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Hour 21. Working with Foreign Languages ... > Configuring Multilingual Support on ...

Configuring Multilingual Support on Your Computer

In the context of configuring multilingual support on your computer, you can divide languages into three groups (keep in mind that these groups do not reflect similarities based on linguistic features; the languages in each group just have similar configuration requirements):

  • Built-in languages— This group includes all languages other than those in the remaining two groups. You can read text written in these languages without making any changes to your Windows XP or Office 2003 installation. To input and edit text in these languages, you don't need to install any additional files, but you do need to make some configuration changes, as described in the next three sections. Figure 21.1 shows a portion of a folk tale written in Turkish, one of the built-in languages.

    Figure 21.1. Turkish is an example of one of the built-in languages.

  • Complex script and right-to-left languages— This group includes Arabic and Hebrew (right-to-left languages), as well as Armenian, Georgian, Thai, Vietnamese, and all of the Indic languages (complex script languages). You have to install additional support before you can read or edit documents in these languages. Figure 21.2 shows a note in Hebrew describing a company's mortgage services.

    Figure 21.2. Hebrew is an example of a right-to-left language.

  • East Asian languages— This group includes Chinese (both traditional and simplified), Japanese, and Korean. These languages can't be typed on a standard keyboard without using a special input system that converts keystrokes into phonetic and ideographic characters. You have to install these input systems, called IMEs (Input Method Editors), before you can read or edit documents in these languages. Figure 21.3 shows the lyrics to a folk song in simplified Chinese characters.

    Figure 21.3. Simplified Chinese is an example of an East Asian language.


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