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l10n_intro, l10n, locales, LOCPATH - Introduction to localization (L10N)  


Localization refers to the process of establishing information within a computer system specific to each supported language, cultural data, and coded character set (codeset) combination. Each such combination gives rise to the definition of one locale. The abbreviation L10N is often used to stand for localization as there are 10 characters between the beginning "L" and the ending "N" of that word.

See i18n_intro(5) for introductory information about internationalization and how to use system commands to set a locale. For information about creating locales, refer to localedef(1), charmap(4), and locale(4). For information about creating locales and writing applications that use locales, refer to Writing Software for the International Market.

The current release of Tru64 UNIX supports the following languages, each of which is discussed separately in its own reference page:

Catalan Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) Czech Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hungarian Italian Japanese Korean Lithuanian Polish Portuguese Russian Slovak Slovene Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish

For some of the languages, more than one codeset and country or territory are supported. Hence, multiple locales are supported for certain languages. The following list names and describes all the supported locales. For information about the character encoding used by a particular locale, refer to the reference page for the codeset specified in the last part of the locale name or, for those that end in .UTF-8, to Unicode(5). Catalan locales for Spain Czech locale for Czech Republic Danish locales for Denmark German locales for Switzerland German locales for Germany Greek locales for Greece English locales for Great Britain English locale that includes the euro character (uses UTF-8 encoding)

This locale both supports the euro character and defines the decimal point as a comma (,) and the thousands separator as a period (.). Therefore, this locale is useful in many European countries, not just those for which English is the native language, when assigned only to the LC_MONETARY locale category or environment variable. English locale for U.S. (uses the ISO8859-1 codeset) English locale for U.S. (uses cp850 character encoding)
Use this locale with data that contains accented characters and that has been generated on a PC that uses the cp850 code page for character encoding. This character encoding is usually the default for the DOS and Windows operating systems in Europe. The en_US.ISO8859-1 and en_US.cp850 locales encode English characters the same way but use different values for accented and other non-English characters in the Latin-1 character set. English locales for the U.S. (use UTF-8 character encoding)
The @euro variant defines the local currency sign to be the euro character and the international currency sign to be EUR. See also en_EU.UTF-8@euro. Spanish locales for Spain Finnish locales for Finland French locales for Belgium French locales for Canada French locales for Switzerland French locales for France Hebrew locale for Israel Hungarian locale for Hungary Icelandic locale for Iceland Italian locales for Italy Hebrew locale for Israel
This locale name is supported for backward compatibiility. The recommended name to use for this Hebrew locale is he_IL.ISO8859-8. Japanese locale for Japan (uses the Shift JIS codeset) Japanese locale for Japan (uses the DEC Kanji codeset) Japanese locale for Japan (uses the Japanese EUC codeset) Japanese locale for Japan (uses the Super DEC Kanji codeset) Korean locale for Korea (uses the DEC Korean codeset) Korean locale for Korea (uses the Korean EUC codeset) Lithuanian locale for Lithuania Dutch locales for Belgium Dutch locales for the Netherlands Norwegian locales for Norway Polish locale for Poland Portuguese locales for Portugal Russian locale for Russia Slovak locale for Slovakia Slovene locale for Slovenia Swedish locales for Sweden Thai locale for Thailand Turkish locale for Turkey Simplified Chinese locale for the People's Republic of China (uses the DEC Hanzi codeset) Traditional Chinese locale for Hong Kong (uses the BIG-5 codeset) Traditional Chinese locale for Hong Kong (uses the DEC Hanyu codeset) Simplified Chinese locale for Hong Kong (uses the DEC Hanzi codeset Traditional Chinese locale for Hong Kong (uses the Taiwanese EUC codeset) Traditional Chinese locale for Taiwan (uses the BIG-5 codeset) Traditional Chinese locale for Taiwan (uses the DEC Hanyu codeset) Traditional Chinese locale for Taiwan (uses the Taiwanese EUC codeset)

For the zh_CN.dechanzi locale, the @pinyin, @radical, and @stroke variants are available for sorting by pinyin, radical, and stroke, respectively. For the zh_TW.big5, zh_TW.dechanyu, and zh_TW.eucTW locales, the @chuyin, @radical, and @stroke variants are available for sorting by chuyin, radical, and stroke, respectively. These variant locale names (those including the @collation_modifier suffix) are available for assignment to the LC_COLLATE variable.

