Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use Ubuntu 12.04 with German UI. However, when I ask questions here or anywhere else on Stack Exchange, and I am adding screenshots, I would prefer having them in English.

Thus, my question is: How can I change the language of a certain application, let's say Rhythmbox, to display in English for creating screenshots.

Note: I don't want to change it permanently, and I would prefer NOT to change it for all applications. Also, I would prefer not having to log out for finishing that task. It should be on the fly.

share|improve this question
up vote 15 down vote accepted

To temporarily run an application from a locale different to English in English language you may change the environment variable LANG_ALL, and then run the application from a terminal provided you had installed the different locale before:

LANG_ALL=en_GB rhythmbox # runs Rhythmbox with British English locale
LANG=C rhythmbox # runs Rhythmbox with system fallback locale, this is English

See also:

Note that his will not work the other way round, i.e. if your system is set to English and you need to temporarily run an application in another locale. You will then have to override settings in the LANGUAGE environment variable:

share|improve this answer
For other users having issues getting this to work - setting LANG or LANG_ALL isn't working for me, yet LANGUAGE is. See Why is overriding the LANG environment variable not changing the language for me? – gertvdijk Jun 23 '13 at 16:06
@gertvdijk: thank you. Very odd behaviour - but that's how things are. – Takkat Jun 23 '13 at 18:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.