OS X and Region


I'm sure there are people there with the same problem. I am now running Enghish version of OS 9.1 and am living in Japan. From what I read on these forums I can just buy the Japanese version of OS X and have no problem changing it into English. Does this mean everything? (help, documentations, etc...?)

Also, is there any problem installing OS X on top of a different language OS 9.1? Specifically, I want to install a Japanese version of OS X on top of and English version of OS 9.1. Thanks, any info would help a lot.
The CD you will buy in Japan will be similar, content-wise, to the one I will buy here in Québec (Canada) and the ones that will be on sale in Cupertino. That means that everything, including the help files will be available in the language of your choice. (My feeling is that the help content will be fetched as needed from the Apple site, over the Internet.)

Similarly, since the OS will be the same all over the world, it should work with an OS 9 in the language of your choice. Then again, since OS 9.1 will be on the CD, maybe it will be an English-only OS 9... Does anyone else have any more info on this ?
As far as OS 9.1 (for classic support) is concerned I think that the English international cersion will be used.

As far as OS X is concerned I think the OS and the bundled apps have been build with internationalization in mind. As jobs said "Once world, One CD". So you can just go inthe control panels and change your language to japanese ( a language that I want to learn one day :p), italiano, Deutsch, greek, franais, espa–ol, or whatever (I really hope greek is supported :) )

I think that the applications in OS X have some sort of property that allows them to change their manus to another language *if* they were programmed to have another language.
This means that if I, a coder from the USA, make a small program for OS X, I know greek, english and french lets say. So I code my program and I write the three menu styles (for lack of a better word). If one goes and changes his system to french instead of "file" he will see "fichier", etc.

If someone is changes the system language to german or any other language that my program does not support the menus are going to default to the default language which is english.

This is how I understand it and how I have seen OS X behave :)

Thanks for the info. It's very helpful. Also I tried to talk directly with Apple USA and they were no help at all and said that they won't be able to help with anything like that (Not even answers to questions) until it ships. I then called Apple Japan and they were a huge help. They said that I can change everything to English or my preferred language with no problem and with classic, I can use my current OS9.1 or the Japanese OS9.1 that comes with OSX. My choice, either way no problems at all. So great service from Apple Japan!
Originally posted by AdmiralAK
This is how I understand it and how I have seen OS X behave :)

Yep, apple's developer docs also say that there are firms who will translate your program for you. So the programmer doesn't have to know 6 languages. As long as the app is well writen, it could easily be localised for as many languages as OS X will support. This will all make OS X the most international OS around. I've looked at the developer docs and they say that basically if an application requests a resource say pict.tiff, the system will first look for the file in separate language folders in the order that the user has specified in the system preferences and failing that just show it in the programmers language. All these masses of folders and files are happily contained in the application's bundle so it appears as a single file. So grab this single bundle/file, take it to another machine with different prefs, and it could appear in another language. This is vastly different from the standard way of shipping a different version for each language.

I was really surprised the first time it turned my machine into a german machine.

LOL.. I turned it to french first :p (since I cant undertand german that much yet )....

seeing that I like localization this wil make my job easier when I graduate LOL :p

Read yesterday (March 9th) on macplus.net :

"The Mac OS X box will contain two CDs : the Mac OS X CD (multilingual by design) and the localised OS 9.1 appropriate for the country where the OS X system is sold."

This means that everone will get the same OS X CD, but the accompanying OS 9 CD will not be the same, depending if you buy OS X in Japan, France, Germany, the United States...

(By extension, this also means that you can use OS X with whatever OS 9.1 you fancy...)
lol... think abou it....
have my OS in english when I am using it,
in german when my mother & brother visit (LOL so they cant understand) and in french or italian when my girlfriend visits .... soo... no one knows what the heck is going on except me! ... isnt technology great ????

I cant wait till OS X hits the stores!

Hi Kurisu and all!

You have absolutely no problem all with that, as I don't. :)

I got an iMac DV+ here in the U.S. so it came with English version of Mac OS. Was it since 8.5 (or 8?) we no longer had to buy "Language Kit" to deal with application in foreign language, such as Japanese version. I felt a bit ripped-off since I already bought a copy for my Performa 6400/180 separately almost 4 years ago, but I liked the fact that kind of gave me the sense Apple cares about the rest of the world. (FYI, as long as Language Kit is in, you can run applications in your language which you can't with Micro$oft, well, a few exception with Win2k+Office2k) Now till 9.1, all you need to do, is go through "custom installation."

Ok, enough intro ... Only difference would be the languages on package and those physical documentation, such as manuals, depending on the region you buy your copy in. During the installation, it gives you the option in which language you prefer, then pick "Japanese." Then the rest of the process will be explained in Japanese ... btw, default is English so I guess I could have done that way too.

But it didn't tern my English Mac OS 9 into Japanese version, so it actually make sense to see the English interface on Mac OS X first (this must be the typical behavior of "One Application Package" Steve Jobs claimed ... the matter of fact, open IE, then you'll notice it also becomes Japanese version). But conversion is like a charm: "System Preferences" --> "International" --> "Languages" then put Japanese on the top list if you like Japanese on menus, dialogs and stuff. After you reboot, Voila!! Now you got Japanese version of Mac OS X (and I didn't need to have it shipped oversea)! This is also a way to switch other 6 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish) back and forth. It's easy to imagine to have full support for Roman-based languages (1 byte characters), but I have my hats off to Apple ... for giving away Japanese support (2 byte characters). Bravo. Can M$ be as generous as that!?

Pardon me I couldn't keep it short ... got a little carried away to see another person dealing with Japanese (at last)! :)

(an International Student from Japan)
About documentation, at least you'll see pdf version of installation manuals in different languages so you can still buy a copy in Japan (in your case), but you don't have to read Japanese manual if you don't want to.

About application, I've been using Japanese application (such as Office 98 for Mac, and AOL Japan software, etc.) on English Mac OS + Japanese Language Kit and I don't have much problems, except a few (e.g. sometimes error message and dialogs can be displayed with whole garbled letters in times). And that's why we used to be advised to buy *Complete* package (not upgrade version) of Japanese Mac OS X. But as you probably know, it's just minor problems, and it's not a big deal.

Basically, no matter which OS you're on, 9.1 + JLK or X, you won't get any more problems than you used to. I especially like the fact I don't have to see garbled letters in error dialogues and stuff in Carbonized (or Cocoa for that matter) applications. But you pretty much have the same environment in Classic. In other word, we still can't get around with those minor bugs.

Hope it helps. :D


P.S. E-mail me anytime for help on this matter. (Address is available on my profile)
Actually you don't even have to restart. Any new applications you launch will be in the new language. To make finder change just logout and back in again.