Wednesday, February 18, 2009

XP - Install A Language Pack

Here is one of my more requested tutorials:

How to Install A Language Pack (Win XP)

First go to the start bar, then click on ‘Control Panel’.
This should bring up a new window that gives you access to settings on your system.
This window can actually look like a couple of different things.

If your window looks like this proceed as follows, otherwise proceed further below.
Select “Switch to Classic View”. This makes it a lot easier for more advanced users to find what they are looking for.

Now double click on “Regional and Language Options”.

After that a new window should open. This window displays Regional Options Tab first. This has different currency settings and number systems you can change to. But we don’t care about those. Click on the Languages tab. You should now see a window similar to that below.

This is where we install the language packs. Check the boxes that apply and select ok. The Arabic and right-to-left is 10MB and the others are 230MB, that’s 240MB total. With technology today, most computers have that much space readily available.

The installation will either proceed automatically, or prompt you for the Windows XP CD. DON’T PANIC, If you don’t have a Windows disk, just navigate to the “I386” folder on C: drive, or type in: ‘C:\I386’ most mass manufactured PC’s will have this folder there.

After the installation is complete you may have to restart your computer. You’ll now notice a ‘bar’ at the top of the screen. This is called the “Language Bar”. You can change the options and settings for it later. First lets touch on a couple of things.

The little bar button minimizes the language bar to the task bar.

I often have it down there because I find it annoying to look at. You can change languages by simply clicking on the “EN” part, and selecting the language you would like your keyboard to type.

Let us set up your keyboards now. Go back into “Regional and Language Options”, that’s ‘start’→ Control Panel → “Regional and Language Options” icon → Languages tab.
You should now have the same window as before, but this time lets click on “Details…” button.

This window pops open. Click on the “Add…” button. You will now see this prompt asking you for the language and the kind of keyboard you are using.

Select the appropriate language you would like to add from the first drop down box, and the second box automatically detects your keyboard. If you have a different keyboard select it from the second box and click “OK”.

Some languages, like Arabic, you must know what keys produce what characters. Other languages, like Japanese, automatically detect when you spell the word in English. For example, the word for cat ‘neko’( ねこ ) when typed with hiragana input mode turned on produces the characters ‘ne’( ね ) and ‘ko’( こ ) automatically. One last note, sometimes it is more useful to have the language bar on top as opposed to the task bar. Also note that, If you change programs the system language for that program doesn’t change until you tell it to via the language bar. i.e. If you are typing in Arabic in word, and wanted to do a Google search on an Arabic word, when you open Internet Explorer or Firefox, the language is defaulted to English.

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