Foreign Language Input and Support

Revision as of 11:43, 22 January 2010 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (Configuring Your PC For Multilingual Language Support: - formatting and images)

Using The Language Bar

Windows language bar.JPG

Microsoft Windows 2000/XP offers support for virtually any language including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian. You can type in any of these languages using Microsoft Word and Input Method Editors (IME) available from Windows Text Services (see Start => Settings => Control Panels => Regional and Language Options). In many Middlebury College computer labs there is additional software installed that provides more text formatting options for some languages. For instructions on configuring your PC for multilingual support, see the next section.

1. Start Microsoft Word (or any other application you want to use).
2. Select the language you want to type in from the Language Bar on the taskbar (see Configuring Your PC For Multilingual Support):
a. Click the icon in the lower right corner of your screen, a pop-up menu displays.
b. Select your language from the pop-up menu. (some language options require you to right-click on the language icon (e.g. CH) and chose Adjust the Language band position.
c. An On-Screen Keyboard can be useful for some languages such as Russian and Arabic. Follow the path: => Programs => Accessories => Accessibility => On-Screen Keyboard.

Note: If you accidentally close the Language Bar, you can reopen it by right-clicking on an unused area on the taskbar and choosing Toolbars => Language Bar.

Microsoft Office Proofing Tools

Proofing Tools can be purchased for Microsoft Office that provide additional text input and formatting options for many languages such as Spelling and Grammar Checkers, Translation Dictionaries, Thesauri and Hyphenation Tools. Proofing Tools for Chinese also have options for converting Chinese text to Simplified or Traditional characters. Proofing Tools are installed in most computer labs at Middlebury and can be purchased from Microsoft for individual computers.

Configuring Your PC For Multilingual Language Support

If your version of Windows has been installed with language support, you should be able to simply select the languages you want to use to make keyboards and/or input method editors (IME) become available to you. This can be done as follows:

  1. Navigate to Start button.PNG => Settings => Control Panel => Regional and Language Options.
  2. From the Regional and Language Options window, click the Languages tab.
  3. Click Details button.PNG. The Text Services and Input Language dialog box opens.
  4. In the Installed services section, click Add button.PNG.
  5. On the Add Input Language dialog box, select the desired language from the Input language drop-down list. The Keyboard layout/IME drop-down list also changes. From the Keyboard layout/IME drop-down list, chose an appropriate keyboard/IME (Input Method Editors - see below).
  6. Click OK button.PNG. This returns you to the Text Services and Input Languages dialog, where the language you selected is added to the Installed Services list.
  7. In the Preferences section, click on Language Bar. The Language Bar Settings dialog box opens.
  8. Click the checkbox next to Show the Language Bar on the desktop, and set any other options you find useful.
  9. Click OK button.PNG. The Language Bar Settings window closes.
  10. Click OK button.PNG on the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
  11. Click Apply button.PNG. The Language Bar will appear on the right side of your taskbar, displaying the English language icon (EN).
  12. Click OK button.PNG. The Text Services and Input Languages window closes.

The Input Method Editors (IME)

Typing in many non-Latin-based languages requires learning how these characters are transliterated into English characters. Consult the instructors in your Language School for more detailed information. Here is a list of recommended keyboard layout/IME for Windows XP:

Input Language
Keyboard layout/IME
Chinese (PRC)
Chinese (Simplified) - Microsoft Pinyin IME 3.0
Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
Arabic (101)
Russian with install of transliterated keyboard see:
Microsoft IME Standard 2002
Microsoft Natural Input 2002