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Hour 21. Working with Foreign Languages ... > Choosing Your Method of Providing Mu...

Choosing Your Method of Providing Multilingual Support

Before you plow into the details of configuring multilingual support on an English-based system, it's useful to get an overview of the three main approaches for supporting multiple languages:

  • Use the English versions of Windows XP and Office 2003 and configure them to support multiple languages. This setup works well for native English speakers because the user interface is in English. On the downside, the English version of Office only includes proofing tools for English, Spanish, and French (you have to buy proofing tools for additional languages, as described later in this hour). This is the approach covered in this hour.

  • Use the localized (non-English) language versions of Office 2003 and Windows XP. The user interfaces of the localized versions are in the local languages, and they are designed from scratch to support the local language. They include proofing tools for the local language plus a few other appropriate languages. (For example, the localized Norwegian version of Office 2003 contains proofing tools for Norwegian, English, and German.)

  • Use English versions of Windows XP and Office 2003 with the MUI (Multilingual User Interface) Pack. Microsoft developed the MUI Pack to provide user interfaces, help systems, and templates in more than 40 languages. The MUI Pack also includes the Microsoft Office Proofing Tools (described later in this hour). With this approach, a company could use the same installation in offices around the world. Each user then configures the MUI to use his or her language of choice.


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