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Windows 7: Windows 7 Language Packs

19 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 
Windows 7 Language Packs

It's probably a simple question, but somehow I am confused about what's going to happen if I install a Language Pack.

The real issue is the following. Consider for example an app that creates a catalog of your DVDs. If all your movies are in English, there is no issue. But, if you have also movies in foreign languages, and especially if these languages use different characters - such as Cyrillic, for example - then most "standard" apps will fail you, they will not be able to use foreign titles.

Now, the question - if I install a Language Pack, then will it completely change the user interface, i.e. all menus will now be int he foreign language, or it will add a possibility to use foreign characters for those programs that might need that feature?

Another example, right now, if I install, say again, a DVD catalog app and choose the language to be Russian, then all menus will be unreadable - I will just see some random collection of question marks and other symbols. I guess this is because all menus are somehow related to whatever settings the OS has as a default. Now, if I install a Language Pack, will all my other programs (which are in English) suddenly become unusable or I will be able to use two different languages for menus?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Everything that is currently in English will remain in English. The question marks and weird characters will appear as the characters they are supposed to be. I believe there will be an option to change everything OS related to the other language but this will not happen by default. In case you are wondering, I installed all of the language packs back when I had 7 RC (early version of 7 ultimate), and had no issues at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Installing one or more language packs is not going to help you in this issue. A language pack transforms a chosen user account of Windows 7 completely to another language, changing the language of the user interface, included original software (Paint, Notepad, Help and Support etc), features, menus and dialogs.

A language pack has non whatsoever effect on third party software, i.e. if you install let's say Russian language pack on an English Windows 7, your DVD catalog app with all it's menus would still be in English.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
Everything that is currently in English will remain in English.
That is not true. After installing and applying a language pack on an English system, everything that was in English, except third party apps and software, will be changed to language of the applied language pack.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
Everything that is currently in English will remain in English.
That is not true. After installing and applying a language pack on an English system, everything that was in English, except third party apps and software, will be changed to language of the applied language pack.
Weird. Back in the RC1 days I downloaded multiple language packs and never had a problem. I will say I'm unsure about this one for the time being, because I've agreed with everything I've seen you post until now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

I do not follow you. What is that you do not believe, Petey?

A picture is better than thousand words, so let's show some pics. First my logon screen, where I can choose if I want to log on to a Finnish, English, German or Swedish user account:

Windows 7 Language Packs-logon_pc2.png

I'm now logged in to my English user account, but I went to Finnish and German accounts to make some screenshots. Here are some examples, shown always Finnish on top, German underneath it.

Please notice, these screenshots are from this same computer, from two different user accounts using two different language packs.

Start menu:

Windows 7 Language Packs-fi_2.png
Windows 7 Language Packs-de_2.png

Windows Paint:

Windows 7 Language Packs-fi_3.png
Windows 7 Language Packs-de_3.png

Windows WordPad:

Windows 7 Language Packs-fi_4.png
Windows 7 Language Packs-de_4.png

Windows Help & Support:

Windows 7 Language Packs-fi_5.png
Windows 7 Language Packs-de_5.png

My Computer:

Windows 7 Language Packs-fi_6.png
Windows 7 Language Packs-de_6.png


Notice that the language of Windows is completely changed. Everything that was originally English in this Windows setup of mine, is changed to my chosen language.

One more time:

Windows 7 (and Vista) Language Pack transforms the chosen user account completely to the language of the chosen language pack. Translated are all Windows UI elements, features, included apps and software, help systems, IE8 browser, error and other dialogs, menus and so on.

Windows Language Pack can not and will not change the language of third party applications. Other than that, the language change is complete.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
A language pack has non whatsoever effect on third party software, i.e. if you install let's say Russian language pack on an English Windows 7, your DVD catalog app with all it's menus would still be in English.

Kari
Hmm, so is there anything one can do? I don't mean the menus, I am quite happy with the English menus. However, some apps - the DVD catalog was just one example - can't handle foreign languages properly. Basically I would even be able to type in a foreign text, but then it won't reproduce it correctly. Are you saying it's up to the app, how these languages are handled?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

I wasn't saying that you can't change the language. On some websites, they have things written in different languages (obviously). Sometimes characters won't show up correctly. It has been over a year now, but I seem to recall installing all language packs, and then seeing the characters just fine, instead of a question mark or square box. Using 7, its rare to see them anyways, but it still happens from time to time. Looking at the wikipedia articles for various mangas, I those question marks the OP describes. With 7 RC with all language packs installed, I never saw them as far as I can remember. If you say language packs wouldn't have anything to do with this, I have no problem accepting it. It also seemed to me that the OP was asking if simply downloading the language pack would automatically change the language of his profile, which, to my knowledge, won't happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unifex View Post
Hmm, so is there anything one can do? I don't mean the menus, I am quite happy with the English menus. However, some apps - the DVD catalog was just one example - can't handle foreign languages properly. Basically I would even be able to type in a foreign text, but then it won't reproduce it correctly. Are you saying it's up to the app, how these languages are handled?
Your best shot IMO is to install keyboard layouts (input languages) in those languages your application does not seem to support, and then type names in those languages manually.

Please notice the difference between a display language (language pack) and an input language. Input languages can be added in Control Panel > Region and Language > Keyboard and Languages > Change Keyboards:

Name:  Input_Language.png
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Some non-Latin based input languages need a few extra steps, as described for instance in here.

Links:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
I wasn't saying that you can't change the language. On some websites, they have things written in different languages (obviously). Sometimes characters won't show up correctly. It has been over a year now, but I seem to recall installing all language packs, and then seeing the characters just fine, instead of a question mark or square box. Using 7, its rare to see them anyways, but it still happens from time to time. Looking at the wikipedia articles for various mangas, I those question marks the OP describes. With 7 RC with all language packs installed, I never saw them as far as I can remember. If you say language packs wouldn't have anything to do with this, I have no problem accepting it. It also seemed to me that the OP was asking if simply downloading the language pack would automatically change the language of his profile, which, to my knowledge, won't happen.
This must be a misunderstanding. Even if you install all 35 available languages, it has nothing to do with how different languages are shown or if they include wrong, strange characters.

Once again, I ask you not to mix input languages with language packs. Two completely different things. Input language changes the keyboard layout, and together with system locale the way foreign, non-Latin based characters are shown. Language pack changes the language of the system.

The only language pack that is used in any given moment is the one applied to the user account you are using. Only one language can be at use, applied, in any given moment; if you want to change the language of that user account and apply a new language, you have to completely log off, which removes all remains of the old language from that user account, and log in to apply a new language.

Name:  Display_Language.png
Views: 8
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OP's issue with wrongly shown foreign characters in a third party application has absolutely, most definitely nothing to do with, nor can it be solved with installing a language pack.

Links:
Finally: yes, Petey, that's right. Downloading and installing a language pack does change nothing. It must be separately applied.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Okay. Sorry for my confusion over language packs. Thanks for the info Kari.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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