How to change language in Firefox, LibreOffice and other Gnu / Linux applications

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Many Gnu / Linux distributions come in English by default and that is often a problem for Spanish speakers and other non-English speaking users. But the problem is not only in the distribution but in the applications you use that are also in that language.

It may also be that the problem is in the application and not in the distribution, that is, despite having the distribution in Spanish, the application maintains its source language.

Recently, using Debian, it happened to me that the default version of Firefox is in Spanish but the last version that I installed through repositories was in English. Fortunately, he used GNU / Linux and that means that we can change everything, the problem is knowing how to do it.

But then we are going to tell you how to do it, how to change language in Firefox as well as other popular applications within Gnu / Linux distributions. Although we must note that such a language change will only be effective for menus and output information since the program, the program code and its internal functions will be in English, the language of most programming languages.

Change language in Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is possibly the most popular application of all, since not all of us use Linux to write or to create images, but we do use Linux to surf the Internet. Changing language in Firefox is no more difficult than changing the language in other applications. First of all we have to go to our software management tool and install the firefox-l10n-en package. For this we can open a terminal and write the following:

sudo apt-get install firefox-l10n-es

In case of having Firefox ESR, what we have to write in the terminal is the following:

sudo apt-get install firefox-ESR-l10n-es

As in previous applications, we have to change the command "apt-get" by the corresponding command of installation of packages of the distribution that we use.

We also have to change the character encoding of Firefox to change language in Firefox. For this we have to go to Preferences and in the General section we go down to Language and appearance. Now we press the "Select" button and we look for the package of our language, either Spanish or another language.

There is a third option that will be used as a last resort. This option consists of typing "about: config" in the address bar of Firefox. Then We look for the entry intl.locale.requested and double click on the entry, now we enter the value "es-ES". We may not find the string intl.locale.requested, in this case we just have to create a new entry, name it like that and as the type of string we say it is a string value or we leave it blank.

One made the changes to about: config, we close the tab and restart the web browser so that the changes made are applied.

Change language in LibreOffice

Libreoffice is a very popular and needed office suite. While it is true that more and more people are using office suites on the Cloud, Libreoffice continues to be popular and remains the alternative for those who cannot access the Internet at certain times.

Fortunately, in this case we do not have to change the language application after application, it will only be enough to install a single package. To do this we open a terminal and write the following:

sudo apt-get install libreoffice-l10n-es
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-help-es

We will change the command "Apt-Get" depending on the distribution we are using, since apt-get corresponds to distributions based on Debian and Ubuntu.

Now we have to update the dictionaries, which in general will already be in Spanish but that may not have been the case. In LibreOffice Writer we go to Tools → Options and a window like the following will appear:

screenshot of LibreOffice language settings

in this window we go to the Language tab and we select all the options related to ES or Spanish. We accept the changes and restart the Libreoffice applications so that the changes are applied correctly.

Change language in Krita

Although for many Linux users Gimp is the default graphical editor, more and more users are inclined to use Krita. In this application, despite having the distribution in Spanish, it is usually presented in English. But changing the language in Krita is very easy. We just have to go to the terminal and write the following:

sudo apt-get install krita-l10n

(As always, "apt-get" must be replaced by the corresponding command from the distribution software manager).

Change language in Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is an email client. Yes, there are still people who use email clients. It is a Mozilla program and for many it will have its advantages and disadvantages. In the case of changing the language, we can say that it behaves in the same way, but changing the name of Firefox to Thunderbird, that is, that we have to follow almost the same steps as to change language in Firefox. Thus, we have to open a terminal and write the following:

sudo apt-get install thunderbird-l10n-es

And you also have to do the rest of the operations: changing the language in the Preferences menu and subsequently selecting the language we want to use.

Change language in VLC

The multimedia world is also covered in this article although we have to say that in general, the user is familiar with the menus of multimedia players in English (who does not know what the Play button means?). In this case we are going to talk about the program vlc, a multimedia player that has deservedly earned itself to be one of the most used players among Gnu / Linux users. There is always the need to put the menus in Spanish, especially if we want to edit and create videos with this tool. In this case, we just have to open a terminal and write the following:

sudo apt-get install vlc-l10n

This will make our favorite multimedia player have the menus in Spanish as well as most of the functions of the player.

Spanish or English, which language to choose?

These are some programs we use and how to change the language of them. Something useful for many users who master the language of Shakespeare but it must also be said that thanks to YouTube and the visual guides, we can cope correctly with the programs without having to change the language of the menus.

Personally the first thing I do after installing a distribution is to change language in Firefox and Libreoffice, two programs that I use mostly and with which I feel better in Spanish. The rest of the programs I do not usually change or I do later, depending on the use I give, but they are my preferences. Now, it is you who choose.


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  1.   MZ17 said

    Same for Audacity ???

    1.    Juan Augustine said

      Hey.
      In the case of Audacity, it is automatically configured based on the system language. In Opensuse, it is a separate audacity-lang file. On Debian and derivatives, it is set automatic.
      Here is a link to the Audacity wiki in case you have to change or opt for another language setting
      http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/languages.html

  2.   Juan Augustine said

    There is a bug, in the family of "-buntus" 17.10, that when updating to Firefox 59, it leaves the language in English. Even if the file is installed in Spanish, even if the file firefox-l10n-en is deleted, it still appears in English. Moreover, in the language extensions, Spanish appears as the default, but it does not respect it
    In the end, I decided to uninstall it with apt remove –purge firefox, download it from the Firefox website and do a manual installation. In that case it YES respected my language setting.
    It seems to me that the file being downloaded, firefox-l10n-en, is actually in English. Some error in the naming of packages leads to this problem.

  3.   chicha said

    Could you tell me how to put the dark mode on LO? Please, it looks great.

  4.   phirox said

    Hello, Excuse me but I am too new to this computer, when I want to put: sudo apt-get install firefox-ESR-l10n-es
    returns me: Reading package list ... Done
    Creating dependency tree
    Reading the status information ... Done
    E: The firefox-ESR-l10n-en package could not be located

    They can help me. Please?
    Thank you!

    1.    Miguel Rodriguez said

      firefox-locale-en

  5.   Baphomet said

    It's been more than two years since you published it and your article is still useful. Thank you, friend Joaquín García.