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How to make your computer multilingual

| 44 comments | Category: tools

pink_mouseI’ve always said that total immersion and avoiding English are the key to learning a language quickly. However, even when living in the country, watching TV, socialising and doing everything else in the local language, you may still be exposed to too much English on your computer. And if you can’t travel yet to practise the language, then wouldn’t it be great if you could feel at least “virtually” immersed? Well, you can!

Change your computer’s interface language

Even if, for all practical purposes, most things you do on the computer may be in English (writing emails, reading blogs, chatting, work, etc.) why not try using the interface in the language you want to practise? This is surprisingly easy in most cases! Even if your familiarity with the language is still weak, the position of the words within the program is usually the same, and may even be helped by icons. You get used to it very quickly and you will learn some important words relevant to how you naturally use your computer, as well as just feeling like you are in the foreign language, which can help your motivation to improve your level.

Right now almost everything on my computer is presented to me in Portuguese, to help me stay in the right mindset for my current mission. When it’s time to get in the mood for speaking the next language (actually Esperanto again for a week around New Year’s in Poland for the JES event, before I start my already-decided next language mission somewhere else in January; to be revealed later!) I don’t need to install any new programs and can change my entire computer to any of several languages I choose in less than 5 minutes. Today I’ll show you how!

Localizing your browser and browsing

I am definitely not Internet Explorer‘s biggest fan; no use winging too much about it though, since Google Analytics tells me that 20% of visitors to my site use it! So if you’re happy with IE then here is some info for changing the default language on some websites (that redirect to a particular language if available). You can download the entire browser and install it in several languages (but each language requires a new full download), and you should reinstall the program anyway if you are using anything older than version 8.0.

Luckily, for the rest of us it’s much simpler than that! My browser of choice (and of 60% of my readers), Firefox, lets you install a handy plugin called Quick Locale Switcher. After setting it up, you can change the language the entire browser is presented to you in (File, Edit, right-click etc.), the language of most of the plugins, the dictionaries available for spell-checks, and even the language of websites themselves if they are available in it, in just two clicks. [Edit: this plugin is crashing for some people; if that's the case for you, then another solution that requires a few extra steps is outlined here, or a less extensive locale-changer plugin can be found here] If you use Firefox, don’t forget to check out my tips for taking advantage of its spell checker.

Google Chrome natively makes it very easy to change the interface language. On a Mac, Safari’s display language is linked to the system language settings (see below).

Some sites that can change, do not automatically change, despite the browser’s default language. This is due to your profile settings and can easily be altered in sites such as Facebook.

Turning your entire computer’s interface into another language

A lot of programs that you can download are available in several languages from the website itself, or the display language is an option that you choose in the installation set-up. Some (like Skype) even let you change the interface language from within the already-installed program. For other applications, you may have to go through them individually and see how easy this is and if it’s worth re-downloading or reinstalling. For example, if you have a chess program, why not play it in Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese etc.?

But the ultimate interface change is for your entire Operating System. If you are on a Mac, then changing the system language is easy; that is directly linked to many installed programs such as Safari, so most of what you see on the computer is translated!

It’s possible in Windows Vista, but a bit complicated [edit: and you can do it in XP too], but unless you have the more expensive Professional/Enterprise editions of these Operating Systems you will have to actually buy a new installation CD for each language. This is also the case in Windows 7. Even changing the Windows interface language still leaves you the problem of the languages in MS Office and other programs. Luckily, for those of us on a PC there is a much handier (and free) solution; Ubuntu.

Try Ubuntu instead of Windows

Ubuntu is the easiest to use flavour of Linux; an operating system and alternative to Windows (and OS X) that would have been too complicated for most users in the past. However, nowadays Ubuntu is extremely easy to test, install and use, and is actually easier to use than Windows in many aspects, as well as being extremely customisable. Best of all, it’s completely free.

If you don’t like Windows (because of viruses, constant crashes, waiting 8 years for an “OK” upgrade that you still have to pay a lot for, etc.) then consider downloading this and trying it out from the CD, without even needing to install it (so it won’t even affect your system if you decide it’s not for you). After I lost all of my data about 2 years ago when my Windows system crashed, I moved to Ubuntu and have been very happy with it since; just a few days ago the latest version was released – a free download as always!

