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Localization in Power BI

Power BI localization was improved on 2019H2, so it is good time to update localization instructions, as some of the old instructions are not valid anymore.

 

Power BI locale is determined by 

 

Power BI Desktop locale is based most of the time (or always?) on three selections:

  • Windows settings,
  • Desktop global settings and
  • Desktop current file settings. 

What has changed:

  • Starting with the 2019-12 release, it doesn't matter if your Desktop is using an English version or not.
  • As far as I know, it doesn't matter anymore from where you have downloaded your Desktop, either.

To change Desktop global settings

  • If your desktop version supports it (2019-12 onwards), open File -- > Options and Settings -- > Options -- > Global -- > Regional Settings and here you have two options.
  • For English speakers I recommend:

image.png

 

  • Non-English speakers may use the same if they wish. But if database columns are in English, then it can happen that Power BI adds other languages together with English, which doesn't look good. Example case: “Latest UTC date” heading is good in English, but the combined Finnish+English version “Viimeisin UTC date” doesn't look nice. So, for testing purposes, I suggest using some other language:

image.png

 

To change Current file settings

Global settings partially change also old reports and partially not, so make sure you update also current file settings:

  • Select File -- > Options and Settings -- > Options -- > Current file -- > Regional Settings -- > Locale for import  --> Your data locale
  • Change affects only after you refresh the data, so remember to do that.

image.png

 

Notes

  • Localization changes currency as well. So, if you have a global application, then European users see the currency as their local currency. If this is the case, it is best to always convert currencies to text format in the application. This is somewhere where the old SSRS is still better than Power BI, because it has built-in support for both of the types: currencies that are converted to local and currencies that are not converted to local.
  • At least, if your data content is from several locales, then you probably need to add some Power Query to help with that. Common solution is to use Table.TransformColumnTypes function. Example case
    #"Localized content" = Table.TransformColumnTypes(#"Content", {{"Local timestamp without offset", type datetime}}, "fi-FI")

 

Comments

Hi Timo,

do you know how Power BI Service localization options can affect metadata representation?

For instance if I connect to an Azure Analysis Services Model with Power BI Desktop, I will see translated metadata according to translations I set directly in the Model and to the regional settings in Power BI Desktop.

But if I publish a Power BI report to the Service, I can not see translated metadata. How can I address this problem?

Thanks in advance,

Antonio

Hello Antonio,

Sorry, no, this article is valid only for data. I haven't tested metadata.
So this the only answer I had:

- Set the server option "Power BI server settings General -- > Language"


The answer to your question might have something to do with 
Linguistic Schema.

Here is one of the articles about that:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/natural-language/q-and-a-tooling-advanced