with Detect Language, free users can perform batch and encrypted requests.

However, Detect Language plans have data caps that range from 1 MB to 20 GB per day. Depending on your use cases, these data caps may be a major limitation for Detect Language.

What about Functionality & Flexibility?

The functionality and flexibility of a language detection API depend entirely on how you plan to use them. Let’s compare the differences here.


Detect Language

Because its API responses contain more information, Languagelayer is potentially more functional and more flexible than Detect Language.

Here is a sample JSON response to a languagelayer API query:

The contents of this set are explained as follows in the languagelayer documentation:

If the request returns “success”: false, languagelayer provides an error code along with the error’s description:

In contrast, Detect Language produces something like this:

Here’s what isReliable and confidence mean:

By providing you with more information, languagelayer allows you to handle its responses with more granularity. For example, in case of an error, you can use the returned error code to programmatically handle request failures.

In addition, Languagelayer supports JSONP callbacks, so you can seamlessly perform cross-domain requests.

Which has the best Programming Language Support?

Programming language support in a language detect API directly affects how easily you can integrate it into the app of your choice. Simply put, more languages supported, means more implementation options. This is especially useful when you are running multiple platforms or projects and want a single API solution.

Detect Language


When it comes to programming language support, Detect Language beats out languagelayer simply because it offers specific API clients for a number of languages.

In contrast, languagelayer makes its, API requests through POST or GET queries to the http://api.languagelayer.com/detect API endpoint, like so:

Since you are using the languagelayer API directly, it supports any programming language that can send HTTP requests.

Detect Language may be used similarly. However, it also has API clients for a number of programming languages – more specifically:

  • Ruby.
  • Python.
  • Node.js.
  • Go.
  • Java.
  • PHP.
  • .NET.
  • Perl.
  • Crystal.

The API clients arguably make API request code neater. In Python, for example, Detect Language requests look like this:

Which has the best Documentation?

Documentation is a major factor when selecting any API to integrate into your application. Good documentation can save your developers time and frustration by giving them an effective reference when they need it.


Detect Language

Languagelayer has more comprehensive documentation than Detect Language. While Detect Language’s documentation is not terrible and gets the job done, languagelayer provides more in-depth descriptions of its API responses. It also lists common error codes and goes into more detail about the functions of its API.

Languagelayer’s step-by-step instructions are also easier for beginners to follow. Its documentation is interactive as well, allowing you to instantly see the output of some example code cells.

What about Affiliate Programs?


Detect Language

As the final point of comparison, languagelayer has an affiliate program, while Detect Language does not. An affiliate program isn’t something developers need to have in a language detection API, but it does present additional income-generating opportunities.

Languagelayer affiliates receive a 25% commission on every subscription payment from customers who sign up for a premium plan using an affiliate’s unique URL.     

What are the Languagelayer VS Detect Language – Pros And Cons?

In summary, here are the pros and cons of languagelayer and Detect Language.

  Pros Cons
Languagelayer Supports more languages.

More flexible thanks to more detailed API responses.

Supports JSONP callbacks.

Better, more detailed documentation.

Has an affiliate program.
More expensive.

Features in the free plan are limited.  
Detect Language More affordable.

Has API clients for a number of programming languages.

Higher API request limits.

Supports batch and HTTPS queries even in the free plan.
Has daily data caps.

Comparatively weak documentation.

How can I Get Started With Automatic Language Detection?

Languagelayer and Detect Language are both good tools for language detection purposes, however, languagelayer is a more functional, powerful, and polished solution.

Languagelayer is a considerably better choice if you want to handle API responses on a fine-grained level. Explore languagelayer now for free!

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