.LANG File Extension

File Type 1

Legacy Minecraft Language File

Developer Mojang
4.4  |  131 Votes
Category Game Files
Format Text

What is a LANG file?

A LANG file is a game resource file used by Minecraft, an open-ended game that allows players to create and explore 3D worlds. It saves a list of key-value string pairs that map game menus, achievements, and other game objects to names in a given language. LANG files are used for localization.

More Information
Screenshot of a .lang file in Microsoft Visual Studio Code
LANG file open in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

When developers create a program intended for use in multiple regions, they often translate the program's text into each of those regions' languages. This process is called localization.

One way developers localize programs is by creating multiple, language-specific text files that map the programs' text strings to each language's version of that string. The program can then refer to the correct file when showing in-game text, based on the user's language setting. Minecraft uses LANG files to show localized text to users.

Minecraft's LANG files are located within the minecraft.jar archive, which is located in the following directory:


NOTE: In more recent versions of Minecraft, LANG files have been replaced by .JSON files.

How to open a LANG file

LANG files are stored in a plain text format, so you can open and edit them with any text editor. However, doing so can potentially cause Minecraft not to run properly, so you should back up minecraft.jar before proceeding.

To edit LANG files, follow these steps:

  1. Explore minecraft.jar with 7-Zip or another tool that can explore JAR files.
  2. Navigate to the \lang\ folder.
  3. Extract en_US.lang and save it to a location on your computer.
  4. Edit the LANG file with a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad.
  5. Place the edited LANG file back in the minecraft.jaf archive, overwriting the previous one.
  6. Delete the \META-INF\ folder within the root directory of minecraft.jar.
  7. Restart Minecraft.
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Programs that open or reference LANG files

Updated September 13, 2021
File Type 2

Skype Language File

Developer Skype
3.3  |  15 Votes
Category Settings Files
Format N/A

What is a LANG file?

Language file used by Skype, a popular online communication program; contains language information that changes the language of the Skype user interface.

More Information

LANG files can be loaded within Skype by selecting the "Tools→Change Language" option. They can also be edited by selecting "Tools→Change Language→Edit Skype Language File."

Programs that open or reference LANG files

Updated May 19, 2009
File Type 3

GtkSourceView Language Definition File

Developer The GNOME Project
2.5  |  4 Votes
Category Developer Files
Format XML

What is a LANG file?

A LANG file is a configuration file saved in the Language Definition XML format. It is used to add syntax highlighting support for a specific language in the GtkTextView widget included with the GTK toolkit, which is a set of widgets used to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs). LANG files contain information in XML format that typically includes definitions, styles, and metadata.

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Screenshot of a .lang file in Microsoft Visual Studio Code 1
LANG file open in Microsoft Visual Studio Code 1

GTK is an open source, cross-platform tool used to create GUIs for programs. It consists of various widgets that are used to design the GUI. One of the widgets is GtkTextView, which is used for displaying and editing multiline text in the GUI. The capabilities of the GtkTextView widget can be extended by the GtkSourceView library. Some features that can be extended by the library include file loading and saving, search and replace, and syntax highlighting features.

Support for syntax highlighting can be added for specific languages using LANG files in the GtkSourceView library. Some languages that can be added include C, C++, Java, Fortran, Logtalk, and Axe Parser programming languages, XML, HTML, and LaTex markup languages, and PHP, Python, and Perl scripting languages.

You will most likely only encounter a LANG file if you are a GTK developer since they are not used by other programs. If you would like to view or edit a LANG file, you can use a plain text or XML editor, such as Microsoft Notepad, Apple TextEdit, or Microsoft Visual Studio Code.

NOTE: GTK was formerly known as GIMP Toolkit and GTK+.

Programs that open or reference LANG files

Updated August 20, 2019

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