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LOCALE(7)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 LOCALE(7)



NAME
       locale - Description of multi-language support

SYNOPSIS
       #include <locale.h>

DESCRIPTION
       A locale is a set of language and cultural rules.  These cover aspects such as language for messages, different
       character sets, lexicographic conventions, etc.  A program needs to be able to determine  its  locale  and  act
       accordingly to be portable to different cultures.

       The header <locale.h> declares data types, functions and macros which are useful in this task.

       The  functions  it  declares  are  setlocale(3) to set the current locale, and localeconv(3) to get information
       about number formatting.

       There are different categories for local information a program might need; they are declared as macros.   Using
       them  as  the  first  argument  to the setlocale(3) function, it is possible to set one of these to the desired
       locale:

       LC_COLLATE
              This is used to change the behavior of the functions strcoll(3) and strxfrm(3), which are used  to  com-
              pare strings in the local alphabet.  For example, the German sharp s is sorted as "ss".

       LC_CTYPE
              This changes the behavior of the character handling and classification functions, such as isupper(3) and
              toupper(3), and the multi-byte character functions such as mblen(3) or wctomb(3).

       LC_MONETARY
              changes the information returned by localeconv(3) which describes the way numbers are  usually  printed,
              with  details  such  as  decimal point versus decimal comma.  This information is internally used by the
              function strfmon(3).

       LC_MESSAGES
              changes the language messages are displayed in and what an affirmative or negative  answer  looks  like.
              The  GNU  C-library  contains  the  gettext(3), ngettext(3), and rpmatch(3) functions to ease the use of
              these information.  The GNU gettext family of functions also  obey  the  environment  variable  LANGUAGE
              (containing  a colon-separated list of locales) if the category is set to a valid locale other than "C".

       LC_NUMERIC
              changes the information used by the printf(3) and scanf(3) family of functions, when they are advised to
              use the locale-settings.  This information can also be read with the localeconv(3) function.

       LC_TIME
              changes  the  behavior  of  the strftime(3) function to display the current time in a locally acceptable
              form; for example, most of Europe uses a 24-hour clock versus the  12-hour  clock  used  in  the  United
              States.

       LC_ALL All of the above.

       If  the second argument to setlocale(3) is empty string, "", for the default locale, it is determined using the
       following steps:

       1.     If there is a non-null environment variable LC_ALL, the value of LC_ALL is used.

       2.     If an environment variable with the same name as one of the categories above exists and is non-null, its
              value is used for that category.

       3.     If there is a non-null environment variable LANG, the value of LANG is used.

       Values  about  local numeric formatting is made available in a struct lconv returned by the localeconv(3) func-
       tion, which has the following declaration:

         struct lconv {

             /* Numeric (non-monetary) information */

             char *decimal_point;     /* Radix character */
             char *thousands_sep;     /* Separator for digit groups to left
                                         of radix character */
             char *grouping; /* Each element is the number of digits in a
                                group; elements with higher indices are
                                further left.  An element with value CHAR_MAX
                                means that no further grouping is done.  An
                                element with value 0 means that the previous
                                element is used for all groups further left. */

             /* Remaining fields are for monetary information */

             char *int_curr_symbol;   /* First three chars are a currency symbol
                                         from ISO 4217.  Fourth char is the
                                         separator.  Fifth char is '\0'. */
             char *currency_symbol;   /* Local currency symbol */
             char *mon_decimal_point; /* Radix character */
             char *mon_thousands_sep; /* Like thousands_sep above */
             char *mon_grouping;      /* Like grouping above */
             char *positive_sign;     /* Sign for positive values */
             char *negative_sign;     /* Sign for negative values */
             char  int_frac_digits;   /* International fractional digits */
             char  frac_digits;       /* Local fractional digits */
             char  p_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         positive value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  p_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a positive value */
             char  n_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         negative value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  n_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a negative value */
             /* Positive and negative sign positions:
                0 Parentheses surround the quantity and currency_symbol.
                1 The sign string precedes the quantity and currency_symbol.
                2 The sign string succeeds the quantity and currency_symbol.
                3 The sign string immediately precedes the currency_symbol.
                4 The sign string immediately succeeds the currency_symbol. */
             char  p_sign_posn;
             char  n_sign_posn;
         };

CONFORMING TO
       POSIX.1-2001.

       The GNU gettext functions are specified in LI18NUX2000.

SEE ALSO
       locale(1), localedef(1), gettext(3), localeconv(3), ngettext(3), nl_langinfo(3), rpmatch(3), setlocale(3), str-
       coll(3), strfmon(3), strftime(3), strxfrm(3)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project, and informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             2008-12-05                         LOCALE(7)