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ANDRZEJ TURSKI | February 2, 2012
Welcome Witamy ようこそ 환영함니다 Добро пожаловать ברוכים הבאים
A lot of Docs.com users arrive here from countries outside the U.S. They often wish Docs could speak their language.
A few days ago, their wishes have been answered: Docs' View and Edit applets have now been localized to 40 different languages!
Although the main Docs interface is still English, it will use a user’s language where it matters most, i.e. when editing or viewing the contents of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Also, every new blank document is now created from a language-specific template, and spell-checking of new Word documents now defaults to the appropriate language. Creating content in YOUR language should now be easier than ever.
Which brings up the next question: What IS your language? Or, more precisely, how does Docs decide which language to use? After all, Docs can't just listen to what language you're speaking.
Or can it? Every Docs user must have a Facebook account. Rest assured, Docs does not read your Facebook wall posts - but it does know your Facebook account language. For consistency with the overall Facebook experience, it assumes the same language for all localizable Docs components. If you change the language of your Facebook account, Docs language will change too – but it may take a few minutes before Docs get the change notification. Don’t be alarmed if the change is not instantaneous.
Facebook has many language choices and not all of them are available in Docs yet. For example, Docs does not have an Upside Down English choice (sorry Australians!) or Pirate English (sorry Somalis!) – a plain US English will be substituted. But you may write from right to left if you wish (some knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew required).
While you need to sign into Facebook to create or edit Docs documents, the readers of public documents do not have to. This poses a new problem: What interface language should Docs use if the document is accessed anonymously and the Facebook account language is not known?
In such cases, Docs adopts the standard way of detecting language preference, by inferring from your browser settings. Every browser request specifies a list of accepted languages in the order of preference (this can be customized in the browser settings). Docs makes a best attempt at adjusting the language of the interface to this request. Most users probably keep their browser and Facebook language settings in sync, but if you don’t, don’t be surprised if signing into Facebook switches the language on the screen.
Finally, you may be interested in precisely which languages are currently supported by Docs. Here is the full list: English (US), Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, German (Germany), Greek, Spanish (International Sort), Estonian, Basque, Finnish, French (France), Galician, Hebrew, Hindi, Croatian (Croatia), Hungarian, Italian (Italy), Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Dutch (Netherlands), Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian (Latin), Swedish (Sweden), Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese (Taiwan), Chinese (PRC).
Thanks, and happy typing!