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Opera recently upgraded itself, and for some reason the update installed the Hebrew version with Hebrew menus (that's not completely surprising, since my phone is in Hebrew, but it's partly surprising, because the previous version was in English). The problem is that Opera did a bad job of translating their browser to Hebrew, because Hebrew is written right-to-left, but the menus are all left-to-right.

How can I change the language of the menus and settings in Opera to be in English?

For the record, if it's relevant, I have a Samsung Galaxy S with Froyo.

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3 Answers

Android applications are usually set up to handle many languages by store different translations of the same message in different language-files, one for each language (res/values/strings.xml for default, res/values-sv/strings.xml for swedish, res/values-fr/strings.xml for french etc.).

So when you start the program, it try to look up a translation for your phones default language. If there are translations of that string present for the selected language in the program, like Hebrew is now in Opera, it will use that string. But if the language is not pressent, like it was before in Opera, it will use the default language for the program, which usually is English.

So that is why you got English before and Hebrew now when running Opera. And that is why I don't think that uninstall and install again will change anything, as the language is selected in runtime, and not when you install the program.

Instead you should talk to Opera and give them better translations or set your phone to English as default language and not get any Hebrew translations at all, in any program.

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While it certainly might be the case here, I doubt you can say with any certainty that Android apps usually select the language dynamically at runtime. –  Matthew Read Apr 12 '11 at 16:34
    
If they don't override the default behaviour of the Android system. But why would they? You could still programmaticly select a different language for your application. But this is how you should do a multi language support in Android programs. And how I do support swedish in my programs. –  Anders Apr 12 '11 at 16:45
    
How is "the default behaviour of the Android system" relevant to an app? The OS can't force an app to use a particular language, or even to check what the system language or locale is. –  Matthew Read Apr 12 '11 at 16:50
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Here is how Localization is set up in an Android application: Android developer tutorials –  Anders Apr 12 '11 at 17:08
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Here are Googles Android Developers DevGuid about Localization. So, as we can assume that their programmers know and uses those, my post is the propper sollution to the problem. Set your phone to English or contact Opera with sudgestions of better translations. –  Anders Apr 12 '11 at 17:32
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Most likely, Opera added the Hebrew localisation with the update itself, so it did the "smart" thing and used the phone's language.

I would do the following:

  1. Uninstall the app
  2. Change the phone's language to English (Settings > Language & Keyboard)
  3. (Optional and only if your phone is rooted) Download Market Enabler from the Market and select a US Market (to ensure you get an "English version" of the app.
  4. Reinstall and afterwards, set your phone back to Hebrew
  5. I'd also attempt a reboot to see if that reverts Opera's behaviour.
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When you set the phone back to Hebrew, the application will switch back to use Hebrew and not English. The program package got all translations. –  Anders Jul 8 '12 at 2:18
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This is a poor workaround, but I assume you could get the English version by uninstalling the app, switching the phone to English temporarily, and reinstalling the app.

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What I don't understand is how I got the English version in the first place without switching to English. –  Nathan Fellman Apr 4 '11 at 20:39
    
Because there where no Hebrew translation of the application in the beginning. Then you get the default translation, which usually are English. Later update of the application added Hebrew language, and you got that translation. –  Anders Jul 8 '12 at 2:15
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