Translating TechNet instantly

Here’s a little something I discovered the other day which I have found to be super useful.

As anyone who is not a native English speaker knows, English is the predominant language on the Internet; and in the world of IT, this seems to be especially true.  Product documentation often gets released in English first, and then localised later on, if at all.

The other day I was writing some documentation (in Spanish) for the project I am currently working on, and I was basing my document on some pages from TechNet, which I could only find the English versions of.  I was just about to accept that I’d have to translate the relevant parts I wanted to use into Spanish (which can be a very time consuming task) when by chance I noticed that the URL for the TechNet page contained the location and language.  This gave me the idea of changing this part of the URL to see what would happen…


So, I changed this:  to this: and low and behold, the page appeared in Spanish! (notice the change from en-us to es-es)


image image


After further playing around, it seems that this works for most of the languages, assuming that you know the codes.  I have created a rather short list below of the codes that I could work out.

  • en-gb  -  British English
  • en-us  -  US English (I am not sure why you’d want to use this version though, the previous one in this list is a better choice…)
  • es-es  -  Spanish (Spain)
  • fr-fr    -  French (France)

Note that this does not seem to work for all TechNet pages, especially the ones for Windows Server 2008.  I guess this is because the localised versions have not yet been finalised, or the URL mappings have been changed.