Setting languages

I always have to laugh a bit when I see advertisements for computers loaded with Windows that can dual-boot (!) both English and Dutch versions of Windows. One of the greatest advantage of using Xubuntu (or Ubuntu, or whatever) is that it is easy and, no less important, free of charge to use it in different languages. In fact, you can use different languages on a per-account basis!

To set it up, you just have to open Applications->System->Language Support.

Language support

From there, you can browse through a list of supported languages. I personally prefer British English (which I also set as the default language in the drop-down menu at the bottom), but my sister does not speak English and therefore would like to use my system in Dutch. No problem, I just scroll through the list, select “Dutch” and check the checkbox under “Support”. Now I can click “OK”, upon which it will download the selected language and set it up. And if you later install other applications that have been translated to the other language, that other language will be automatically installed with it.

To set Dutch as the default language for my sister, at the login screen, she can just choose “Dutch” as the language, then when she logs in she will be prompted whether she wants to use it as the default language or just for that session. (Note: depending on the version of Xubuntu, or Ubuntu, you use, a “Languages” button might not be available. To access it, you first have to select Options and then Languages.)

Unfortunately, translating every single piece of software is a huge job, mostly done by volunteers, so not everything will be translated. But the most important software has mostly been translated, and using a partially-translated operating system is already way easier than using one in another language.

16 Responses to “Setting languages”


  1. 1 Catharina 19 July 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Leuk artikel! Veel plezier op je welverdiende vakantie.

  2. 2 bartek 21 July 2007 at 10:02 am

    Ik blijf het een onding vinden. Die language support.

    En dan bedoel ik niet de mogelijkheid die jij gebrukt Vincent, voor het wisselen tussen talen. Maar dat je bij elke nieuwe installatie nog de ontbrekende taalpakketten moet gaan ophalen. Zoiets zou automatisch moeten gebeuren.

  3. 3 Ferdinand 15 August 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Taal support in Windows is vreselijk. Ik heb een Duitse windows, maar heb inmiddels liever een Nederlandse versie, maar even switchen is er niet bij. Je moet gewoon een nieuwe Windows halen. Eigenlijk toch absurd!
    Maar ja…
    In ieder geval een goed blog dit! Ben zelf net bezig met Xubuntu installeren. Vroeg me alleen af waar een functie zit om je grafische kaart en daarmee je tv-out in te stellen?

    Daarnaast wil ik je wijzen op WUBI, een linuxinstaller die het installeren van Ubuntu / Xubuntu i.c.m. Dual Booten een eitje maakt. Een druk op de knop vanuit Windows en het gaat lopen. Zeker de moeite waard om op je Blog te behandelen denk ik en andere mensen op te wijzen! Kijk maar wat je ermee doet…

    Groeten,
    Ferdinand

  4. 4 Vincent 27 August 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Ben zelf net bezig met Xubuntu installeren. Vroeg me alleen af waar een functie zit om je grafische kaart en daarmee je tv-out in te stellen?

    Geen idee wat je precies bedoelt met “grafische kaart instellen”, maar ik heb sowieso niet erg veel verstand van hardware. Misschien kun je het eens proberen op het Ubuntu-NL forum?

    Daarnaast wil ik je wijzen op WUBI, een linuxinstaller die het installeren van Ubuntu / Xubuntu i.c.m. Dual Booten een eitje maakt. Een druk op de knop vanuit Windows en het gaat lopen. Zeker de moeite waard om op je Blog te behandelen denk ik en andere mensen op te wijzen! Kijk maar wat je ermee doet…

    Dat is nu ook toevallig! Ik was juist op het idee gekomen om mijn broertje dat eens te laten proberen, want hij wil op zich wel Xubuntu maar vindt het installeren te veel werk. Dat hoop ik een beetje te volgen zodat ik daar iets over kan schrijven😉

  5. 5 Tony 7 September 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Cool.

    Before reading your blog, I was uninterested in anything but Gnome/Ubuntu.

    Now that I have experimented with Xubuntu and found it very amazignly “reactive”, there is a dilemma in my life: which one of these two great distributions to run.

    Hmmm… oh well I don’t have to choose one, do I!?

    Thanks for the good entries. ;-P
    Tony

  6. 6 Papa 8 September 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Tony,

    You can use VirtualBox or VMWARE server to run all the OS you want !!

    They are free and available for linux and MS

  7. 7 Tony 10 September 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Oh…😉

    I understand everything is possible, but let me be blunt and say “I’m not a geek”, and just want to have a normal system to use everyday.

    Thanks for the tip, though. The Dutch guy had already mentioned it.

    Regards
    Tony

  8. 8 Vincent 10 September 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Tony, may I ask how you found this blog if you were uninterested in anything but Gnome/Ubuntu?😀

  9. 9 Tony 12 September 2007 at 10:13 am

    Hey Vincent!

    Good question.

    The easy answer is “Google”.

    Also, I kept reading about Xubuntu and how snappy and simple it was, and I realized hehe this was what my parents needed: a very simple, responsive and modern OS.

    So I burnt the live CD and immediately noticed it was much faster than Ubuntu’s on the exact same hardware. (I thought Ubuntu was slow because of the CD drive, but Xubuntu is just orders of magnitude faster.)

    So not only did I install it on my parents’ PC, I decided to use it myself as well.

    It’s annoying there’s no power management or language input options (I know of gnome-energy-saver or whatever) but I am confident it’s all coming. By using it, we’re helping.

    And then there’s the exclusivity factor… how many people out there in actuality know about Xfce or use it? We’re special😉

    Met vriendelijke groet,
    Tony

  10. 10 Vincent 12 September 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks Tony, I think I get most of my visitors via Google😉

    And I think I have some good news for you: Gutsy will ship some Gnome system management tools, so perhaps you’ll have your power management tool too😀

    And then there’s the exclusivity factor… how many people out there in actuality know about Xfce or use it? We’re special😉

    It’s nice being with the underdog, isn’t it😉

    Met vriendelijke groet,
    Tony

    Dit I see a Dutch greeting…?🙂

  11. 11 Papa 13 September 2007 at 8:50 am

    XFCE users do not have to belong to the underdogs !!

    The only real fact is that their hardware are too slow for KDE :-))

    Greetz !!

    KDE user

  12. 12 Tony 15 September 2007 at 9:10 am

    Warning… off topic digression: yes, you did see a Dutch greeting. Hehe.

    I’m a student here, but my Dutch is pathetic really. I blame it on the country – where else do even beggars speak three languages?😉

    Back to the topic at hand – I can’t wait for Gutsy. It appears as if a massive wave of improvements will sweep us all.

    Mr Man

    P.S. Cool trancy radio station

  13. 13 Vincent 15 September 2007 at 9:25 am

    Back to the topic at hand – I can’t wait for Gutsy. It appears as if a massive wave of improvements will sweep us all.

    I can’t wait either🙂

    Though you can be certain there will be quite some revies that will burn Gutsy down (they want a light-weight Ubuntu), but I hope Xubuntu will get more recognition as a regular, high-quality distribution that you don’t just use because your computer can’t handle anything “better”.

    P.S. Cool trancy radio station

    I must be missing something, but… What radio station?

  14. 14 Tony 15 September 2007 at 11:04 am

    Your own station dude at last.fm; you’re a funny guy.

  15. 15 Vincent 15 September 2007 at 11:07 am

    Your own station dude at last.fm; you’re a funny guy.

    My Last.fm station? Did I mention that anywhere on this blog? I should remember what I’ve written😛


  1. 1 University Update - Linux - Setting languages Trackback on 18 July 2007 at 11:05 pm

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