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If you are stuck with a non-native language on your Windows computer, there is no need to panic. You can install additional languages easily. There are two options you can look into. The first one is available to users of the Ultimate or the Enterprise edition of Windows and is called the Multilingual User Interface or MUI for short.

MUI transforms almost the entire user interface to the language of your choice. The other option is to install what is called a language interface packs. Unlike the MUI, language interface packs are more freely available online and can be installed on Windows Home and Home Premium versions as well. One downside is that it won’t transform the entire user interface to another language. Rather, it concentrates on the most commonly used areas of the interface and makes them available in the language you choose.

Language packs can help you customize your computer to display text in language of your choice. Everything from dialog boxes, buttons and windows would display text in the language you want. As I pointed out earlier there are essentially two ways you can install additional languages. Either using Windows Update, or you can download and install the language packs separately. You can find language packs over at MSDN and Technet. And of course there are thousands of other places on the Internet where you can always find them.

Here are the steps you should follow to install additional language packs on your computer.

Open up Control Panel. Click on Change Display language under Clock, Language and Region section.

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In the dialog that opens, see if the language you are looking for is installed on your computer. If it is you can choose it, or else click on Install and Uninstall languages.

In the resulting screen you can choose to install using Windows update, or if you have downloaded the files separately you can choose the second option to Browse computer or network.

install language packs

Now simply point it to the folder containing the downloaded language pack. The wizard then lists the languages that are included in that language installer pack.

Choose the languages you want to install, click Next. You will be presented with the license agreement. Read through and choose to Accept or Decline the license. Naturally, you should choose to accept.

how to install language packs windows xp

The installation will take some time. Once the it has finished, you can choose the newly-installed language.

With a little effort, you can also add the required languages to installation CD/DVD, so that they can be easily installed together with the operating system every time in case you need to install them on multiple computers. It requires a bit of effort you can find the details at this TechNet page.

You can find various language packs that you can use on your computer at Microsoft’s site. Do you use a language other than English on your computer? Let us know if you got it built in or installed it as an addon and the steps you took to do it.

  1. Gilberto
    November 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm
  2. grappler
    October 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    But what about people who dont have ultimate just premium. like me I bough my computer in Switzerland and i only had the option once when i started up the computer the first time to choose what language i wanted. i only want to change i once to English and what about command prompt that also in German even now that i have installed a English windows 7.

    What about creating a CD with vlite and the inserting English in it. But I have another problem i only have a recovery disk from acer.
    sorry about my spelling. Thanks for any help.

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