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Chapter 14. Customizing Mac OS X > Change the System's Language

108. Change the System's Language


Mac OS X supports 83 different languages, all in their own native writing systems, thanks to the massive Unicode character set. Also, because of a unique preference-based cascading localization scheme, you can control which languages are used to run your system. You define what languages are your most preferred; then, whenever you run an application, Mac OS X looks inside it for what localizations it supports. A Mac application generally contains several different localizations, defining the contents of text strings and menu options in as many different languages as the application's developer chose to include. Mac OS X goes down your list of preferred languages until it finds one that the application supports, and then it launches the application using that language; this way, you can strike the optimal balance between what languages you want to use and the languages each application has been written to support. All you have to do is set up your Language Preferences once.


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