Simplest Way to Implement Multilingual WPF Application

Abhi2434
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Easiest way to handle Globalization in your WPF application


 Download source code for Simplest Way to Implement Multilingual WPF Application

Introduction
Globalization is one of the concept that comes to mind when we create applications that might run in different geographical location. Based on the Culture code, we need to modify our application. This is very common case for many developers. I thought lets discuss what I implemented as the most cunning way to deal with this in your WPF application.
Points of Interest
Globalization is the most common issue to every application. Many of us might have searched over times to find out the most easiest way to do a Multilingual Application. Believe me, I did the same thing like you. After doing that, I found a lots of articles in net. For instance you can see one from MSDN :

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms752337.aspx

If you have already read the article, you might have found that there is no such actual implementation that clearly demonstrates the concept. That is why I thought to write a concrete article for you to easily implement a truly Multilingual Application.
Trying the Sample Application



If you have downloaded the sample application, you can see I have created a login screen, just to show how it works. To try, just run the application you will find a screen just like shown above.

Put Username and Password Same, and press login button. You will see the screen below :




Next, go to Control Panel - > Regional & Language Option and change the Language to French(Canada), and Re run the application.



You will find a different screen as below :




And if you put credentials and press "connexion" (Login) button, you will see "Échec de l'authentification" (Authentication Failed).
Now I will discuss, How you can implement this type of application yourself.

The Implementation

To start implementing this application, I have added one window. I have also designed the window with some look and feel. You can see them, but this is nothing to deal with our application, so I left out the implementation of them.

After creating the initial Look and feel, which suits me, I added a folder named "Resources" (the name of which can be anything). I added two resource Dictionary to define my resource keys which I will use for my application.

 


1. Creating the Resource Files


The resource files are named as StringResources.xaml, StringResource.fr-CA.xaml etc. You can add as many resource files as you want, each of which corresponds to its own Culture.
Inside the resource files you must declare the ResourceKeys. I have used system:String to define the Resources.

<ResourceDictionary xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation" 
xmlns
:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
xmlns
:system="clr-namespace:System;assembly=mscorlib">

<system:String x:Key="close">Close</system:String>
<
system:String x:Key="login">Login</system:String>
<!-- All StringResources Goes Here -->
</ResourceDictionary>

Thus you can see, in addition to adding the ResourceDictionary to the Resources Folder, I have added one namespace which points to mscorlib, and named it as system. I have then added the string references like close, login etc. which are defined to be replaced in the UI.

Similar to this, I have added another file for fr-CA, and named it as StringResource.fr-CA.xaml. This will hold all the keys that corresponds to the Resourcekeys for a machine set up with French Canadian.

<ResourceDictionary xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
xmlns
:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
xmlns
:system="clr-namespace:System;assembly=mscorlib">

<system:String x:Key="close">Fermer</system:String>
<
system:String x:Key="login">connexion</system:String>

</ResourceDictionary>

Thus you can see I kept the same name for the keys to ensure everything works perfectly. If you have used ASP.NET Globalization, this is almost similar to it.

2. Adding the Resource

After you create the Resource file, its time to add it to the window. To add, I have just implemented a method which you can place in some utility class. For simplicity, I left it in my window. The method looks like :

private void SetLanguageDictionary()
{
ResourceDictionary
dict = new ResourceDictionary();
switch
(Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.ToString())
{
case
"en-US":
dict.Source =
new Uri("..\\Resources\\StringResources.xaml", UriKind.Relative);
break
;
case
"fr-CA":
dict.Source =
new Uri("..\\Resources\\StringResources.fr-CA.xaml", UriKind.Relative);
break
;
default
:
dict.Source =
new Uri("..\\Resources\\StringResources.xaml", UriKind.Relative);
break
;
}
this
.Resources.MergedDictionaries.Add(dict);
}


This is the most simple implementation. I have added the dictionaries directly to the window resources. I have created an object of ResourceDictionary and pointed to the file that is created for resource to its Source property. This will load the external file directly to the object. And finally added to Window.Resources using this.Resources.MergedDirectories.Add(). As you know, after compiling, WPF holds the relative path intact, so it will not create any errors during runtime.

3. Using the Resource

Finally, its now time to point ResourceKeys to your XAML to ensure it picks up the appropriate key from the ResourceDictionary. Let us add some controls :

<Button      x:Name="btnLogin"
            Click
="btnLogin_Click"

Content
="{DynamicResource login}"

Grid.Row
="3"

Grid.Column
="0"

Padding
="10"
/>
<Button x:Name="btnClose"
Content
="{DynamicResource close}"

    Click
="btnClose_Click"

  Grid.Row
="3"

        Grid.Column
="1"

       Padding
="10"
/>

You should note that I have always put the Content of the Button using DynamicResource. This is important to define, because we want the content to be replaced with the appropriate key defined to the Resource will be added later.

Hence, your application is ready.

You can download the sample application from :
    Download Sample Application - 114 KB

Points to Remember

You should note that, you must define the key to the resource file before you use as DynamicResource. Otherwise, you will end up displaying nothing in the UI.

This implementation is totally based on UI elements, there is nothing to deal with translation of dynamic UI text. I will discuss about Translation of Language for dynamic User elements later in another article.

Conclusion

Thus It is really fun to play with WPF, and as Multilingual application is most likely to be a common issue, I hope this article will help you in long run. Try the sample application and see the actual implementation.



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About the Author

Abhi2434
Full Name: Abhishek Sur
Member Level: Silver
Member Status: Member,Microsoft_MVP,MVP
Member Since: 12/2/2009 4:19:08 AM
Country: India
www.abhisheksur.com
http://www.abhisheksur.com
Working for last 2 and 1/2 years in .NET environment with profound knowledge on basics of most of the topics on it.

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Comments or Responses

Posted by: Kunal2383 on: 3/7/2010
Nice one Abhishek
Posted by: Abhi2434 on: 3/7/2010
Thank you so much Kunal...



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