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Localized Help for PowerShell 3.0

PowerShell 3.0 has changed the help system: it no longer ships with help but instead offers help files for download via Update-Help. Now, the PowerShell team starts to translate help files in non-English languages. You can help decide which languages are included and which topics are translated first.

In a previous post, we explained how to download help files via Update-Help in detail and illustrated how you can make the English help files work on non-English systems. In the near future, help files may be available available in your native language, too.

Why PowerShell 3.0 Help Is Not Localized Yet

PowerShell 3.0 ships with so many more modules and cmdlets that it just isn’t feasible for the PS team to translate all the documentation to all the different languages. So the team focused on documenting all the cmdlets in English first. Now, they are triaging, trying to identify the modules that need translations most, and focusing only on the most widely used cultures.

What Will Be Localized?

For this, the team looked at the page views the online help files at TechNet received. To determine which cultures would be included in localization, they also looked at the posts filed on the connect feedback site. As it turns out, the cultures most likely to be localized are:

  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese

How Can You Influence Localization?

As resources are limited, you decide which topics are most likely to be localized and which cultures are translated first. To mark a specific cmdlet or module as important, simply visit the online documentation page for it. Each page view counts. And if you feel it is crucial for your culture to be translated, file a suggestion at the feedback site.

You may also want to take a look at the original Microsoft statement. We’d like to ask you for feedback: do you think it is crucial to have PowerShell help available in non-English languages? And if so, why? Thanks for your thoughts.