Does QGIS support multiple languages? I have some shapefile with Arabic names in its attributes, and they appear as: ????

If I want to see the names in Arabic, do I need to purchase multi-language supporting GIS software or is there any other option?

I am using QGIS 1.8.0.


2 Answers 2


did you try to use a proper encoding for the shapefile? I suggest you try arabic encoding or utfenter image description here


Basically, QGIS supports internationalization, but QGIS 1.8.0 Lisboa has some problems with correct encoding of shapefiles. There are some workarounds given here:

How to read Greek fonts (ISO-8859-7) in shapefile attributes within QGIS 1.8.0?

which are a bit Operating-system-dependent.

The matter was fixed in QGIS Master, but currently the bugfixing for the upcoming QGIS 2.0 may lead to a unstable QGIS Master version.

So you might better wait until QGIS 2.0 is published.

EDIT: This only affects shapefiles, other data sources should work correct.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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