The International panel lets you set up your Mac to work in other languages. If you bought your Mac with a localized operating system—a version that already runs in your own language—and you’re already using the only language, number format, and keyboard layout you’ll ever need, then you can ignore most of this panel.
But at the very least, check it out. When it comes to showing off Mac OS X to your friends and loved ones, the “wow” factor on the Mac’s polyglot features is huge.
The Mac has always been able to run software in multiple languages—if you installed the correct fonts, keyboard layouts, and localized software (a French copy of the Mac OS, a French version of Entourage, and so on). But in Mac OS X, you can shift from language to language in certain programs on the fly, without reinstalling the operating system or even restarting the computer.
Open the International panel. On the Language tab, you see a listing of the different languages the Mac can switch into—French, German, Spanish, and so on. Just drag one of the languages to the top of the list to select it as the target language, as shown in Figure 9-11.
Figure 9-11. Top: This is the list of the 15 “system localizations” that you get with a standard Mac OS X installation. Bottom: Here’s Safari running in Dutch. Actually understanding Dutch would be useful at a time like this—but even ...