Change the Language of Your Debian 8 System From English to Chinese

Hello, Linux fellas. In this tutorial, I will show you how to change the language of your Debian 8 system from English to Chinese.

Change the Language of Your Debian 8 System

Open your terminal and login as root.


Edit /etc/locale.gen file

nano /etc/locale.gen

If you chose American English as the system language during the installation process, you will see in this file that only the 151th line: en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 is not commented.
generate chinese locales in Debian

To add simplified Chinese language support, remove those pound sign from lines that start with zh_CN.

generate zh_CN locales on Debian 8

Save and close the file. Now run the following command:


locale-gen command

Now open Gnome settings panel, select Region & Lanuage.

gnome settings - region & language

Double click the language field.

change the language of Debian gnome desktop

Choose Chinese(汉语) from the list and click Done button.

change language of Debian from English to Chinese

Now log out of Debian and log back in. You will greeted by the following message.

preserve the original name of standard folders

It asks you if you want to change the language of your standard folders (the folders under your home) to Chinese as well. You will want to use English as the language for these folders. So click the left button to preserve their original name.

Now the system language of Debian is Chinese, but additionally we need to add Chinese language support for iceweasal, icedove, libreoffice and other applications. These applications require specific language packs. Run the following command to install these Chinese language packs.

apt-get install chromium-l10n icedove-l10n-zh-cn iceowl-l10n-zh-cn iceweasel-l10n-zh-cn libreoffice-help-zh-cn libreoffice-l10n-zh-cn debian-faq-zh-cn kicad-doc-zh-cn openvanilla-imgeneric-data-zh-cn texlive-lang-chinese


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