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Multilingual Application Made Easier in C#

, 16 May 2006
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This article focuses on how to work with a multilingual application
Sample Image - Multilingual_application.jpg

Introduction

This article explains how to make a multilingual application.

About the Sample Project

The sample project given in this article is an example of a Multilingual application. When speaking about multilingual applications, we need to manage resources specific to each culture. In my sample project, I have supported 5 languages, English, German, Spanish, Italian and French. This sample project supports switching to any of five languages at runtime.

To Do

It is very simple to make a multilingual application in C#. I used Visual Studio .NET 2003 to create my sample application. There is also a free IDE known as SharpDevelop which looks similar to Visual Studio .NET.

Now the Steps

  1. Do everything with the FormLayout (I mean design of your application).
  2. After the Designing of the form is done, the form now uses the default Language setting. Now build the application.
  3. Change the forms properties Localizable to true and set the properties Language to whatever Language you like to use.
  4. Change the Text of the Label, Button, Form and so on.. to the Language you have selected (isn't Limited only for Text property, you can also change layout specific to Language).
  5. Build the application.
  6. We are done now. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for the next language you wish to localize.

Now we have done something, but how do we check this work. We have to do something with the code.

Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture=new System.Globalization.CultureInfo("de")

The above code specifies the Currentuiculture for your application. This code has to be executed before initialization of the components. The string given inside the CultureInfo constructor ("de") specifies the language name  for the culture. Some of the culture names and languages are given below:

  • en - English
  • de - German
  • fr - French
  • it - Italian
  • es - Spanish
  • pt - Portuguese

How Does This Work

This section is the important one. When we set the form's localizable to true and build the application, Visual Studio .NET creates resources specific to the culture specified in the Language property of the form. Visual Studio .NET creates the resource file using resgen.exe. We can also create resources by using the following syntax:

resgen mytext.en-us.txt mytext.en-us.resources 
resgen mytext.en-us.resources mytext.en-us.resx

//This command reads a binary resources file mytext.en-us.resources and 
//writes an XML-based output file named mytext.en-us.resx 

Now the resources are created, but we need to link them to the application, so this is done by Visual Studio .NET using AL.exe (Assembly linker). We can also do it manually by doing this:

al 

/t:lib

/embed:mytext.en-us.resx 

/culture:en-us 

/out:Myapplication.resources.dll

You can find more about resgen.exe and al.exe in MSDN documentation.

Summary

I hope this article will help you. If you have any problem or find any mistakes, please let me know. You can email me at beniton@gmail.com.

Please don't forget to rate this article.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Beniton Fernando
Technical Lead Calsoft Labs, Chennai
India India
I m Beniton .I am a Developer currently working with Calsoft Labs Chennai, India. I love reading books, watching movies, playing cricket and spending time with my family.
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionThanks a lot PinmemberPouriya.GH20-Sep-11 22:21 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmembermarekbar2188-Aug-11 10:04 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberAlfredo De Jesus12-Jul-11 22:18 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembercbragdon30-Nov-10 4:57 
QuestionUser Controls PinmemberHORUS7938-May-10 16:07 
GeneralAutomation PinmemberSylvain_R12-Jan-07 2:32 
GeneralRe: Automation PinmemberBeniton Fernando14-Jan-07 2:54 
yes u r right
 
Be still and know - Osho

GeneralRe: Automation Pinmembervarandas7928-Feb-09 7:59 
GeneralRe: Automation PinmemberPol75323-Aug-09 3:52 
General PinmemberMember #32129512-Jan-07 2:22 
GeneralLanguage Change At Runtime Pinmembertobias00425-Nov-06 17:32 
GeneralRe: Language Change At Runtime PinmemberBeniton Fernando25-Nov-06 18:25 
GeneralGerman Translation Pinmembertobias00425-Nov-06 17:07 
GeneralRe: German Translation PinmemberBeniton Fernando25-Nov-06 18:20 
QuestionWhat should I do next? PinmemberJP_Amber31-Jul-06 3:35 
AnswerRe: What should I do next? PinmemberBeniton Fernando5-Aug-06 20:28 
GeneralRe: What should I do next? Pinmemberpeitor20-Aug-08 21:52 

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