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Updated Sep 17, 2019.

Language Configuration

Do you need to know this?

Probably not. The default install sets the product language to the OS language. English is also always installed. This is ideal for the vast majority of environments. If you need something else, read on.

Custom language settings

All Acrobat installers are multi-language installers. Language configuration can be complex in some environments. For example, you may need to know the following:

  • The relevant locale and language codes for your serial number.
  • What languages to install on the machine (one, several, or all).
  • Whether or not the default language is that of the OS.
  • Whether or not the user should be allowed to reset the language.
  • Whether the language variant maps to a differently named base MST.
  • If you need additional font packs which are available as separate installers.

At its simplest, use SUPPRESSLANGSELECTION=YES to set the default language to match that of the OS and remove the startup screen that asks uses to select a language.

Installer types

Adobe provides the following installers:

  • Language specific installers: These are identified by a language code in the installer’s file name; for example, en_US. These are available from the Reader Download Center and the FTP download site for some planned updates. In those cases, use the installer file name to identify the language for which the installer is intended.

  • Language agnostic installers: Almost all planned updates and out of cycle updates are language agnostic and can be applied over a product of any language. These don’t have a language code in the installer’s file name.

    • All Acrobat installers are MUI installers.
    • All major releases provide a MUI installer.
    • Most updates and patches apply to MUI installs and no MUI-specific updates are provided.
    • If a MUI update is provided, it must be used to update MUI installs.

Verifying language support

In addition to the installer’s filename, you can also check the setup file directory which includes the language specific .mst files. These are identified by language ID codes.

Pre-deployment configuration

Methods for specifying the product language include:

  • Default: Let the MUI installer set the language to the OS language (same as manually setting bUseMUI to 1 as described in the Preference Reference.)
  • Install a multi language installer (MUI or non-English which also includes English), and let the end user select the language.
  • Set the language with the Customization Wizard. Refer to Installation Options > Language selection.
  • Set the language with command line properties..
  • Specify both the language code and the language-specific MST on the command line. For example, to deploy a Dutch version of the product, use:
msiexec /i <path\AcroPro.msi> LANG_LIST=en_US TRANSFORMS="1043.mst;<other MSTs if needed>"  /qb

Multilanguage installers

All Acrobat DC installers are MUI installers. Reader is also provided in a MUI version. MUI installers provide a way to install the product with support for more than one language. Features include:

  • Support for more than one language so that users can switch languages.

  • Automatic selection of the language based on the language of the current OS.

  • The MUI installer for Acrobat on both Windows and Macintosh provide the following benefits to enterprise IT and OEM vendors:

    • A reduction in the number of Acrobat installers from twenty to two (1 each for Pro and Standard).
    • For those supporting multiple locales, one or two downloads (as opposed to up to 20) and a simpler patching and update workflow.
    • Smaller patch sizes.
    • Simplified licensing: Both Windows and Macintosh use a limited number of serial number types to specify the product language.

The base installer is an MSI file, and MSP patches are also periodically released which can only be applied over the base mui MSI install. Both installers are identified by “_mui” in the filename.

Note

MUI installers are only created in tandem with full MSI installers. They are not created for MSP updates and patches. What this means for your deployment methodology is that you simply install the generic installer over your MUI install if there is a no MUI-specific installer. If there is a MUI-specific installer, you must use that. Download the MUI installer from ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/.

The MUI Reader always contains the base English resources. To support another language, an additional resource bundle is added to the installation. Therefore, English is always present, and the single language Reader is about the same size as the MUI Reader.

The installation size varies with the type of install:

  • Bootstrapper (setup.exe) or UI-based installer: The size is significantly larger than the single language version because the full installer is kept on the disk.
  • AIP install: Except for minor differences in some of the text files, the size of the MUI Reader will be about the same as the single language Reader.

Windows MUI installers for Acrobat behave as follows:

  • All serial numbers are language based.

  • There are two types of serial numbers: one for all languages and one for a single language.

  • The installer gets the language attributes from the serial number.

  • English is always installed in addition to any specified locale.

  • End user installs with a retail non-MUL serial number do not provide additional language options at install time.

