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about_Script_Internationalization

Updated: August 9, 2012

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0

TOPIC
    about_Script_Internationalization

SHORT DESCRIPTION
    Describes the script internationalization features of Windows PowerShell 2.0 
    that make it easy for scripts to display messages and instructions to users
    in their user interface (UI) language.


LONG DESCRIPTION
    The Windows PowerShell script internationalization features allow you to
    better serve users throughout the world by displaying Help and user 
    messages for scripts and functions in the user's UI language.
    
    The script internationalization features query the UI culture of the 
    operating system during execution, import the appropriate
    translated text strings, and display them to the user. The Data section
    lets you store text strings separate from code so they are easily 
    identified and extracted. A new cmdlet, ConvertFrom-StringData, 
    converts text strings into dictionary-like hash tables to facilitate
    translation. 

    The Windows PowerShell 2.0 features used in script internationalization
    are not supported by Windows PowerShell 1.0. Scripts that include these
    features will not run in Windows PowerShell 1.0 without modification.    

    To support international Help text, Windows PowerShell 2.0 includes the 
    following features:

       -- A Data section that separates text strings from code instructions. For
          more information about the Data section, see about_Data_Sections.

       -- New automatic variables, $PSCulture and $PSUICulture. $PSCulture stores
          the name of the UI language used on the system for elements such as
          the date, time, and currency. The $PSUICulture variable stores the 
          name of the UI language used on the system for user interface elements
          such as menus and text strings.

       -- A cmdlet, ConvertFrom-StringData, that converts text strings into
          dictionary-like hash tables to facilitate translation. For more 
          information, see ConvertFrom-StringData.

       -- A new file type, .psd1, that stores translated text strings. The .psd1
          files are stored in language-specific subdirectories of the script
          directory.
    
       -- A cmdlet, Import-LocalizedData, that imports translated text strings
          for a specified language into a script at runtime. This cmdlet recognizes
          and imports strings in any Windows-supported language. For more 
          information see Import-LocalizedData.


 THE DATA SECTION: Storing Default Strings
 
     Use a Data section in the script to store the text strings in the default language.
     Arrange the strings in key/value pairs in a here-string. Each key/value pair must
     be on a separate line. If you include comments, the comments must be on separate
     lines.

     The ConvertFrom-StringData cmdlet converts the key/value pairs in the here-string
     into a dictionary-like hash table that is stored in the value of the Data section
     variable.

     In the following example, the Data section of the World.ps1 script includes
     the English-United States (en-US) set of prompt messages for a script. The 
     ConvertFrom-StringData cmdlet converts the strings into a hash table and stores
     them in the $msgtable variable.

$msgTable = Data {
    # culture="en-US"
    ConvertFrom-StringData @'
helloWorld = Hello, World.
        errorMsg1 = You cannot leave the user name field blank.
         promptMsg = Please enter your user name.
'@
}


     For more information about here-strings, see about_Quoting_Rules.


 PSD1 FILES: Storing Translated Strings

    Save the script messages for each UI language in separate text files with
    the same name as the script and the .psd1 file name extension. Store the files
    in subdirectories of the script directory with names of cultures in the following
    format:

<language>–<region>

    Examples: de-DE, ar-SA, and zh-Hans


    For example, if the World.ps1 script is stored in the C:\Scripts directory, you
    would create a file directory structure that resembles the following:

    C:\Scripts
C:\Scripts\World.ps1
    C:\Scripts\de-DE\World.psd1
            C:\Scripts\ar-SA\World.psd1
            C:\Scripts\zh-CN\World.psd1
    ...


    The World.psd1 file in the de-DE subdirectory of the script directory
    might include the following statement:


    ConvertFrom-StringData @'
    helloWorld = Hello, World (in German).
    errorMsg1 = You cannot leave the user name field blank (in German).
            promptMsg = Please enter your user name (in German).
'@


    Similarly, the World.psd1 file in the ar-SA subdirectory of the script directory
    might includes the following statement:


    ConvertFrom-StringData @'
    helloWorld = Hello, World (in Arabic).
    errorMsg1 = You cannot leave the user name field blank (in Arabic).
            promptMsg = Please enter your user name (in Arabic).
'@


 IMPORT-LOCALIZEDDATA: Dynamic Retrieval of Translated Strings

    To retrieve the strings in the UI language of the current user, use
    the Import-LocalizedData cmdlet. 

