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About Script Internationalization

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 11/17/2016
|
2 Contributors

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:

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 .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 {

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