Changing the current language

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Peter 2May14: This page is a potential candidate for deprecation, the material is, or should be, handled more than adequately in the Manual. There may be useful additional information here that could usefully be transferred to the Manual.
  • Steve 12May14: Can we make this page automatically redirect to the manual?
  • Peter 15May14: with a bit of trickery I can make that happen - but it's probably easier just to find the (relatively few) pages that link here from within the Wiki and change those to go direct to the Manual. But having said that it may be a good idea to leave a redirect here in case there are (and there probably are) links here from the Forum.
    • The section that isn't covered in the Manual FAQ is the list of supported languages. maybe we need to transfer that list to a page in the Manual linked to from the FAQ.
    • Gale 19May14: Editing audacity.cfg is only very cursorily addressed in the FAQ (with the link given not being totally helpful) and the issue of no languages except "English" or "System" is not addressed in the FAQ at all. I think it makes most sense to move this page pretty much as is to a new "Languages" page in the Manual, then retain a very trimmed FAQ.
  • Peter 8Jun14: ToDo-206 This page can be deleted once 2.0.6 has been released. I have copied the contents of this page to a new Languages page in the Manual and trimmed the FAQ.
Audacity can display in many non-English languages. Audacity automatically runs in the language the operating system uses. To change language, use the Interface Preferences, or exit Audacity and modify the audacity.cfg settings file.
The language setting persists in audacity.cfg, even if Audacity is re-installed.


In Audacity go to the Interface Preferences, choose the specific language required from the "Language" box, then click OK. Most of the interface will change language at once, but a very few interface elements will change next time you restart Audacity.

Navigating the menus in an unfamiliar language

If you cannot read the menus because the text is in an unfamiliar language or has ??? characters, you can navigate the menus sequentially to change the language.

  1. Choose the second menu from the left in the Audacity menus at top left of the screen (on Mac, click on the first menu from the left)
  2. Choose the bottom item of that menu, which opens the Preferences
  3. In the list on the left of Preferences, choose the fifth item from the top
  4. On the right, open the drop-down box containing a list of the language choices
  5. Select the language you want and press "ENTER" on your keyboard.

Missing language choices

In Audacity, if only "English" or "System" choices are in the Languages box, ensure the "Languages" folder is in the correct location as follows:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\<your Audacity version>\Languages
  • OS X: /Applications/audacity/Languages
  • Linux: /usr/share/locale if Audacity was installed from a repository package, or /usr/local/share/locale if you compiled Audacity from source code.

Change language in the system settings

Alternatively, you can quit Audacity and edit the audacity.cfg settings file. The .cfg file can be edited with any text editor. The Audacity settings folder is located at:

  • Windows 98/ME: Windows\Application Data\Audacity
  • Windows 2000/XP: Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Audacity
  • Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8: Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity
  • OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/audacity
  • Linux: ~/.audacity-data

To change language, find the line [Locale] in the .cfg file and change the line underneath it to your preferred language using the two-digit ISO 639-1 code here. For example, "Language=en" (without quotes) sets English or "Language=de" sets German.

If the two lines for Locale do not exist (which will be the case if Audacity has only ever run in the system language) add the lines as in this example:



Now save audacity.cfg, restart Audacity and it will launch in your chosen language.

Quicker fixes without finding the two-digit ISO code

If you delete the [Locale] line and the line under that, save the changes then restart Audacity, this will make Audacity run in the language the operating system runs in.

If you have (or ever had) the legacy Audacity 1.2 version running in your preferred language, delete audacity.cfg. Audacity will then take its language and other 1.2 settings from the stored 1.2 values. Preference settings which have no equivalent in 1.2 will return to default.

Supported non-English languages

As well as US English, the Audacity software supports a significant number of other languages. There are no localized versions of Audacity. Instead, single versions of Audacity for the various operating platforms are shipped with a "Languages" folder containing gettext .mo files. These files are then used to display the different languages.

Warning icon All translations are provided by volunteers and may at times be incomplete. Any untranslated parts of the software will appear in US English. We are always looking for new volunteers to help translate not only Audacity itself but also the main Audacity web site and Manual.

Unicode characters

Audacity is Unicode and thus should display non-English languages correctly on any localisation of the operating system if the system supports that language.

Supported non-English languages in Audacity

  • af Afrikaans
  • ar Arabic
  • eu Basque
  • be Belarusian
  • bn Bengali
  • bs Bosnian
  • bg Bulgarian
  • my Burmese
  • ca Catalan
  • zh Chinese (Simplified)
  • zh_TW Chinese (Taiwan)
  • hr Croatian
  • cy Cymraeg (Welsh)
  • cs Czech
  • da Danish
  • nl Dutch
  • fa Farsi (Persian)
  • fi Finnish
  • fr French
  • ga Gaelige
  • gl Galician
  • ka Georgian
  • de German
  • el Greek
  • he Hebrew
  • hi Hindi
  • hu Hungarian
  • id Indonesian
  • it Italian
  • ja Japanese
  • km Khmer
  • ko Korean
  • lt Lithuanian
  • mk Macedonian
  • nb Norwegian (Bokmal)
  • oc Occitan
  • pl Polish
  • pt Portuguese
  • pt_BR Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • ro Romanian
  • ru Russian
  • sr_RS Serbian (Cyrillic)
  • sr_RS@latin Serbian (Latin)
  • sk Slovak
  • sl Slovenian
  • es Spanish
  • sv Swedish
  • tg Tajik
  • ta Tamil
  • tr Turkish
  • uk Ukrainian
  • ca_valencia Valencian
  • vi Vietnamese

Languages struck out have written translations but won't appear in Audacity until wxWidgets supports them.

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