Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 6

java.util
Class Locale

java.lang.Object
  extended by java.util.Locale
All Implemented Interfaces:
Serializable, Cloneable

public final class Locale
extends Object
implements Cloneable, Serializable

A Locale object represents a specific geographical, political, or cultural region. An operation that requires a Locale to perform its task is called locale-sensitive and uses the Locale to tailor information for the user. For example, displaying a number is a locale-sensitive operation--the number should be formatted according to the customs/conventions of the user's native country, region, or culture.

Create a Locale object using the constructors in this class:

 Locale(String language)
 Locale(String language, String country)
 Locale(String language, String country, String variant)
 
The language argument is a valid ISO Language Code. These codes are the lower-case, two-letter codes as defined by ISO-639. You can find a full list of these codes at a number of sites, such as:
http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/englangn.html

The country argument is a valid ISO Country Code. These codes are the upper-case, two-letter codes as defined by ISO-3166. You can find a full list of these codes at a number of sites, such as:
http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/02iso-3166-code-lists/list-en1.html

The variant argument is a vendor or browser-specific code. For example, use WIN for Windows, MAC for Macintosh, and POSIX for POSIX. Where there are two variants, separate them with an underscore, and put the most important one first. For example, a Traditional Spanish collation might construct a locale with parameters for language, country and variant as: "es", "ES", "Traditional_WIN".

Because a Locale object is just an identifier for a region, no validity check is performed when you construct a Locale. If you want to see whether particular resources are available for the Locale you construct, you must query those resources. For example, ask the NumberFormat for the locales it supports using its getAvailableLocales method.
Note: When you ask for a resource for a particular locale, you get back the best available match, not necessarily precisely what you asked for. For more information, look at ResourceBundle.

The Locale class provides a number of convenient constants that you can use to create Locale objects for commonly used locales. For example, the following creates a Locale object for the United States:

 Locale.US
 

Once you've created a Locale you can query it for information about itself. Use getCountry to get the ISO Country Code and getLanguage to get the ISO Language Code. You can use getDisplayCountry to get the name of the country suitable for displaying to the user. Similarly, you can use getDisplayLanguage to get the name of the language suitable for displaying to the user. Interestingly, the getDisplayXXX methods are themselves locale-sensitive and have two versions: one that uses the default locale and one that uses the locale specified as an argument.

The Java Platform provides a number of classes that perform locale-sensitive operations. For example, the NumberFormat class formats numbers, currency, or percentages in a locale-sensitive manner. Classes such as NumberFormat have a number of convenience methods for creating a default object of that type. For example, the NumberFormat class provides these three convenience methods for creating a default NumberFormat object:

 NumberFormat.getInstance()
 NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance()
 NumberFormat.getPercentInstance()
 
These methods have two variants; one with an explicit locale and one without; the latter using the default locale.
 NumberFormat.getInstance(myLocale)
 NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance(myLocale)
 NumberFormat.getPercentInstance(myLocale)
 
A Locale is the mechanism for identifying the kind of object (NumberFormat) that you would like to get. The locale is just a mechanism for identifying objects, not a container for the objects themselves.

Since:
1.1
See Also:
ResourceBundle, Format, NumberFormat, Collator, Serialized Form

Field Summary
static Locale CANADA
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale CANADA_FRENCH
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale CHINA
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale CHINESE
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale ENGLISH
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale FRANCE
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale FRENCH
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale GERMAN
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale GERMANY
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale ITALIAN
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale ITALY
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale JAPAN
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale JAPANESE
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale KOREA
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale KOREAN
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale PRC
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale ROOT
          Useful constant for the root locale.
static Locale SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale TAIWAN
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale TRADITIONAL_CHINESE
          Useful constant for language.
static Locale UK
          Useful constant for country.
static Locale US
          Useful constant for country.
 
Constructor Summary
Locale(String language)
          Construct a locale from a language code.
Locale(String language, String country)
          Construct a locale from language, country.
Locale(String language, String country, String variant)
          Construct a locale from language, country, variant.
 
Method Summary
 Object clone()
          Overrides Cloneable
 boolean equals(Object obj)
          Returns true if this Locale is equal to another object.
static Locale[] getAvailableLocales()
          Returns an array of all installed locales.
 String getCountry()
          Returns the country/region code for this locale, which will either be the empty string or an uppercase ISO 3166 2-letter code.
static Locale getDefault()
          Gets the current value of the default locale for this instance of the Java Virtual Machine.
 String getDisplayCountry()
          Returns a name for the locale's country that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayCountry(Locale inLocale)
          Returns a name for the locale's country that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayLanguage()
          Returns a name for the locale's language that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayLanguage(Locale inLocale)
          Returns a name for the locale's language that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayName()
          Returns a name for the locale that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayName(Locale inLocale)
          Returns a name for the locale that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayVariant()
          Returns a name for the locale's variant code that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getDisplayVariant(Locale inLocale)
          Returns a name for the locale's variant code that is appropriate for display to the user.
 String getISO3Country()
          Returns a three-letter abbreviation for this locale's country.
 String getISO3Language()
          Returns a three-letter abbreviation for this locale's language.
static String[] getISOCountries()
          Returns a list of all 2-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166.
static String[] getISOLanguages()
          Returns a list of all 2-letter language codes defined in ISO 639.
 String getLanguage()
          Returns the language code for this locale, which will either be the empty string or a lowercase ISO 639 code.
 String getVariant()
          Returns the variant code for this locale.
 int hashCode()
          Override hashCode.
static void setDefault(Locale newLocale)
          Sets the default locale for this instance of the Java Virtual Machine.
 String toString()
          Getter for the programmatic name of the entire locale, with the language, country and variant separated by underbars.
 
