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Chinese gibberish on computer


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Sometimes when I download a Chinese program or I try to add Chinese subtitles to a film, instead of seeing characters or I see some type of gibberish which is noy any language (that I know of), as shown in this image: http://tinypic.com/r/mcfalf/5

Can anyone explain to me what this is, and how I can I can change settings on my computer so that I see characters instead of this gibberish?

EDIT: Sorry, I foolishly forgot to include my OS. I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium.

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You didn't say what OS you are using or even if it is MAC or Windows, but if you are using Windows XP you need to go to

Control panel

Regional and Language Options

Language tab

Check the box for - Install Files for East Asian Languages

and away you go. :)

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We have a windows 7 machine here and it is basically the same. Not gone though the whole set-up as we didn't want to change that machine.

Also if you get stuck, use windows help and type in east Asian language support. Should lead you though the procedure.

Good luck

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While many programs are able to display Chinese characters correctly, some programs are primarily developed for Chinese version of windows and require some configuration to display correctly on English version of Windows. For Unicode support, download AppLocale from Microsoft website and try running the program through it, you can create a permanent shortcut that will always start the program with Chinese Unicode support every single time.

For non-Unicode support, you need to change your System Locale to Chinese and need to restart your computer. It is listed as 'Change Display Language' under 'Clock, Language, and Region' category in Control Panel. Be careful though, because it will change quite a few things in your system.

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I would not recommend LearneR suggestion unless you want your computer to be in Chinese, the display language is the language used for all the menus, commands etc...

I have done some more research and it seems that this feature is not available in Windows 7 Home edition, you need windows 7 Ultimate or Premier. The version we have here is 7 ultimate which is why it worked.

There are some fixes but I don't know enough to suggest which one would be best, I would suggest searching the www for info on this or even going to MS own website and see what they suggest.

Maybe someone here will know, windows 7 is quite new so it may be that people are still learning.

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What Shelley said above about "installing files for East Asian languages" would be the right solution if it's just a Unicode font display problem with an old version of Windows (XP or older). In that case, you wouldn't be able to read Chinese websites either, and installing the East Asian fonts would fix that.

But after seeing your image, I think the problem you have is a trickier one. You're basically running Windows programs developed in China that aren't Unicode-capable and simply assume a Chinese GB multibyte encoding. The only way of seeing the characters in the user interface with such programs is what LearneR mentioned in his second paragraph: changing the locale or "Language for non-Unicode programs" setting, which you'll find in the Advanced (or Administrative, depending on your Windows version) tab of the Regional and Language Settings dialog. This is less drastic than changing the whole user interface to Chinese (which, as Shelley has said above, you can only do with recent Ultimate versions of Windows). Still, it will cause character display conflicts on any non-Unicode programs you may use that asume some other encoding, like ISO-8859-1 for accented letters.

Microsoft link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-vista/change-the-system-locale

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