The Guide CD-ROM Star Chart in languages other than English
By default, Guide runs entirely in English. However, one can switch among any of ten other languages by selecting a menu item or by hitting a hotkey or toolbar button. The translations were done by native speaking astronomy enthusiasts, all Guide users.
In most programs, changing the language means you need a different version of the software, and sometimes even an entirely different CD-ROM. But Guide was designed to make translation as simple as possible, and to avoid the need to make multiple versions of the CD-ROM.
The extent of each translation varies. In every case, the menus and dialog boxes have been translated; in some cases, the help system and/or user manual have also been translated. Also, not every translation is completely up to date; you will find cases where text for newly-added features hasn't been translated yet.
If you are using Guide 8, you can ignore most of the rest of the text on this page. Instead, you can get the current version of the Guide software, install it, and then get the current update file for your language. (But you still may wish to look below for links to download the Italian, French, and Spanish versions of the user manual, or to order a German version of the manual.)
New French-language manualUpdated 10 July 1999
Jean-Noël Moreau has provided the text for a French-language users manual, for Guides 6 and 7. Guide 7 users should download and unZIP this file (about 170 KBytes). Guide 6 users can download the main part of the manual and the Appendices , in Word format; also, Jean-Noël has provided the Appendices as plain ASCII and the main part of the manual as plain ASCII text .
La notice d'utilisation de GUIDE 6 et 7 est disponible en Francais vous pouvez la telecharger par deux fichiers, ils sont disponibles en deux formats: WORD 6 : fmanual.txt et Append6.txt et en texte ASCII: fmanual.doc et fappend.doc .
Thanks to Giuliano Pinto, a Guide user in Italy, Guide can run almost completely in Italian, with Italian-language menus, comments, and (most recently) help information.
If you have Guide 6.0 or later, you already have the Italian-language menus and comments; just go to the "Settings" menu, select "Language", and select "Italian". Guide 6.0 users may still want to get the latest updated software from this site, because (among other improvements) the update files include up-to-date Italian-language files, including Italian-language "note" data for some comets, asteroids, and IC objects. (Guide 7.0 users will be all set, and need not download anything to get these capabilities... though there are some useful Italian-language improvements to Guide 7.0, described here.)
Italian-language manual (1 July 1999): Giuliano Pinto has provided Italian-language versions of the Guide manual. Click here for details.
A Guide user in Spain, Alberto Romero, has translated the files required for Guide to display menus and most text in Spanish. As a result, there is a "Spanish" option in the "Languages" submenu in Guide. In both the DOS and Windows software, hitting the single quote (') key toggles Guide to use Spanish.
(20 May 1999) Alberto Romero has also translated the Guide 7.0 users manual. Click here to download the Spanish-language version of the manual (85 KBytes; 250 KBytes unZIPped).
Four Guide users in Japan have started a project to translate the files required for Guide to display menus and most text in Japanese. You can get the necessary file, STRINGS.ZIP, from http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~fp6m-kud/guide/ . Download this file, unZIP it, and run Guide, and a new "Japanese" option will automatically appear in the Languages menu in the Windows software. (It may also appear as "Added #1", instead.)
Masaki Kouda has warned me that some text does not appear properly in this version, and the conversion is not complete. Please e-mail Masaki Kouda (MAF01257 at niftyserve dot or dot jp) if you are willing to help complete this translation. In the meantime, I will investigate why some text doesn't show up correctly... it is definitely the fault of Guide. I will post software fixing these problems.
Warning: English-language versions of Windows do not normally display Asian languages correctly. There are products that fix this lack. I am currently using UnionWay software to get the Japanese version of Guide to display correctly.
Further warning: The text will only appear correctly in Windows. Getting Japanese text to display correctly in the DOS software is probably not going to happen soon... in any case, making sure that all the text displays properly in Windows is a priority!
Guus Gilein has just sent me the necessary file, STRINGS.DAB, to cause Guide to add a "Dutch" option to the Languages menu. To use this, Guide 6.0 users will have to download the latest Windows software. The "Dutch" option will then automatically appear on the Language menu. (Guide 7.0 users already have the required software, and need not download anything.)
Siebren Klein revised and extended the STRINGS.DAB file and other Dutch-language files. Recently, he has translated the Help system into Dutch. You can download this BHELP.ZIP file (about 142 KBytes) to your Guide directory, and unZIP it to enable this new feature. (Again, Guide 7.0 users need not download anything.)