Since Ubuntu is open source (a concept I’ve mentioned before), the community helps to write it, and that includes language availabilities. What makes it different from Windows, and even the Mac, in this respect is the scope of languages available. It can be viewed in an incredible 244 languages, including Irish and Esperanto, which I certainly appreciate! And best of all; you can change the display language in just a few clicks! This change goes right down into almost all applications, including Open Office, for example.

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Do you use your computer in the language you are practising? Any experience with Ubuntu? Other tips that I didn’t mention here? Do share them in the comments :)

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  • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu/ balint

    Hola,

    I think this is a great idea, especially for those who use their computer a lot (like me) – you are (artificially) immersed. I changed my XP’s and all my program’s interface 3 months ago to Spanish – and I’ve learned a lot! And because I deal with computers it is just the best way to expand my vocabulary in the given language.

    As far as I’m concerned, you can change Windows XP’s interface, but it is a bit tricky, and you cannot do that with every version. Here is a readme file about the details: http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/2/e/62e61f10-e106-4f4c-a862-63eec2b41efb/readme.htm and you can download the corresponding MUI (Multilingual User Interface) and install it, if your XP is supporting it. It worked for me :D

    Ubuntu: I used Ubuntu back then when you had to actually reparticionate your hard drive, and it took me 2 days to back up everything, just in case before the install :D Now, it is much easier to install, if you use WUBI ( http://wubi-installer.org/ ), you can install Uubuntu UNDER windows and it sees it as an application – but when you restart the computer, you can choose which operating system you want to start. Easy-peasy. Already supports v. 9.10. Although if it comes down to Linux, my choice would be SuSe, but it is just me. :D
    .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Thanks for the link Balint! I’ve edited the post to reflect that ;) It turns out that you can’t update ANY version of Windows unless it’s the more expensive Enterprise/Ultimate version. You would have that version on your computer! Now I can finally see an actual useful advantage of having the “Professional” version of Windows. Still think language choice should be a standard though; at least Mac and Linux give people that freedom!
      Yes, I hear SuSe is an excellent operating system, but Ubuntu is the easiest Linux distro to convert to from Windows (which is all that I knew how to use 2 years ago). I may try another flavour if I feel the need to! I’d be much more ready for it now compared to before :)

      • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu/ balint

        I agree, it should be standard that you can change the language of the interface.
        Haha, that made me laugh when you wrote: “Ubuntu is the easiest” distro, because I remember how I spent 1 week (yes, 7 days, mind you not non-stop) to set up my wifi network card for my laptop (didn’t recognize it, and I had to emulate the windows driver and patch this, patch that, reconfigure the whole operating system, funny command line juggling, etc. That that was my bad luck that the network card was one of the very few that wasn’t supported. I agree that Ubuntu is a great tool.
        .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

        • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

          Yes, when I first installed Ubuntu 2 years ago I had a LOT of tweeking to do, and had to emulate a Windows driver etc. too. I actually spent WEEKS working around the issues.
          But since then, driver and hardware support has come a long way :) When I installed it on my new computer 6 months ago I only had to spend about an hour tweaking, and from what I see in the latest distro release last week, if I had installed it fresh now I wouldn’t even have had to do those tweaks! I think you’d have a different experience with Ubuntu now, but if you are familiar with Suse, there aren’t that many advantages in changing.
          I do believe that Ubuntu is the “easiest” from the perspective of someone only used to Windows. In general any Linux distro has many advantages over other ones, but Ubuntu is most similar to Windows in a lot of aspects (only the good aspects…)

  • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu balint

    Hola,

    I think this is a great idea, especially for those who use their computer a lot (like me) – you are (artificially) immersed. I changed my XP’s and all my program’s interface 3 months ago to Spanish – and I’ve learned a lot! And because I deal with computers it is just the best way to expand my vocabulary in the given language.

