It’s been well over a year since I bought a new Japanese PC with Windows Vista and Office 2007. I did my research and made sure to buy Vista Ultimate so that I could switch Windows to English at the click of a button. That was no problem when Microsoft made an English language pack available as a free Ultimate Extra download.
Office 2007 in Japanese
I was already a bit of a whizz with the old versions of Word and Excel in English, so using them in Japanese was easy if you could remember what belonged where.
Now though, the whole layout of Word and Excel has changed with Office 2007. I mean, it’s completely different. There aren’t even any proper menus anymore, and figuring out where everything is takes so much time, especially when it’s all in a foreign language.
Did Microsoft Japan forget to make an English Office language pack?
If you live anywhere except Japan, you can get language packs for Office 2007. Just go here, choose the language you want and the country you live in, and after that, I have no idea. I failed at the “Choose country” stage.
Japan, banished from Microsoft’s world of language packs?
Even if you live on the sinking island of Kiribati, or in Africa’s war-torn Burundi, you can buy an English language pack online thanks to the marvels of the world wide web. Unfortunately for us stuck in Japan with Office 2007 in Japanese, we aren’t as lucky as the 920 people living in the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City State, or even Malawi, arguably the world’s poorest nation.
What about buying it offline?
The official word from Microsoft Japan is:
Which roughly translates to:
How do you purchase a Multi-Language Pack?
Multi-Language Packs are sold through retail stores and a volume licensing program.
When will Single Language Packs be available?
Single Language Pack will be released sequentially. (Whatever that means)
All is not lost though, because if you follow their tip about retail stores and go to Yahoo Shopping, you’ll find they are selling the Multi-Language Pack! However, 25,000 yen is a hefty price to pay if you only want English for home use.
Stuck with Japanese Office 2007
There doesn’t seem to be much choice but to wait this one out. I do love Vista and I’m very impressed with Office 2007, even if it does take me three times longer to do anything.
Am I alone with this problem? Are any of you scratching your heads over the language pack issue? I’d love to hear from you!If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!