Change the display language to Chinese in Mac OS X

To become more accustomed to looking at Chinese characters, or even forcing yourself to have to learn more, then changing the default language on your computer is an excellent way to start – when you’re stuck looking at a list of Chinese commands there’s no option but to learn them.

Chinese Display Language in OS X

In Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise Edition this is relatively easy to do, and it can be done in XP although not so easily so XP won’t be covered right now. By far the easiest operating system to change the display language in is Mac OS X, just follow these simple instructions:

1. Open the System Preferences Panel

Open Mac OS X System Preferences2. Select the Language & Text settings

Select Mac OS X Language & Text Settings3. Drag your desired Chinese version to the top of the list (Traditional is picture below)

Drag Chinese to the top of the list4. Log out and then back in again

Log out then back in again5. Enjoy finding your way around in Chinese 🙂

Enjoy finding your way around in Chinese

If you have any questions about this tip, or and ideas about other tips that are useful for learning Chinese please let us know below!

(Thanks Chris for reminding me to do this tip)

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  • Actually, a really great way (sort of) for even users of Windows Vista/7 home/basic editions is Vistalizator:

    http://www.froggie.sk/

    You’ve got Chinese traditional/simplified as well as a plethora of other languages too.

    Hope this helps 😀

  • I did this once, but had to switch back… I was just not productive enough, what with all the dictionarizing and tangent-following that the UI language change sparked 🙂

  • Pan

    Haha, I actually did that when I had a Mac, but it didn’t seem to help much. I changed things like facebook into Chinese too, but then I realized that I know how to do most regular tasks on my computer from memory anyway, so it didn’t help much.

    Now I have a computer that I bought in China, and although the main settings are in English my programs like word, vlc media player, and so forth are in Chinese. Also using Chinese programs websites that I’m not familiar with in English seems more effective than changing language settings on ones that I already know.