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TimoRiikonen

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 

  • With "older" desktop versions, you should use the Desktop version that has been pre-localized to your country. So if you wish to support Finnish sorting etc., then you need to use Finnish version of the Desktop when you create a new report. After you have created the report, you can switch to English or any other language if you wish.
    • Note that "new" and "old" version have been changing back and forth. First new version came on 2019H2 and for example version 2020-October is again "old" version, so you need to watch out about this when choosing your Desktop version.
  • With "newer" desktop versions, you can change localization settings in current file settings. Also it is best to preset default setting for new reports to the correct locale or language.
  • Then if you code your report so, with both versions you can set some, but not all, of the locale definitions to be based on user settings. So for example if you create a report that supports both Finnish and English, you probably don't wish to hardcode dates to ISO format (= 2021-03-10). When date is defined to work according to user's settings, then

 

To change Desktop global settings (new version only)

  • If your desktop version supports it, 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 (new version only)

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 cases
     = Table.TransformColumnTypes(#"Localized content", {{"Local timestamp without offset", type datetime}}, "fi-FI")
     = Table.AddColumn(#"Normal dates", "Sorted Date",  each Date.ToText([#"Date field"], "yyyy-MM-dd"), type text)

 

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

There is a new article published related to localization , try it out.

 

gopinathp1978ms/PowerBI-Localization (github.com)