$$$/_MBAR/Mnu showing in Menu Bar

A strange problem with a relatively easy fix.  Mac only, as far as I know.

If you ever open up Illustrator and instead of File, Edit, Object, etc… menus, you see something like “$$$/_MBAR/Mnu/VisibleMenuBar/” for each of the menus, it’s because unless you have the ME (Middle Eastern) version of Illustrator, there are a few languages Illustrator just can’t handle.  Hebrew and Arabic.  They can’t even be on the list.

It looks something like this:

To fix this – open up your System Preferences and go to the international preferences.  Click Edit List to adjust what languages are active, and make sure that there are no Middle Eastern languages active.   Not being a Hebrew reader, I’m not sure which ones are which, but I know that one of the two in the middle of my list here causes the problem with Illustrator. Here, they are checked and therefore active:

And after unchecking to remove them from the list:

If you have Arabic languages active, you’ll have to remove them from the list as well. Click okay, close your preferences and restart Illustrator and you should be back in business.