Which languages are fully-localized by Windows?


A little while ago, I discussed that not all languages get translated console output. For reference, here are the languages that are fully-localized, including console output:

Lang Description
de-DE German (Germany)
en-US English (United States)
es-ES Spanish (Spain)
fr-FR French (France)
it-IT Italian (Italy)
ja-JP Japanese (Japan)
ko-KR Korean (Korea)
pt-BR Portuguese (Brazil)
ru-RU Russian (Russia)
zh-CN Chinese (China)
zh-HK Chinese (Hong Kong)
zh-TW Chinese (Taiwan)

The penultimate row is crossed out because support for full localization of Chinese (Hong Kong) was dropped in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Comments (21)
  1. Brian_EE says:

    It drives the people in Portugal nuts that it is the Brazilians driving the evolution of the Portuguese language. And really, couldn't you add en-UK to the list just by changing the text "Error" everywhere to "Bloody Hell!"?

    1. Ken Hagan says:

      The Portuguese will just have to get used to it, like the British did, and like the North Americans will have to probably rather sooner than they expect. It is probably only a matter of time before the Spanish have to as well.

      1. You're assuming we, the British, are used to it. We're not. We're still very pissed off about it.

        1. Richard says:

          We're still studiously including "u" and avoiding "z"whenever possible.

          Civilisation depends on the correct spelling of colour!

          But yeah, other than that we've given up. Unlike French, English is defined by usage.

          1. xcomcmdr says:

            French is also defined by usage.

          2. Steve says:

            And, for that matter, the correct spelling of localised.

          3. smf says:

            Technically the French language is governed by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acad%C3%A9mie_fran%C3%A7aise

  2. Entegy says:

    I thought having a language pack meant the language was fully localized? I do know the difference between an LP and an LIP. For example, en-GB was added in Windows 8 and can be the base language for a system. So does that mean there are essentially three levels, not two? Fully localized, localized enough to be the base system language, and then LIPs?

    1. See the linked article for explanatory diagrams. You'll see that there are indeed three levels.

      1. Entegy says:

        D'oh. I even see myself posting on that other post. I guess I did not fully process the Partially Localized level.

  3. Erkin Alp Güney says:

    Why is British English not a base language?

    1. RP says:

      Probably because Microsoft is US-based.
      It's only recently they added an even partially UK-localised version.

      1. Boris says:

        In the case of Serbian (or Serbocroatian in general), many users will have become used to US English long before even a partial translation became available (think back to the days of DOS - things like "Bad command or file name" were some of the first English sentences I was exposed to on a daily basis), often to the point of not immediately recognizing the US equivalents of the translated elements, or knowing what they are but not feeling comfortable with the translation. I suppose UK English could've also been used as a base language, but it wouldn't make much difference in practice. I assume that speakers of many other languages had a similar experience in this regard.

  4. Frankie says:

    I come from HK. Quite sad to see that full localization of Chinese(Hong Kong) was dropped

  5. Ian Yates says:

    Interesting timing of this article. I came across many news articles today about "features Microsoft is removing from the creators update". One that caught my eye is the "Interactive Services Detection" feature since I still find it handy.

    Anyway, whilst searching for some official source I came across this MS KB support article
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/4014193/features-that-are-removed-or-deprecated-in-windows-10-creators-update

    Sure enough it's there, although sadly with very little information.

    I also noticed that Paint is being removed (not just deprecated) for languages not on the "full localization list". That text has a link to the list at
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications#Windows-10-localization

    It's a different list from what's published here so I suspect either
    a) the meaning of the word "full" is not the same (console maybe being the only difference)
    or
    b) some of the languages listed in that article just use the language pack here for their Windows experience or just for their console (eg Ukraine falling back to Russian and Serbian falling back to whatever it should..., etc)

    Multi-language stuff is *hard*. Kudos for the effort put into it even if it doesn't directly benefit me personally (more languages means a bigger ecosystem of users and developers which is a very definite but non-tangible benefit).

  6. Thomas Hadlich says:

    I think it is interessting, that each language is represented once. Why is Chinese three two times on the list?

    1. James says:

      Thomas,
      "Chinese" has two main written forms that are very different (simplified, mostly used in China, and traditional, mostly used in Taiwan). There also are many very different verbal dialects (Mandarin, Cantonese, ...), although those wouldn't be reflected here.

    2. QR says:

      There are technical reasons as well as culture/political reasons. Taiwan and Hongkong use traditional written form of Chinese and its encoding is called BIG5. However, the two are still slightly different in written form and usage habit for some characters. Mainland China use simplified written form and GB* series encodings. Singapore and Malaysian Chinese followed this move. Although later ones like GB18030 also includes traditional written forms, the shape and usage habit are also a little different from Taiwan and Hongkong.

      This issue can trace back long that most Chinese characters have many different written forms because of large territory and artist creation, and they are all OK. However, each regime will define a standard form so as to be consistent and reduce learning cost. And the simplified Chinese is a big move in recent history.

    3. I learned traditional characters, and to me simplified is unreadable. If you grew up with traditional English spelling, try reading something written in simplified English spelling. Conversely, people who grew up with simplified characters think traditional characters are overly complicated, like reading Middle English.

  7. cheong00 says:

    Talking about language, one of the things I don't like is to bind language to input method.

    Maybe it's a rare situation to other places, lots of us want to use English UI with Chinese IME. Binding the display language choice to default IME creates usability problem for us.

    I've taken time to add this to the now Feedback Hub when Win10 is just released, but seems no one bothers to change it back to separated options. It's very annoying.

  8. agnul says:

    Does "fully localized" include keyboard layouts? Because then I'd remove Italian from the list ;-)

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