Determining (and correcting) locale settings

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/01/04 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

Over on Channel9, TheLibyanGuy posted (in response to that video I did):

Thanks for the great Job you're doing..
However I do some times encouter bugs in your localisation ..
Having to deal with the Arabic localised versions of Windows and MS Products .. I tried to post various bugs and issues via various MS feedback forms , but never had a professional reply , and if there was a reply it seemed that our issue was mis-understood ...

Here are some issues regarding the Arabic Localization of Windows and specificlly as applied to choosing an "Arabic- Libya" regional settings :

1) Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use "AZERTY" keyboards  WHICH is WRONG.. but in fact we only use "QWERTY" keyboards.

2) Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use French as a secondary language WHICH is WRONG.. but infact we commonly use "English" as a secondary language...

3)  Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use the "Hindi" numerials  WHICH is WRONG.. and in fact we use "Arabic Numerals" as used in europe an all over the world..

I hope that such issues would be looked at and put right in next releases of Windows..
I'm sorry that I posted such a comment here , but I found this place to be the right place to bring attention to such issues as we tried other means and none worked..

For what it is worth, the settings you refer to are not the localization, they are the user locale settings (a.k.a. the standards and formats setting). Just trying to get us talking about the same thing. :-)

I also mention it because as far as I know, there is no Libyan-specific Arabic locacalization of Windows (kind of like English and Spanish in that regard, unfortunately).

The issue is one I have talked about before in posts like Does MS pull new locales out of their [insert stronger language here]?

And of course with custom cultures in Whidbey and custom locales in Vista, people will have a chance to have the last say in these matters. Which according to some people is a good thing!

I don't know what feedback methods TheLibyanGuy has used in the past, and I am definitely not sure if either Channel9 or this blog count as a "professional response" (<insert grin here>), but the right people look at this blog to make sure that the feedback can be given to the subsidiary contacts who push for changes when they are needed....

The process that they use has to be based on a serious look at the marketplace to get the right information, although obviously there is no answer that will make everyone happy since two people can want two different things and neither one of them is necessarily wrong. I have actually witnessed ome of these debates in the past among various speakers of different languages.

But luckily all of the settings that TheLibyanGuy mentions can be overridden in Regional and Language Options, so even without custom cultures and custom locales, anyone can get the settings they want.


This post brought to you by "ق" (U+0642, a.k.a. ARABIC LETTER QAF)

# Ben Cooke on 7 Jan 2006 8:20 AM:

Back in the day I remember editing some of the strings in various Windows/IE components so that it would say "colour", "Favourites" etc. I made my own half-baked British English localization.

Of course, this was in the days before Windows File Protection, which of course makes it quite hard to make such changes. Also, these days I generally have better things to do, and I don't use IE anyway. :)

However, there is a guy at work who has altered the Windows Update client so that the annoying "You must reboot message" nag screen says something like:
You really should reboot now. Really.
[ Okay, I give in. ] [ LEAVE ME ALONE! ]

That's not really anything to do with localization, but I thought it was quite funny!

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2006/07/15 Uighur or Uyghur?

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