All installations of Windows 7 contain at least one language pack and the language-neutral binaries that make up the core operating system. Language packs contain resources that are specific to a particular language and are used to localize the user interface (UI). Because the language resources for the UI are in a language pack and separate from the binary code of the core operating system, you can change the UI language completely without changing the core binaries of the operating system, or you can have multiple languages installed on the same Windows image.

If you are deploying a multilingual image or have a Windows image that needs a specific language pack applied to a specific computer you are deploying to, you can add the language pack using Windows Setup and an unattended answer file.

The language pack must be added to the image before international settings can be configured.

For more information about how to add a language pack to an answer file, see Add a Package to an Answer File. To add a language pack and configure international settings, use the WindowsPE configuration pass to add the language pack and other configuration passes to configure international settings. For more information, see Configure International Settings in an Answer File.

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WHERE TO GET LANGUAGE PACKS

(Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744336(WS.10).aspx)

  1. Language packs are available for all editions of Windows through volume licensing programs.
  2. Language packs for Windows 7 Ultimate are available from the Microsoft Windows Update site.
  3. Language packs for Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) are available on the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK) and Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) media.

 

TWO MULTILINGUAL DEPLOYMENT SCENARIOS

(Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744336(WS.10).aspx)

  1. Deploying an image that contains multiple languages, but only one language is activated as the default.
    Licensing requirements state that Windows 7 can include only a single language, with the exception of the Windows 7 Ultimate and the Enterprise editions. These are referred to as single-language editions. When multiple language packs are added to a Windows image and a single-language edition of Windows is deployed, during Windows Welcome (OOBE) users are prompted to select the language they want to use from a list of available languages. Once that language is selected, and the computer is restarted, all other language packs will be deleted from the computer by the language-pack removal task.
  2. Deploying a multilingual image that allows the user to switch between different languages.
    Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions can include multiple languages. These are referred to as multilingual editions. If you add multiple language packs to a Windows image, you can deploy the multilingual edition of Windows in a multilingual environment, and the end users can switch the display language between multiple languages on a single computer.

 

ADD A LANGUAGE PACK

(Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744336(WS.10).aspx)

You can add a language pack in one of the following ways:

  1. Offline installation. If you have a custom Windows image that you need to add a language pack to, it can easily be updated entirely offline by using the DISM command-line tool to mount the image and add the language pack before the image is booted. DISM can also be used to configure international settings in an offline image after a language pack is added to the image. For more information about how to do this, see Deployment Image Servicing and Management Technical Reference and Add and Remove Language Packs Offline.
  2. Using Windows Setup. If you plan to use Windows Setup to deploy a multilingual edition of Windows, you can copy one or more language packs to the \Langpacks directory in your distribution share, update the Lang.ini file, and then use Setup to install the language packs that are in the distribution share. For more information, see Create a Distribution Share for a Multilingual Image. You can also add multilingual support to Windows Setup. For more information, see Walkthrough: Add Multilingual Support to Windows Setup.

 

SPECIFY THE DEFAULT LANGUAGE

(Source http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744569(WS.10).aspx)

Once the Language Pack is part of the image, you can specify the default language, locale, and keyboard values during Windows Setup by specifying values in an answer file.

There are two main ways to configure international settings in an answer file.

Institutions that are deploying a multilingual edition of Windows typically create an answer file that uses the WindowsPE configuration pass to configure international settings.

For multilingual deployments, there can be language packs in a distribution share and in the image. Language packs in the distribution share can be added and configured during the WindowsPE configuration pass or added during the WindowsPE configuration pass and the settings configured in another configuration pass.

The Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component includes the settings that you can use to modify the language and locale settings during the WindowsPE configuration pass. Additionally, you can change the Setup UI language for Windows Setup by specifying values in this component.

OEMs and Institutions that are deploying a single-language edition of Windows to various regions typically create an answer file for each region and set the locale and keyboard settings in the specialize configuration pass.

In this scenario the language pack is already added to the Windows image before international settings are configured. The Microsoft-Windows-International-Core component includes the settings that you can use to modify the language and locale settings during the specialize and oobeSystem configuration passes.

You can pre-select a language and skip the Windows Welcome language selection UI page for end users by specifying language and locale settings in the oobeSystem configuration pass in the Microsoft-Windows-International-Core component.

In general the user can select between the default Setup language and any additional languages that are installed in the image. The selection of the language will update the other regional settings to the default values associated with that language. The user can then change these default settings individually.

 

CONFIGURING THE LANGUAGE BAR

(Source: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverGP/thread/26455b36-26bd-4a44-b594-5a9f67bcd8df)

Once the Language Pack is installed, you will likely want to configure the Language Bar to show up on the Taskbar. Currently, there is no group policy available to control whether the Language Bar is visible. However, Laura Zhang, a Microsoft moderator on the "Active Directory and Group Policy FAQ" forum explains, the language bar settings are stored in the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\CTF\LangBar

The ShowStatus value becomes 0 when we select the option "Floating on desktop"
The ShowStatus value becomes "3" when set to "Hidden" which is the default.
The ShowStatus value becomes "4" when set to "Docked on the taskbar"

As a result, you may create a custom administrative template and then deploy these settings via it. To create a custom administrative template, please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article: “How to create custom administrative templates in Windows 2000 (Apply to Windows Server 2003)” at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323639

You can also control the language bar by using a logon script to set the ShowStatus value. Here is a sample script to enable the language bar:
Dim WshShell
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
WshShell. RegWrite" HKCU\Software\Microsoft\CTF\LangBar\ShowStatus", 4, "REG_DWORD"

The language pack must be added to the image before the registry key shows up and the international settings can be configured.