Help us figure out how to translate “charm” and “app” in Windows 8

We are starting the work to figure out what we should call Windows 8 user interface terms such as “charms”, apps”, “snapped apps” or “thumb keyboard” in international versions.

You can now have a say in what we call all this in Chinese Simplified, Japanese, German and French (more languages will be added later).

Here’s an example of what we are looking for:

In Windows 8, when you swipe from right to left on the right side of the screen with your finger, you’ll notice a series of commands that slides out from the right. This icon bar has 5 of what we’re calling “charms” that provide access to essential Windows features: Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings.

Windows 8 Start Screen

What do you think all this should be called?

To take part in deciding, sign on to the Microsoft Terminology Community Forum and give us your opinion. You can vote for existing suggestions, comment on good or bad suggestions or make a new suggestion yourself. 

To get started, select Chinese Simplified, Japanese, German or French and sign in with your Windows Live ID on the start page:


Once you’ve signed in and registered, simply click the Glossary link. You will see the list of English source terms and our preliminary suggestions. You can vote for the specific translations, comment on them or propose new ones by selecting Suggest a Translation or Vote.

The forums will remain open for feedback until 12 October.

We hope taking part will be a bit of fun and help make the international versions of Windows 8 easy to understand and enjoyable to use for everybody. 

Thanks in advance for participating!

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jas and Abdul, Traditional Chinese and Arabic are coming in the next few weeks, stay tuned, and hope you can take part then…..thanks!

    To get notified of new projects, click "Email subscribe to this blog" in the top right corner of this page, and you’ll get emails sent to your inbox. Or – I’m also on Twitter at

  2. Jas Chiang says:

    where is the Traditional Chinese? it only have Simplified  

  3. Abdul Rahman S says:

    How do I subscribe for a notification when you start opening new languages ?

    I checked the Microsoft Language Portal and , well , the translation for Charm just sucks ….

    In Arabic , mind you 🙂

  4. Licia – Terminologia etc. says:

    Hi Palle,

    maybe it would help non-native speakers if you explained in which way the concept associated to "charm" is different from the already existing "button" and "icon" concepts, and the figurative meaning that "charm" takes on in this context — does it refer to a small object that can be worn on bracelets or other pieces of jewellery, or to something that has magic power?

  5. georgie says:

    ANY translation into another language cannot be better than the English original, if ever.

    To have "Charms" for that what could better be "Commands", "Functions", or simply "Buttons", is a bad decision. Not only that it generates problems when trying to find a good/suitable translation, it also is very strange in the original language.

    Now, this is probably the last chance to find and confirm a better English denomination to name that what I would like to call "Buttons" in a more meaningful way than "Charms", enabling better translations.

  6. Vladimir Kuryndin says:

    Please!!! REpair search for russians words in your database!  It is impossible to use ut for seraching traslations from Russian to English!!! Please!!!!

  7. Adriana Dosal says:

    Does somebody know how to edit a suggestion?

Skip to main content