I am using Cygwin under Windows 7. For some reason (*) Cygwin talks to me in Japanese: bash responses, error messages from g++ etc are in Japanese. I speak some Japanese but having C++ compiler error messages in Japanese is a bit too annoying. In the DOS-Box-based bash, I can see at least the Japanese characters of the error messages, in xterm only latin characters are displayed.

How can I set Cygwin back to English?

(*) I am running a english version of Windows 7, however I do have various windows Japanese software installed, and my language for non-unicode programs is set to Japanese encoding for this reason. I do not know if this related.

1 Answer 1


Try updating Cygwin by running setup.exe. A few months ago a change was made to Cygwin's internationalization library that caused it to default to the language set on the Formats tab of the Windows Regional&Language control panel. This was later reverted.

If that's not the problem, then I guess the locale is set to Japanese, via one of the LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES, or LANG variables. In Cygwin's default terminal (i.e. mintty) the locale can be set on the Text tab of its options.

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