The locales whose names end in .UTF-8, support file code and internal process code according to the ISO 10646 and Unicode standards. The universal.UTF-8 locale is also available (for use by applications rather than end users) and supports the complete set of characters in the Universal Character Set (UCS). These locales are also the only ones that include the euro (C=) monetary sign in the coded character set. The *.UTF-8@euro variants provide more specific euro support by defining the local currency sign to be the euro character and the international currency sign to be EUR. (See the euro(5) reference page for more information about the euro character and how it is supported.)

For some locales that use traditional UNIX and proprietary codesets, there are also corresponding @ucs4 locale variants available for use by applications that require internal process code to be in UCS-4 format while file code remains in the format of the traditional UNIX or proprietary codeset. Refer to Unicode(5) for more information about encoding formats of the @ucs4 and .UTF-8 locales.

You can use the -a flag with the locale command to list all the locales available on the system. Note that the POSIX (or C) locale is always available because it must exist on all systems that conform to The Open Group's UNIX specifications. The POSIX locale is the default locale when locale variables are not set.

Environment Variables Related to Localization

The following system environment variables can be set (usually only by installed applications or by programmers who are testing applications or converters under development) to override the default search path for certain kinds of localized files: Specifies the search path for locales and codeset converters. Note that this environment variable is not defined by current industry standards. For more information, refer to the iconv_intro(5), iconv_open(3), and setlocale(3) reference pages.

Because the LOCPATH variable is not defined by standards, it is recommended for use only when testing locales or converters under development and not as a systemwide method for finding installed converters or locales. When you set LOCPATH, make sure that the search path is valid for both locales and converters. Otherwise, application and system software will be able to find only locales or only converters in environments where both kinds of files are required. Specifies the search path for message catalogs, which contain translated text for programs. This variable is used primarily by the catopen() function. Refer to the catopen(3) reference page for detailed information on NLSPATH.

Customizing Locales

Partial source files, along with an associated Makefile, are available for many locales in the /usr/lib/nls/loc/src directory. By editing one of these source files and using the Makefile to rebuild the locale (make locale_name), you can customize one or more of the following features: The format of affirmative and negative responses (LC_MESSAGES section) Rules and symbols for formatting monetary numeric information (LC_MONETARY section) Rules and symbols for formatting nonmonetary numeric information (LC_NUMERIC section) Rules and symbols for formatting date and time information (LC_TIME section)

The LC_CTYPE and LC_COLLATE sections of these locale sources are not customizable. This means that you cannot use one of these sources to change how characters are classified or collated. By implication, this also means that you cannot add a new character to a locale that does not already support it. For example, you cannot add the European monetary character (euro) to a locale that does not already support that character. However, you can edit the LC_MONETARY section to define a string identifier for euro by using characters that the locale does support. For example, you could replace the existing monetary symbol with EUR.

For more information on a locale source file, see locale(4).


Customized versions of locales that are provided with the operating system are not preserved when the operating system is reinstalled, even when an update installation procedure is used. Therefore, it is important to back up files for customized locales and their sources before reinstalling the operating system. After the reinstallation is complete, you will need to restore your customized locales to the system. If the newly installed sources have revisions when compared to the the old sources, it might be preferable to apply your customizations to the newly installed sources and rebuild your customized locales.



Commands: locale(1), localedef(1)

Functions: catopen(3)

Files: charmap(4), locale(4)

Others: Catalan(5), Chinese(5), Czech(5), dechanyu(5), dechanzi(5), deckanji(5), deckorean(5), eucJP(5), eucKR(5), eucTW(5), euro(5), French(5), German(5), Greek(5), Hebrew(5), Hungarian(5), i18n_intro(5), i18n_printing(5), iconv_intro(5), iso2022(5), iso2022jp(5), iso8859-1(5), iso8859-2(5), iso8859-4(5), iso8859-5(5), iso8859-7(5), iso8859-8(5), iso8859-9(5), Italian(5), Japanese(5), jiskanji(5), Korean(5), Lithuanian(5), Polish(5), Russian(5), sbig5(5), sdeckanji(5), shiftjis(5), Slovak(5), Slovene(5), Spanish(5), Swedish(5), TACTIS(5), telecode(5) Thai(5), Turkish(5), Unicode(5)

Writing Software for the International Market



Environment Variables Related to Localization
Customizing Locales

This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 02:43:13 GMT, October 02, 2010