none
Windows 7 ultimate Language Switching

    Question

  • Windows 7 Ult has the functionality to switch between any of 35 languages. If I switch to a language in Win7, is this the same as if I had downloaded the OS in that language from MSDN?
    I software test in over 26 languages and by switching langages instead of installing an OS from an  ISO, I would save considerable time and hard drive space.
    Monday, November 02, 2009 5:07 PM

Answers

  • From my experience, I want to share a few more aspects. My original version is a German one, display UI language is set to English, and from time to time I'm switching to a Spanish UI. (The keyboard is switchable between all three layouts, so it's easy to type such letters as "ñ" or "ä".) The results are: 1) If you switch from one language pack to another, nearly all of the UI is translated. However, there are some inconsistencies. Sometimes, in "msinfo32" the system locale is displayed as "Alemania" (Germany), even if I don't have the Spanish UI activated and don't be in Germany. The function of the GEOID (determinating from where you are working) is somewhat random, too. If I visit MS Store, in general I'm directed to the US site, but (obviously depending from the primary language) if I select any subsite, let's say "Windows 7 offers", I'm redirected to the German site. There are more examples like that. 2) Some system internals aren't language-neutral, even if the "core files" are supposed to be that. F.e., the name of the partition that is created for BitLocker/bootfiles on a new drive, is not always "System reserved" but can be localized, too (mainly on the most important languages like French, German, Spanish - I don't think there is a localization for all imaginable cases).
    For a normal user, all of those details are really irrelevant. They can create some headache if you try to automate work, use batch files, etc. because you may address some commands to files or menus with wrong names. If your software testing involves any of that, I would recommend not to use language packs. It's safer to use the language-specific versions you want to be tested.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, November 09, 2009 2:23 AM
    Monday, November 02, 2009 7:29 PM
  • FYI:

    Microsoft recommended that we follow the same testing/deployment strategy (i.e. fully localized OS installation - not language packs) when testing our applications in different langauage O/S.
    • Marked as answer by mas1mnf Friday, December 04, 2009 2:31 PM
    Friday, December 04, 2009 2:29 PM

All replies

  • Here's a useful video on language switching, which involves installing via Windows Update and either a log off or reboot after selecting a different language.  And all menus, buttons, in that new language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnVn4zEyMnM
    - it's the second tutorial on the video starting 0:43 into video
    Monday, November 02, 2009 5:22 PM
  • From my experience, I want to share a few more aspects. My original version is a German one, display UI language is set to English, and from time to time I'm switching to a Spanish UI. (The keyboard is switchable between all three layouts, so it's easy to type such letters as "ñ" or "ä".) The results are: 1) If you switch from one language pack to another, nearly all of the UI is translated. However, there are some inconsistencies. Sometimes, in "msinfo32" the system locale is displayed as "Alemania" (Germany), even if I don't have the Spanish UI activated and don't be in Germany. The function of the GEOID (determinating from where you are working) is somewhat random, too. If I visit MS Store, in general I'm directed to the US site, but (obviously depending from the primary language) if I select any subsite, let's say "Windows 7 offers", I'm redirected to the German site. There are more examples like that. 2) Some system internals aren't language-neutral, even if the "core files" are supposed to be that. F.e., the name of the partition that is created for BitLocker/bootfiles on a new drive, is not always "System reserved" but can be localized, too (mainly on the most important languages like French, German, Spanish - I don't think there is a localization for all imaginable cases).
    For a normal user, all of those details are really irrelevant. They can create some headache if you try to automate work, use batch files, etc. because you may address some commands to files or menus with wrong names. If your software testing involves any of that, I would recommend not to use language packs. It's safer to use the language-specific versions you want to be tested.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, November 09, 2009 2:23 AM
    Monday, November 02, 2009 7:29 PM
  • Hi mas1mnf,

     

    The language pack is applied per user. If you switch the display language in a user account, the change will not be applied to other users. Therefore, the welcome screen will display the original language of the operating system.

     

    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 5:18 AM
  • FYI:

    Microsoft recommended that we follow the same testing/deployment strategy (i.e. fully localized OS installation - not language packs) when testing our applications in different langauage O/S.
    • Marked as answer by mas1mnf Friday, December 04, 2009 2:31 PM
    Friday, December 04, 2009 2:29 PM
  • I have an original Spanish Windows 7 version, which was shipped with the laptop I'm using. Since I wanted an Enlgish version I was forced to upgrade to Ultimate version, which I've done.

    Nevertheless, as mentioned before, a lot of error messages (like localhost-IIS, command line errors) and the users in User manager are still all named in Spanish. Is there a way to completely change the entire system to English? Including system messages? I suppose that there must be some "system language" setting that one should be able to change.

    ... really looking forward to your suggestions!!

    thanks,

    Jacques.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 8:26 AM
  • There is no such setting. Your situation is described in http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/ee461121#LocalizationExceptionswithLanguagePacks (summarized: If you change the UI language of a localized version of Windows, either by adding another MUI like in Windows Ultimate or by changing the default language of single-language editions when the OEM gives you the choice, some parts of the UI will remain in the language which was installed first).
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 4:30 PM