Localization, internationalization

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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

In the context of computers:

  • internationalization(/internationalisation) (also known as i18n): refers to the part of software that lets it easily be used in various languages and locales.
  • localization(/localisation) (also known as L10n): Refers to the wish, implementation, and part of the OS environment that defines locale-specific handling of certain details, including formatting of numbers, dates, money amounts
  • Globalization: Term used by IBM, referring to both


See also:


Unsorted

Linux locale setting

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

To see the active locale settings, use

locale

This should show something like:

LANG=en_US.UTF-8
LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_NUMERIC="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_TIME="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_COLLATE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MONETARY="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MESSAGES="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_PAPER="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_NAME="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_ADDRESS="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_TELEPHONE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MEASUREMENT="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_IDENTIFICATION="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_ALL=


To see the locales that are installed, use:

locale -a

which typicaqlly show anywhere between a few and few dozen locales. I removed most locales from my system, so I only have a few::

C
en_GB
en_GB.iso88591
en_GB.utf8
en_US
en_US.iso88591
en_US.utf8
POSIX

Say I want to use en_US.utf8. (note: you should copy-paste whatever you want verbatim. There are a few differences between OSes, e.g. en_US.utf8 versus en_US.UTF-8)


I would probably edit login settings (the best way to do this varies per system) to include something like:

export LC_ALL="en_US.utf8"
export LANG="en_US.utf8"