Language within OSX

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macdesire, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. macdesire macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    Question for anybody in the know:

    I am thinking of moving across to Mac... and have a quick question. My parents in Law are buying us married youngsters an iMac. The question arrises: The Mac in question will be purchased in JAPAN. Will the shipping operating system and included software be exlusively in Japanese or could they be reinstalled in english...
  2. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    The OS won't be an issue, but the power supply might be. I don't know about Japan, but the European and US models have different power supplies based on the current in the homes in various countries. You should check into that. The keyboard will also be different, so you might want to consider asking for a mini, which has no keyboard and a universal power adaptor.
  3. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Regarding the power adapter etc, it would help to know which country you're in, macdesire.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Regarding the software language issue, when you first boot the computer, you will be asked for the default language in which you want to operate. This is similar to most other OSes -- you get a screen with all the supported languages listed in their own native script, and you pick one.

    Every copy of OS X includes the ability to operate in any language that OS X supports -- it is not sold in local versions, aside from packaging or other trivia (like the instructions on this one screen might be in Japanese and have Japanese pre-selected as the default choice if you buy it in Japan, but English will still be on the list, and will work fine, once you select it).

    After that, in the International pane of preferences, you can define a list of all the languages you are interested in using, and order them. Whenever you start a program, it will examine this list, and it will operate in the highest language on the list that it supports, or else whatever other language it does support, if no supported language is on the list.

    So if I close Adium, change my default to French and run it again, the menus and options will be in French. If I set my top language pick to Japanese, and run iCal, it comes up with Japanese menus.

    But if I run an app that does not have localization packs in it, such as Deer Park Alpha 2, then it always runs in the installed language (English in this case). So any software you buy that is *only* localized in Japanese, for instance, will always run in Japanese, and only Japanese, whether or not Japanese is even on your list.

    Finally, some apps support localization to some extent, but not using Apple's system. Microsoft Office 04, for example, when purchased in the U.S., has Japanese language features, but is also sold in localized versions in various countries, and does not support multiple localizations, AFAICS, at least in the US version.... This last class of apps is the one that may be problematic for you.
  5. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    According to the Apple Japan site which is linked here.
    The iMac support 100-240V 50-60Hz. The keyboard will have added characters but is perfectly usable for English.

    My experience in Japan has been if you go to a store and tell them you want it setup in English, they will reconfigure it.

    I think you need to clarify you situation:
    1. Are you getting a Mac for use in Japan but want it in English? In this case I recommend going to the Apple store in Japan and telling them this.

    2. Are you getting a Mac from Japan but for use in another country? Don't do it because of warranty issues and import duties.
  6. macdesire thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    Thank you for your help

    Will be using the computer in the UK. Hmmm... The power supply not switchable... I’ll check on that - took it for granted that it would be switchable (a bit like the laptops).

    My question arose from problems with windows XP. The Japanese version would not function fully in English, allot of the menus remained in Japanese - at that stage I ended up having to get English windows. Now that I am converting!!! - needed to check.

    I am hoping that iLife will have multilingual abilities, so to speak.
  7. macdesire thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    Oooh... I noticed that you can by the US keyboard in Japan as an option :)
  8. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    Maybe I missed something, but why not just have them order it from the Apple UK Online store? :confused:
  9. macdesire thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    Why Japan


    Make a long story short...

    We are going to Japan for a holiday and will be staying at my parents-inlaws house. Basically they wanted to see the gift that they had provided, I suppose in a way of presenting it. If OSX is natively multilingual, then there will be no problems - and everybody gets to have a play before we return to the UK. I am just investigating what sort of things I will come up against.

    PS: The prices in Japan seem to be much more competitive than the UK - only just now had a look. iMac 20" save £120 + get £100 of any accessories @ one of the department stores.

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