Tag Archives: system locale

Working with programs that need different language settings (System Locale)

So I am multilingual, I speak 3 languages. I like my operating system to be in English (although it’s not my mother tongue). Just because… Because when I started working with computers long ago, English was the default language. So I’m just more used to it this way.

However, as my work requires me to, I need to sometimes also install some software that are only in Chinese. I have no problems with that, I speak, read and write the language.

But when I try to install an application that’s only in Chinese, and my operating system (Windows 10) is in English this will cause a lot of problems. First thing is that all the characters are unintelligible, just scrabbles.

You would think that by this time they would of found a solution for these issues, but it seems not yet. The easiest solution for this issue is to go into Control Panel and changing the System Locale.

The System Locale is the default language the operating system will use for Non-Unicode programs. That’s easy, you might think, I can just change that to Chinese and then I would have no problems.

This is a quick fix, I will be able to run Chinese programs in my English environment. But actually, some software now a days come in multi language. Meaning that changing the System Locale to Chinese will also make my other Multi-Lingual software to switch to Chinese. Or every time I will open a new installer for some new software, it will automatically run in Chinese.

What am I going to do if I actually have to work with software in 3 different languages or more?

Another fix that I have seen people talk about online is:

  • Adding a few users on the computer;
  • Assigning each user a different System Locale;
  • Then when you need to run a program that runs in another language than the default System Locale right click on the program and click Run as…

That all seems fine, although I don’t really like the way when adding a new user in Windows 10 you need to provide all that info. Plus there’s got to be an easier way to do this.

Fortunately, I found this awesome application that is easy to use and is free. It’s called Locale Emulator and it’s available for download from GitHub.

You can make different profiles for each language, or even set the default profile an app should run on. I installed it and so far so good, it really does what it’s supposed to, easy to use.

Microsoft had a similar solution called AppLocale for Windows XP and Windows 2003, but it seems the old download link is broken. And it’s not supported by Windows 10 anyway.