This paper presents the cic_ualg’s system that took part in the Discriminating between Similar Languages (DSL) shared task, held at the VarDial 2017 Workshop. This year’s task aims at identifying 14 languages across 6 language groups using a corpus of excerpts of journalistic texts. Two classification approaches were compared: a single-step (all languages) approach and a two-step (language group and then languages within the group) approach. Features exploited include lexical features (unigrams of words) and character n-grams. Besides traditional (untyped) character n-grams, we introduce typed character n-grams in the DSL task. Experiments were carried out with different feature representation methods (binary and raw term frequency), frequency threshold values, and machine-learning algorithms – Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Multinomial Naive Bayes (MNB). Our best run in the DSL task achieved 91.46% accuracy.