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Do you work in more than one language? There's good news for you: Office supports dozens of languages, and we're still adding more.
But it can be a little tricky to figure out exactly how to get it to work the way you want to in your chosen language, especially if it uses a different writing system from your typical Latin variety.
I recently had to figure all this out for my Dad, who's Korean, and gets a lot of emails in Korean from his pals. (Yeah, it's usually stuff like "10 Ways You Know You're Getting Old," but for some reason he still wants to reply instead of deleting them.) He asked me to buy him a Korean Language Pack. Which I did, because I'm a nice Korean boy who (mostly) does what his father tells him. But I took a few steps first to determine if he really needed one.
If all you want to do is reply to an occasional email in another language, Office does that already, no language pack required. But the pack includes some nice features that Dad really wanted. So how did we get there, and what are the factors to think about? Read on, and I'll break it down for you, with the help of Turi Henderson, who manages the language tools content.
Say your primary language is English, but you occasionally have to reply to emails in language that uses a different writing system. What you need to do is turn on the keyboard layout for your second language, which you do through your Windows control panel. Here's an article that explains how. Enabling other languages turns on the Language bar, which you can use to toggle back and forth between English and your other language. Don't know which key is which? Turn on the onscreen keyboard.
There are a couple of big caveats with this method, which is that if you want proofing tools like spelling and grammar check, enabling a keyboard layout isn't going to cover you. If you're going to write a substantial document, or if you need to send more than just the very occasional email, get the language pack.
There are a couple of options.
Buy Office in your language: Office is available in 37 different languages. When you buy one of these versions, Everything, including the menus and the proofing tools like spell check, comes in your language, no translation necessary. Not all language versions are available in all markets, however. If the language you want isn't available in your market, then you need a language pack.
Language Packs: If you already have Office, you can buy a language pack to add other languages onto your existing suite. It's like getting a new, complete, translated version of Office without having to pay the total price for a new suite. Language packs support all the Office apps, and translate the menus and proofing tools. We have 37 language packs, which cost about $25 in the U.S. And you can still switch easily to English or whatever language you bought Office in originally. The pack also gives you a more robust Language Bar, which makes toggling back and forth to English a lot easier.
In this case, your language may be available in Language Interface Packs, which come in many more languages. What's the difference? Language Interface Packs aren't quite as extensive, and generally they are for less common languages. They cover Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel and OneNote. They also translate the menus, and almost all of them have a spell checker. They're free for download here. Make sure you get the right download for your version of Office. Holly Thomas wrote a post earlier this week that covers a lot more ground on Language Interface Packs, including some new packs we've recently added.
There are lots more places to find out what you need, including:
Determine if you need a language pack or language interface pack
Office Language Packs FAQ
Localized (translated) versions of Office
The 96 languages of Office 2010
And here are lots more articles on language and Office
-- Doug Kim and Turi Henderson
Great news. Thank you. It's really helpful.