    As far as I’m concerned, you can change Windows XP’s interface, but it is a bit tricky, and you cannot do that with every version. Here is a readme file about the details: http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/2/e/62e61f10-e106-4f4c-a862-63eec2b41efb/readme.htm and you can download the corresponding MUI (Multilingual User Interface) and install it, if your XP is supporting it. It worked for me :D

    Ubuntu: I used Ubuntu back then when you had to actually reparticionate your hard drive, and it took me 2 days to back up everything, just in case before the install :D Now, it is much easier to install, if you use WUBI ( http://wubi-installer.org/ ), you can install Uubuntu UNDER windows and it sees it as an application – but when you restart the computer, you can choose which operating system you want to start. Easy-peasy. Already supports v. 9.10. Although if it comes down to Linux, my choice would be SuSe, but it is just me. :D
    .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Thanks for the link Balint! I’ve edited the post to reflect that ;) It turns out that you can’t update ANY version of Windows unless it’s the more expensive Enterprise/Ultimate version. You would have that version on your computer! Now I can finally see an actual useful advantage of having the “Professional” version of Windows. Still think language choice should be a standard though; at least Mac and Linux give people that freedom!
      Yes, I hear SuSe is an excellent operating system, but Ubuntu is the easiest Linux distro to convert to from Windows (which is all that I knew how to use 2 years ago). I may try another flavour if I feel the need to! I’d be much more ready for it now compared to before :)

      • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu balint

        I agree, it should be standard that you can change the language of the interface.
        Haha, that made me laugh when you wrote: “Ubuntu is the easiest” distro, because I remember how I spent 1 week (yes, 7 days, mind you not non-stop) to set up my wifi network card for my laptop (didn’t recognize it, and I had to emulate the windows driver and patch this, patch that, reconfigure the whole operating system, funny command line juggling, etc. That that was my bad luck that the network card was one of the very few that wasn’t supported. I agree that Ubuntu is a great tool.
        .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

        • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

          Yes, when I first installed Ubuntu 2 years ago I had a LOT of tweeking to do, and had to emulate a Windows driver etc. too. I actually spent WEEKS working around the issues.
          But since then, driver and hardware support has come a long way :) When I installed it on my new computer 6 months ago I only had to spend about an hour tweaking, and from what I see in the latest distro release last week, if I had installed it fresh now I wouldn’t even have had to do those tweaks! I think you’d have a different experience with Ubuntu now, but if you are familiar with Suse, there aren’t that many advantages in changing.
          I do believe that Ubuntu is the “easiest” from the perspective of someone only used to Windows. In general any Linux distro has many advantages over other ones, but Ubuntu is most similar to Windows in a lot of aspects (only the good aspects…)

  • http://marauder34.livejournal.com/ Dave Learn

    Nice to know I’m not the only language geek who thinks this way. I’ve been building my mastery of Esperanto the past few months via features just such as these on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else I can. (Since it’s a shared computer and my wife doesn’t share my fascination with learning other languages, nor my brash overconfidence in using them, I don’t dare monkey with parts of the computer that she would use.)

    I’m intrigued by your claims of rapidly attaining fluency. I speak four languages now, and aside from English, Esperanto is the one I’d be closest to claiming fluency in, but I don’t think I’m there yet. I’ll have to poke around some more and see what you have to say.
    .-= Dave Learn´s last blog ..Habakkuk =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Yes Dave, please do have a look around my site! I summarised some of my most important tips in this article.
      Even though my computer is mine only and I don’t share it with anyone, I host Couchsurfers from all over the world, so for my own privacy and security, I installed a second profile that they are free to use while here. You could do this with your wife :) Everything in each profile is separate and can be in a separate language, that doesn’t affect the other profile no matter how much you monkey with the parts ;) – depending on your Operating System of course.

  • http://marauder34.livejournal.com Dave Learn

    Nice to know I’m not the only language geek who thinks this way. I’ve been building my mastery of Esperanto the past few months via features just such as these on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else I can. (Since it’s a shared computer and my wife doesn’t share my fascination with learning other languages, nor my brash overconfidence in using them, I don’t dare monkey with parts of the computer that she would use.)

    I’m intrigued by your claims of rapidly attaining fluency. I speak four languages now, and aside from English, Esperanto is the one I’d be closest to claiming fluency in, but I don’t think I’m there yet. I’ll have to poke around some more and see what you have to say.
    .-= Dave Learn´s last blog ..Habakkuk =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Yes Dave, please do have a look around my site! I summarised some of my most important tips in this article.
      Even though my computer is mine only and I don’t share it with anyone, I host Couchsurfers from all over the world, so for my own privacy and security, I installed a second profile that they are free to use while here. You could do this with your wife :) Everything in each profile is separate and can be in a separate language, that doesn’t affect the other profile no matter how much you monkey with the parts ;) – depending on your Operating System of course.

  • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

    That has inspired me to switch my browser to french. However, when I installed the locale switcher extension for firefox the browser would no longer start, instead “crashing” with an error:

    Parsing Error: undefined entity Location: chrome://browser/content/browser.xul Line Number 187, Column 5:

    I did a search on this, and several people have had the same problem. The only solution I could find was to restart firefox in safe mode, and delete the extension :-(

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Hello again Anthony! Long time no see ;)
      Sorry to hear that! :( What version of Firefox are you using? The plugin is working fine for me on 3.5.4… anyway, I discussed that plugin because it’s the quickest and easiest way. The manual method requires a few steps, but is still very straightforward. I’ve edited the post to reflect your comment in case it crashes for others, but you can indeed have your interface in French! Just go through these steps :)

  • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

    That has inspired me to switch my browser to french. However, when I installed the locale switcher extension for firefox the browser would no longer start, instead “crashing” with an error:

    Parsing Error: undefined entity Location: chrome://browser/content/browser.xul Line Number 187, Column 5:

    I did a search on this, and several people have had the same problem. The only solution I could find was to restart firefox in safe mode, and delete the extension :-(

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Hello again Anthony! Long time no see ;)
      Sorry to hear that! :( What version of Firefox are you using? The plugin is working fine for me on 3.5.4… anyway, I discussed that plugin because it’s the quickest and easiest way. The manual method requires a few steps, but is still very straightforward. I’ve edited the post to reflect your comment in case it crashes for others, but you can indeed have your interface in French! Just go through these steps :)

  • Jon

    After reading this, I just turned my whole mac operating system to German. I never thought to do it until now! =]

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      That’s excellent, glad to hear it Jon :) Glück!

      • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

        Hi Benny. After following the more complex set of steps you listed, I was able to install language packs for french and czech. On a hunch, I was then able to follow your original advice and install the locale switcher and it now works just fine. So, it seems you need the language packs installed first for all the languages you expect to be switching between. Anyway, now it is working nicely – so thanks for the advice!

  • Jon

    After reading this, I just turned my whole mac operating system to German. I never thought to do it until now! =]

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      That’s excellent, glad to hear it Jon :) Glück!

      • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

        Hi Benny. After following the more complex set of steps you listed, I was able to install language packs for french and czech. On a hunch, I was then able to follow your original advice and install the locale switcher and it now works just fine. So, it seems you need the language packs installed first for all the languages you expect to be switching between. Anyway, now it is working nicely – so thanks for the advice!

  • Russell

    This is a very interesting post. I can definitely relate this to when I use computers in a different country, for example in Czech it is easy to remember kopirovat (copy), vypnout (shut down) and srdce (hearts) because they would be in the same place but a different word.

    I didn’t know it was so simple to change the browser settings either, when using the internet so thank you for sharing this and thank you for the post ;)

  • Russell

    This is a very interesting post. I can definitely relate this to when I use computers in a different country, for example in Czech it is easy to remember kopirovat (copy), vypnout (shut down) and srdce (hearts) because they would be in the same place but a different word.

    I didn’t know it was so simple to change the browser settings either, when using the internet so thank you for sharing this and thank you for the post ;)

  • Cainntear

    I disagree with the idea that this is any use when your language skills are still weak.

    the vocabulary of computer menus is quite esoteric and there aren’t many grammatically complete sentences to learn from.

    Furthermore, if you’re not used to the sound system, you start to read in a non-native accent and get the words wrong.

    Finally, it’s easily to feel lost in a menu system that doesn’t make much sense.

