Do you Speak Klingon? How to change the Eclipse IDE UI Language with Babel

We in Switzerland are proud about the fact that our country has four official languages: Italian, French, German and Romansh. Most of Swiss people speak at least two of them, plus the inofficial fifth language (English).

Eclipse is even better than that and speaks 46 different languages. If you are not happy with the default language, try out Babel! And yes, Eclipse has a language pack for Klingon too:

Babel Language Packs in Klingon

Babel Language Packs in Klingon

🙂

In this tutorial I’m using Eclipse Oxygen (MCUXpresso IDE), but with Babel you can ‘localize’ older Eclipse releases as Neon or Mars with Babel.

First, use the menu Help > Install New Software and use the following update site:

http://download.eclipse.org/technology/babel/update-site/R0.15.1/oxygen

(change ‘oxygen’ to your Eclipse version)

Then select the language packs you want to install and you are ready to go:

Installing Babel Language Packages

Installing Babel Language Packages

By default, Eclipse tries to use the host operating system language (locale) if that language pack is installed. So if you are having an Eclipse with the Chinese Language pack installed, and you are running it say on a Windows machine configured to use Chinese, it will show Eclipse in Chinese:

Eclipse in Chinese

Eclipse in Chinese

To force eclipse to use a language, use the -nl parameter for example use

eclipse.exe -nl en

(fr: French, en: English, zh: Simplified Chinese, ja: Japanese, tl: Klingon, el: Greek, see OS Language Codes). Or check the codes after nl_ in the plugins directory:

Eclipse Plugins with NL Codes

Eclipse Plugins with NL Codes

One common way is to add this to the shortcut on Windows:

Start Eclipse with English Language

Start Eclipse with English Language

Not everything is translated, so still some menus or text will be in English:

Eclipse Menus in Japanese

Eclipse Menus in Japanese

Menu in Greek:

Greek

Greek

Menu in French:

French

French

Or in German:

Eclipse in German

Eclipse in German

Summary

With the Eclipse Babel Language packages, I can add extra language support for the user interface. Not everything might be translated, as this is an ongoing community effort. But if you would like to learn a new language or are more comfortable to see your native language, go ahead and try the Babel packages. To force a language, use the -nl Eclipse startup command line parameter.

Happy Babeling 🙂

Links

 

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