(10 July 1999) New files in Dutch: Siebren Klein has just provided some more files for Dutch-speaking Guide users. He has translated the "notes" for variable stars, comets, asteroids, and assorted other objects into Dutch; as well as the lists of common names for Messier objects and for nearby stars. You can click here to download the new Dutch files (about 40 KBytes). UnZIP this in the Guide directory, and the changes will appear when you run Guide in Dutch.
Igor Rozivika and Alexander Anikeev have sent some of the files necessary to cause Guide to add a "Russian" option to the Languages menu. Guide has already been revised to accept these files; they are now part of the updated software for Guide 6 downloadable from this site. These files also are on the Guide 7.0 CD, so you can get Guide 7.0 to show Russian text without downloading anything. But a few files have been updated, making the translation more complete and causing city names in Russia to appear in Russian when in eclipse mode. Click here and click here for details.
We found some problems with character sets (the Russian alphabet is encoded in many conflicting ways, under both DOS and Windows); both the DOS and Windows versions of Guide have been altered to evade these problems, so that only one set of files is needed. Also, a Cyrillic font has been added to the DOS version.
The result will be that almost all of the menu options will appear in Russian (some will remain in English; the translation is not complete yet.) You can see the translated text in STRINGS.DAC and CONSTELL.NAC. If you should continue the translation, please e-mail the results so they can be posted here.
An important note for people running non-Russian versions of Windows: you may have a problem adding support for the Russian character set. In Windows 95, this is done by clicking "Start... Settings... Control Panel". Click on the "Add/Remove Programs" icon, then on the "Windows Setup" tab. Then select "Multilanguage support", and look for the "Cyrillic Language support" option.
I must mention that, with this loaded, I am still unable to persuade Win95 that it should switch character sets in menus. The charts appear in Russian, but menus and dialog boxes appear in random characters. Also, at one point, Windows locked up to the point where I had to reinstall Win95! So some caution is urged.
DOS Guide, fortunately, is unaffected by such oddities; you can switch to Russian in DOS Guide without fear of trouble.
(20 Mar 1999, updated 8 Apr 1999) Large set of city names in Russian: Igor Rozivika has just sent a dataset of 4198 names of cities in the former Soviet Union, in Russian. He put this in the "errata format" used for displaying city names by Guide. You can click here to download the file (about 60 KBytes). With this file in your Guide directory, the new city names will be shown when in eclipse mode if you switch to Russian. In April 1999, Igor sent a new version of this data that included Russian names for cities in the rest of the world (except Australia and New Zealand); and I modified Guide to make sure that when Guide is run in Russian, only Russian text is shown (we had been getting a mix of Russian and English names before).
This data originally came from a file provided by Anatoly Zaitzev (az at stel dot sebastopol dot ua) .
In addition, this file contains updated Russian text for several menus and dialog boxes, and for the list of functions in the "Toolbar" dialog.
(Updated 2 July 1999) David Wu, a Guide user in Taiwan, has just sent some partially-translated files for Guide, allowing you to see most of Guide's text in Chinese; you can get the files needed on the Updates page. When you unZIP the file CHINE_G7.ZIP in your Guide directory, start Guide, and click on "Settings... Language", you will see that a "Chinese" entry has been added, and that most menus and dialog boxes will appear in Chinese.
David Wu has also mentioned that these files use the BIG5 code (one of several methods used for encoding Chinese text on computers). This code is used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but not in mainland China.
Also, if you go into "Overlays... Toggle Overlays", you will see a CH_CONST ("Chinese Constellation labels") overlay. This shows the same 88 constellation labels as the built-in constellation label overlay, but it shows them in Chinese rather than English. The labels are offset, so you can view both the Chinese and English versions at the same time.
Also, in "Quick Info", you will see that the current date in the Chinese calendar is shown. (This is shown even if you're not running Guide in Chinese at the time.)
Jan Manek has provided the file needed to show most of the text in Guide 7.0 in Czech. To use this, you'll need the current version of the Guide 7.0 software and the current version of the Czech language data.
József Lengyel has provided a strings.dam file for Guide 8. (I think this will also work with older versions of Guide, but wouldn't swear to it... try it and see what happens; at worst, it won't work and you'll have to switch back to English.)