    Maybe it’s good for the advanced learner or those who are 100% familiar with their software, but I find it a rather disappointing prospect at the beginner or intermediate stage.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Cainntear, I’m not that surprised. You generally disagree with every post you’ve ever commented on :P
      I disagree with your disagreement. This isn’t about pronunciation or grammatically correct sentences. It’s about vocabulary and a feeling of virtual immersion. Beginners are just as entitled to that as experts. If they feel they aren’t ready to see the interface in the language, then they can go back (the plugin and Ubuntu options I discussed here have flag icons that are easy to find for changing the language).
      I don’t see why some people cling on so much to their boring and strict way of learning languages that you “must” learn all the grammar, all the phonetics, have a great command over the language etc. before doing something like this, or even trying to communicate.
      It’s fun to see a program you are used to in another language, and it can be extremely useful too in encouraging people to start viewing the language as alive and not confined to grammar classrooms.
      This blog has the subtitle “unconventional language learning tips”, that have worked well for me and that others have commented positively on too. To be frank Cainntear, I think you are too conventional and will just keep disagreeing with my tips. This blog isn’t for people who love the age-old classroom drill.
      I don’t mind a logical explanation of why I might be wrong in something that I write, but could you at least bring something positive to the table for once? Just telling me that I’m wrong because you think I am isn’t why I enabled commenting on this site. There’s no room for discussion.
      Can I just presume that you disagree with most things I say from now on? If you have anything other than “I disagree because you’re wrong” to say, then feel free to comment. Otherwise please don’t ;)

    • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu balint

      Just like Benny, I disagree with your disagreement. This emulated environment helps to accumulate more of the language in a certain field (now, computers). It is really useful for those, as you mentioned too, who are 100% familiar with their software. For example, in my case, if I wanted to go to Spain to work in my field (programming), I’d have a big advantage over those who also come from another country, experts, but doesn’t know anything languagewise in the given field.
      As Khatzumoto (alljapaneseallthetime.com/) put it: don’t learn the language just because you want to use, say Japanese interface (on your computer), but use the environment to teach you the language! Seems rational to me. Maybe he put it better, anyway :D
      .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

  • Cainntear

    I disagree with the idea that this is any use when your language skills are still weak.

    the vocabulary of computer menus is quite esoteric and there aren’t many grammatically complete sentences to learn from.

    Furthermore, if you’re not used to the sound system, you start to read in a non-native accent and get the words wrong.

    Finally, it’s easily to feel lost in a menu system that doesn’t make much sense.

    Maybe it’s good for the advanced learner or those who are 100% familiar with their software, but I find it a rather disappointing prospect at the beginner or intermediate stage.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Cainntear, I’m not that surprised. You generally disagree with every post you’ve ever commented on :P
      I disagree with your disagreement. This isn’t about pronunciation or grammatically correct sentences. It’s about vocabulary and a feeling of virtual immersion. Beginners are just as entitled to that as experts. If they feel they aren’t ready to see the interface in the language, then they can go back (the plugin and Ubuntu options I discussed here have flag icons that are easy to find for changing the language).
      I don’t see why some people cling on so much to their boring and strict way of learning languages that you “must” learn all the grammar, all the phonetics, have a great command over the language etc. before doing something like this, or even trying to communicate.
      It’s fun to see a program you are used to in another language, and it can be extremely useful too in encouraging people to start viewing the language as alive and not confined to grammar classrooms.
      This blog has the subtitle “unconventional language learning tips”, that have worked well for me and that others have commented positively on too. To be frank Cainntear, I think you are too conventional and will just keep disagreeing with my tips. This blog isn’t for people who love the age-old classroom drill.
      I don’t mind a logical explanation of why I might be wrong in something that I write, but could you at least bring something positive to the table for once? Just telling me that I’m wrong because you think I am isn’t why I enabled commenting on this site. There’s no room for discussion.
      Can I just presume that you disagree with most things I say from now on? If you have anything other than “I disagree because you’re wrong” to say, then feel free to comment. Otherwise please don’t ;)

    • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu/ balint

      Just like Benny, I disagree with your disagreement. This emulated environment helps to accumulate more of the language in a certain field (now, computers). It is really useful for those, as you mentioned too, who are 100% familiar with their software. For example, in my case, if I wanted to go to Spain to work in my field (programming), I’d have a big advantage over those who also come from another country, experts, but doesn’t know anything languagewise in the given field.
      As Khatzumoto (alljapaneseallthetime.com/) put it: don’t learn the language just because you want to use, say Japanese interface (on your computer), but use the environment to teach you the language! Seems rational to me. Maybe he put it better, anyway :D
      .-= balint´s last blog ..Hogy ne felejtsünk el a megtanultakat – I. rész =-.

