I am updating Windows 7, and I keep noticing that all the optional language packs are of different sizes:

enter image description here

If I take two similar languages (say Dutch and German) then why is German about twice the size at 123 MB?

Since the larger languages also appear to have larger associated native speaking populations (i.e. German, French and Japanese vs Dutch, Estonian) however this is not consistent. (Italian is small at 60 MB yet has a large population)

This isn't exactly the most important question ever asked, however I am curious to know what the differences would be.

closed as not constructive by ChrisF, Diogo, HackToHell, BBlake, CharlieRB Nov 13 '12 at 13:39

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  • Some languages are "longer" than others. This is true on at least 2 levels. 1. Japanese characters are encoded using 2 or more bytes and take up more bytes because of that. 2. Germans like to spell things out very literally and verbosely using more letters than say... the French. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Nov 13 '12 at 14:52
  • I completely agree that every language will have different storage requirements. However I didn't feel that was the whole answer considering there are often gaps of 60MB – user46462 Nov 17 '12 at 15:34
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    btw, I don't agree with the 'Closed as not constructive'. There are already clear answers provided, and they are not subjective. – user46462 Nov 17 '12 at 15:36
  • It's a useless question. Why is the domesticated milk giving animal called cow in English and корова in Russian? Hm..... – Ярослав Рахматуллин Nov 17 '12 at 23:22
  • The cow example makes no sense. I wanted to know why the language packs were (very) different sizes. Perhaps you didn't understand the question? The answers below would indicate other people did. – user46462 Dec 18 '12 at 10:04

First of all, there probably isn't everything translated in every language pack, so that might be a difference. Then there are several other things that could well vary in size (and probably don't exist in every language either), like

  • dictionaries
  • handwriting recognition
  • speech recognition

Help content would also be a likely candidate for being less thorough in “smaller” languages and not having as much content.


Agree with Joey, not everything can be translated into every language. That's why there are not only language packs, but LIP (also known as a partial language pack).

Here is a good article which describes language pack types and differences.

Language Pack Types

Below are some examples. enter image description here