  • Language specification occurs as follows:

    • An “all language” serial number installs Acrobat in the OS language (Typical Installation).
    • A “single language” serial number installs Acrobat in the specified language
    • End users can choose any combination of languages to be installed via a custom installation.
    • End users will be able to install one or more languages via the Installer Repair/Modify option.
    • The LANG_LIST property can be used for command line installs.

Machine-level details

The application language is selected during the installation of the initial major version using Setup.exe and is then stored on the system. For example, on Windows, it’s in:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\Language]"UI"="ENU"

The product UI language is actually determined by the sidecar dll stored in:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\<product name>\<version>\Language]"current"

Therefore, if a user switches the dll under current or changes the UI key, the two keys may not match. Ultimately, the dll under current determines the product language.

DC language support

Tier 1
Language Name Locale SKU abbreviation Comments
Universal English en_US UE All products
French fr_FR F All products
German de_DE D All products
Japanese ja_JP JPL All products
French Canadian fr_CA FC Mapped to fr_FR
International English en_GB EAP, EUE, EUW, IE, LAE Mapped to en_US
Tier 2
Language Name Locale SKU abbreviation Comments
Dutch nl_NL NL All products
Italian it_IT I All products
Spanish es_ES E All products
Latin/North American Spanish es_MX LAS, NAS mapped to es_ES
Brazilian Portuguese pt_BR PB All products
Portuguese pt_PT P mapped to pt_BR
Swedish sv_SE S All products
Danish da_DK DK All products
Finnish fi_FI SF All products
Norwegian nb_NO N All products
Tier 3
Language Name Locale SKU abbreviation Comments
Chinese Simplified zh_CN CS All products
Chinese Traditional zh_TW CT All products
Korean kr_KR KOR All products
Tier 4
Language Name Locale SKU abbreviation Comments
Czech cs_CZ CZ All products
Hungarian ht_HU HU All products
Polish pl_PL PL All products
Russian ru_RU RU All products
Ukrainian uk_UA UKR All products
Turkish tr_TR TR All products
Slovak sk_SK SL Windows only
Slovenian sl_SI SVN Windows only
Basque eu_ES none Windows Reader only
Catalan ca_ES none Windows Reader only
Croatian hr_HR none Windows Reader only
Romanian ro_RO none Mac and Windows, Reader only
Tier 5
Language Name Locale SKU abbreviation Comments
North African French fr_MA NAF All products (no locale for Mac since the UI appears in the OS locale)
Middle Eastern English for Arabic en_AE MEA All products (no locale for Mac since the UI appears in the OS locale)
Middle Eastern English for Hebrew en_IL MEH All products (no locale for Mac since the UI appears in the OS locale)

Locale and language codes

Installer filenames include a locale identifier consisting of consists of a language code and a country code. For example, the Reader installer filename is in the form of AdbeRdr<version>_<language code>.exe. Thus, AdbeRdr10_en_US.exe is an English installer.

Note

Details about what languages are supported in each release appear in the Release Notes.

Installer components and workflows adhere to the ID system used by Microsoft. For details, see:

These IDs are also used on the command line, in installer tables, and elsewhere.

Locale and language codes
Language Code Language ID code
Basque eu 1069
Bulgarian bg 1026
Catalan ca 1027
Chinese (China) zh_CN 2052
Chinese (Taiwan) zh_TW 1028
Croatian hr 1050
Czech cs 1029
Danish da_DK 1030
Dutch nl_NL 1043
English en_US 1033
Estonian et 1061
Finnish fi_FI 1035
French fr_FR 1036
German de_DE 1031
Hungarian hu 1038
Italian it_IT 1040
Japanese ja_JP 1041
Korean ko_KR 1042
Latvian lv 1062
Lithuanian lt 1063
Norwegian nb_NO 1044
Portuguese – Brazilian pt_BR 1046
Romanian ro 1048
Russian ru 1049
Slovak sk 1051
Slovenian sl 1060
Spanish es_ES 1034
Swedish sv_SE 1053
Turkish tr 1055
Ukrainian uk 1058
English with Arabic en_AE 1025
English with Hebrew en_IL 1037
North African French fr_MA 6165
Polish pl_PL 1045