    Import-LocalizedData finds the value of the $PSUICulture automatic
    variable and imports the content of the <script-name>.psd1 files in
    the subdirectory that matches the $PSUICulture value. Then, it saves
    the imported content in the variable specified by the value of the
    BindingVariable parameter. 

import-localizeddata -bindingVariable msgTable

    For example, if the Import-LocalizedData command appears in the
    C:\Scripts\World.ps1 script and the value of $PSUICulture is
    "ar-SA", Import-LocalizedData finds the following file:

         C:\Scripts\ar-SA\World.psd1

    Then, it imports the Arabic text strings from the file into
    the $msgTable variable, replacing any default strings that might
    be defined in the Data section of the World.ps1 script.

    As a result, when the script uses the $msgTable variable
    to display user messages, the messages are displayed in 
    Arabic.

    For example, the following script displays the "Please enter your user
    name" message in Arabic:

if (!($username)) { $msgTable.promptMsg }   
    
    If Import-LocalizedData cannot find a .psd1 file that matches the
    value of $PSUIculture, the value of $msgTable is not replaced,
    and the call to $msgTable.promptMsg displays the fallback en-US
    strings.



 ExAMPLE

    This example shows how the script internationalization features
    are used in a script to display a day of the week to users
    in the language that is set on the computer.
     
    The following is a complete listing of the Sample1.ps1 script
    file. 

    The script begins with a Data section named Day ($Day) that
    contains a ConvertFrom-StringData command. The expression
    submitted to ConvertFrom-StringData is a here-string that 
    contains the day names in the default UI culture, en-US, in 
    key/value pairs. The ConvertFrom-StringData cmdlet converts
    the key/value pairs in the here-string into a hash table and
    then saves it in the value of the $Day variable.

    The Import-LocalizedData command imports the contents of the 
    .psd1 file in the directory that matches the value of the 
    $PSUICulture automatic variable and then saves it in the $Day
    variable, replacing the values of $Day that are defined in the
    Data section.

    The remaining commands load the strings into an array and display
    them. 
   
        $Day = DATA {
# culture="en-US"
ConvertFrom-StringData @'
        messageDate = Today is
    d0 = Sunday
    d1 = Monday
    d2 = Tuesday
    d3 = Wednesday
    d4 = Thursday
    d5 = Friday
    d6 = Saturday
        '@
}


Import-LocalizedData -BindingVariable Day

# Build an array of weekdays.
$a = $Day.d0, $Day.d1, $Day.d2, $Day.d3, $Day.d4, $Day.d5, $Day.d6


        # Get the day of the week as a number (Monday = 1).
        # Index into $a to get the name of the day.
        # Use string formatting to build a sentence.

        "{0} {1}" –f $Day.messageDate, $a[(get-date -uformat %u)] | Out-Host



    The .psd1 files that support the script are saved in subdirectories of
    the script directory with names that match the $PSUICulture values. 

    The following is a complete listing of .\de-DE\sample1.psd1:

        # culture="de-DE"
ConvertFrom-StringData @'
    messageDate = Today is 
            d0 = Sunday (in German)
    d1 = Monday (in German)
    d2 = Tuesday (in German)
    d3 = Wednesday (in German)
    d4 = Thursday (in German)
            d5 = Friday (in German)
            d6 = Saturday (in German)
        '@

    As a result, when you run Sample.ps1 on a system on which the value
    of $PSUICulture is de-DE, the output of the script is:


Today is Friday (in German)


SEE ALSO
    about_Data_Sections
    about_Automatic_Variables
    about_Hash_Tables
    about_Quoting_Rules
    ConvertFrom-StringData
    Import-LocalizedData       



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