Why only three languages

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  1. Posts : 678
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
       #1

    Why only three languages


    I expect this has come up before, but why English, Chinese and Portuguese?
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  2. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,117
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    An obvious reason is that this is only a preview version, for testing, it would be unnecessary work to localize it to all usual Windows languages.

    English is not only the language of the home country of Microsoft but also the third widest spoken native language in the world, and world's most widely spoken second language. A huge number of non-native English speaking users have rather Windows in English than in their own languages. I for example belong to this group, I think the last Windows version I've had in Finnish was Windows 95.

    Chinese simply because it is the most widely spoken language in the world. Portuguese because it's one of the biggest languages in the world; although number of native Spanish and Arabic speakers is bigger (statistics), what makes Portuguese "bigger" than these two in Microsoft's way of thinking is that over 90% of Portuguese speakers come from one country (Brazil). Hindi is also more widely spoken but not as important market region as Brazil.

    Altogether Microsoft covers about 25% of the world's population with these three languages only thinking of native speakers, certainly double that thinking the number of non-native English speakers (in this sense I think number of non-native Chinese and Portuguese speakers is insignificant).

    I expect language packs and other language versions to be available with the Consumer Preview version which according to information available at the moment should be released sometime during the first quarter of 2015.

    Kari
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  3. Posts : 1,097
    Windows 7
       #3

    Windows 8 supports 109 languages and Windows 10 will likely support more when it is officially released. But we are not there yet. Windows 10 is currently only a technical preview intended for advanced users. This is not a consumer preview intended for a wider audience.

    Translating Windows into a different language requires a major effort. And contrary to popular belief, Microsoft does not have unlimited resources. Many languages, particularly those that do not use the Latin character set, are particularly difficult. The fact that Windows 10 is still only a preview (meaning that it is not finished) causes further problems. Each new release will have a need for further translation. Doing this for a large number of languages could hold up a release while translation was completed.

    There will be more languages in the consumer preview, even more in the official release.
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  4. Posts : 678
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
    Thread Starter
       #4

    I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that China has banned Windows 8.
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  5. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,091
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #5

    Hi there

    Not to worry --Language packs will appear --even for languages like ICELANDIC you can get a Language Interface pack - this installs on top of say an English version and is more than sufficient for the GUI etc.

    For a lot of languages you don't need the full blown Windows in that language - the Interface pack is more than sufficient.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,117
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    China's government banning an OS from all government computers has naturally nothing to do with Chines private users who can still use Windows as before.

    BBC News - China bans Microsoft Windows 8 on government computers
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  7. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,091
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #7

    Hi there

    Here's W8.1 add a language from control panel.

    works fine. Ms doesn't have to translate the whole thing -- just the User interface.

    Why only three languages-lang.png

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  8. Posts : 678
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
    Thread Starter
       #8

    I think I'll stick to English
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  9. Wynona's Avatar
    Posts : 25,898
    Windows 10 1909 Build 18363.657
       #9

    I'm surprised that some form of Spanish isn't available, since here in the US I would guess that a large portion (1/4 to 1/3?) of the population is of Latin, Spanish or Mexican descent.
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  10. Mystere's Avatar
    Posts : 3,223
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    Wynona said:
    I'm surprised that some form of Spanish isn't available, since here in the US I would guess that a large portion (1/4 to 1/3?) of the population is of Latin, Spanish or Mexican descent.
    17% of the population is of Hispanic descent according to the CDC.

    CDC - Hispanic - Latino - Populations - Racial - Ethnic - Minorities - Minority Health

    Of those, a large percentage don't even speak Spanish. According to Wikipedia, the percentage of US Spanish speakers is 13%, and you have to expect a good chunk of those are non-Hispanics.

    Of those that do, another large percentage have either English as their primary language, or fluent second language. I don't have figures for Spanish-only speakers in the US, but I would think that number would be less than 5%, and largely old and poor people who probably don't own computers anyways.

    So I would suspect that Spanish speaking in the US is not a very high priority for a beta OS localization.

    Also, consider that most people who are likely to install and use a preview OS are likely to be very technical, and in most countries that means knowing English because technical information just isn't as prevalent in Swahili or Pashto as it is in English. Exceptions would be countries like Brazil or China where there is a very heavy native speaking technical population.
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