  • Carine

    I am late to reply but I hadn't come on your blog lately, great post as always. That decided me to (try to) switch my computer to italian (my next language challenge !), but Quick locale switcher doesn't seem to work on my PC, too bad :-(

    Anyway that might also be the push I needed to break up with this horrible Vista and join the Ubuntu community (if it takes me only one hour I'll be glad !).

    Ciao !

  • http://learnspanishfastcourse.com/ Fast Jay

    Great ideas.

    Installing Ubuntu and changing my “computer language” are two things on my checklist that i've been delaying for some time now. As an ICT-engineer who is planning on moving to mexico i should get started on both asap

  • http://www.learnspanishfastcourse.com/ Fast Jay

    Hey Benny,

    I followed your advice and i'm now trying out Linux Mint. It's a bit of a clone of Ubuntu, but supposedly more user-friendly (and it's Irish!). It's working great, plus a lot of software came pre-installed. Tip: to backup and synchronise my bookmarks between windows/linux i use Xmarks (addon for firefox).
    What i'm wondering: do you use a word-translating program (eg. on windows i use Euroglot) on Linux? I've been looking a bit, but can't find an alternative.

    Cheers,
    Jay

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com Benny the Irish polyglot

    Congratulations on making the move!! :)
    I hear good things about Linux Mint, and would definitely recommend it over Ubuntu for beginners, even for the simplicity of not having to go to through the extra steps of implementing different repositories and installing applications and plugins like flash that really are necessary. Since my system is set up already however, I see no need to change for the moment!
    If by “word translating program” you mean CAT tool, the best one by far is Omega T. It works fine on Linux. I don't know what Euroglot is (if it isn't in wikipedia, it's officially off my radar!) If you mean something else, like a dictionary, you'd have to be more specific, but I'm sure you will find something!
    Rather than google just for “Linux” applications, look for Adobe AIR & Java, and also try out Windows applications through WINE. Most simple ones work fine (video or resource hungry ones are different though).
    Glad you appreciated my advice!! I hope your system is ini Spanish already ;)

  • http://www.learnspanishfastcourse.com/ Fast Jay

    Hey, yeah, euroglot is a bit of a translation tool, but you can use it to look up individual words, and also conjugations of verbs etc. I'll try getting it to work under wine.

    So far it's going perfectly, the switch to Linux Mint, like you said, it comes with a lot of stuff pre-installed so the average user doesn't really have to do anything. I can also access my “windows-files” perfectly. Y sí, ya está todo en español.

  • http://eldonreeves.wordpress.com/ Eldon

    Yup, using Chinese Traditional Ubuntu right now :) it's actually a really big deal, because I kinda know what all the words mean, it's just a case of learning how to say them. Learned a lot of computer-related vocab from it.

  • http://twitter.com/stsmartbrazil Street Smart Brazil

    Hi Benny,
    I thought this might help Portuguese learners:
    http://streetsmartbrazil.com/blog/20091223/how-

  • Warp3

    FYI: The language change is simple in the Opera web browser as well. In the Preferences window, under the General tab, is a language pulldown with a huge list of languages. You can also click the Details button beside the pulldown for extra control (like choosing one language for the Opera UI and a different one for the default web page language).

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for the information!!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Great job!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Great job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/imdanielquayle Daniel Quayle

    Luckily it’s free and easy in Windows 8!!

  • Mishka23

    Hola! Great article. I also change my phone’s language since I am usually on there a majority of the time. Also just wanted to throw out some windows 8 info. If you go to the control panel and then into languages. once there you click on add language and they have loads to choose from even down to the variations such as spanish from different countries. The downside is that you have to wait for the language pack to download (~ 108MB file). But the up side is that you can customize what exactly on your machine is displayed in what language. Just throwing the info out there for anyone who wants to know. (P.s I like the backtrack GNOME version of Linux myself.)

    Cheers.

  • Vikram Krishnamoorthy

    you can also make a VM with ubuntu that you can run whenever you feel like it.