Methods inherited from class java.lang.Object
finalize, getClass, notify, notifyAll, wait, wait, wait
 

Field Detail

ENGLISH

public static final Locale ENGLISH
Useful constant for language.


FRENCH

public static final Locale FRENCH
Useful constant for language.


GERMAN

public static final Locale GERMAN
Useful constant for language.


ITALIAN

public static final Locale ITALIAN
Useful constant for language.


JAPANESE

public static final Locale JAPANESE
Useful constant for language.


KOREAN

public static final Locale KOREAN
Useful constant for language.


CHINESE

public static final Locale CHINESE
Useful constant for language.


SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE

public static final Locale SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE
Useful constant for language.


TRADITIONAL_CHINESE

public static final Locale TRADITIONAL_CHINESE
Useful constant for language.


FRANCE

public static final Locale FRANCE
Useful constant for country.


GERMANY

public static final Locale GERMANY
Useful constant for country.


ITALY

public static final Locale ITALY
Useful constant for country.


JAPAN

public static final Locale JAPAN
Useful constant for country.


KOREA

public static final Locale KOREA
Useful constant for country.


CHINA

public static final Locale CHINA
Useful constant for country.


PRC

public static final Locale PRC
Useful constant for country.


TAIWAN

public static final Locale TAIWAN
Useful constant for country.


UK

public static final Locale UK
Useful constant for country.


US

public static final Locale US
Useful constant for country.


CANADA

public static final Locale CANADA
Useful constant for country.


CANADA_FRENCH

public static final Locale CANADA_FRENCH
Useful constant for country.


ROOT

public static final Locale ROOT
Useful constant for the root locale. The root locale is the locale whose language, country, and variant are empty ("") strings. This is regarded as the base locale of all locales, and is used as the language/country neutral locale for the locale sensitive operations.

Since:
1.6
Constructor Detail

Locale

public Locale(String language,
              String country,
              String variant)
Construct a locale from language, country, variant. NOTE: ISO 639 is not a stable standard; some of the language codes it defines (specifically iw, ji, and in) have changed. This constructor accepts both the old codes (iw, ji, and in) and the new codes (he, yi, and id), but all other API on Locale will return only the OLD codes.

Parameters:
language - lowercase two-letter ISO-639 code.
country - uppercase two-letter ISO-3166 code.
variant - vendor and browser specific code. See class description.
Throws:
NullPointerException - thrown if any argument is null.

Locale

public Locale(String language,
              String country)
Construct a locale from language, country. NOTE: ISO 639 is not a stable standard; some of the language codes it defines (specifically iw, ji, and in) have changed. This constructor accepts both the old codes (iw, ji, and in) and the new codes (he, yi, and id), but all other API on Locale will return only the OLD codes.

Parameters:
language - lowercase two-letter ISO-639 code.
country - uppercase two-letter ISO-3166 code.
Throws:
NullPointerException - thrown if either argument is null.

Locale

public Locale(String language)
Construct a locale from a language code. NOTE: ISO 639 is not a stable standard; some of the language codes it defines (specifically iw, ji, and in) have changed. This constructor accepts both the old codes (iw, ji, and in) and the new codes (he, yi, and id), but all other API on Locale will return only the OLD codes.

Parameters:
language - lowercase two-letter ISO-639 code.
Throws:
NullPointerException - thrown if argument is null.
Since:
1.4
Method Detail

getDefault

public static Locale getDefault()
Gets the current value of the default locale for this instance of the Java Virtual Machine.

The Java Virtual Machine sets the default locale during startup based on the host environment. It is used by many locale-sensitive methods if no locale is explicitly specified. It can be changed using the setDefault method.

Returns:
the default locale for this instance of the Java Virtual Machine

setDefault

public static void setDefault(Locale newLocale)
Sets the default locale for this instance of the Java Virtual Machine. This does not affect the host locale.

If there is a security manager, its checkPermission method is called with a PropertyPermission("user.language", "write") permission before the default locale is changed.

The Java Virtual Machine sets the default locale during startup based on the host environment. It is used by many locale-sensitive methods if no locale is explicitly specified.

Since changing the default locale may affect many different areas of functionality, this method should only be used if the caller is prepared to reinitialize locale-sensitive code running within the same Java Virtual Machine.

Parameters:
newLocale - the new default locale
Throws:
SecurityException - if a security manager exists and its checkPermission method doesn't allow the operation.
NullPointerException - if newLocale is null
See Also:
SecurityManager.checkPermission(java.security.Permission), PropertyPermission

getAvailableLocales

public static Locale[] getAvailableLocales()
Returns an array of all installed locales. The returned array represents the union of locales supported by the Java runtime environment and by installed LocaleServiceProvider implementations. It must contain at least a Locale instance equal to Locale.US.

Returns:
An array of installed locales.

getISOCountries

public static String[] getISOCountries()
Returns a list of all 2-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166. Can be used to create Locales.


getISOLanguages

public static String[] getISOLanguages()
Returns a list of all 2-letter language codes defined in ISO 639. Can be used to create Locales. [NOTE: ISO 639 is not a stable standard-- some languages' codes have changed. The list this function returns includes both the new and the old codes for the languages whose codes have changed.]


getLanguage

public String getLanguage()
Returns the language code for this locale, which will either be the empty string or a lowercase ISO 639 code.

NOTE: ISO 639 is not a stable standard-- some languages' codes have changed. Locale's constructor recognizes both the new and the old codes for the languages whose codes have changed, but this function always returns the old code. If you want to check for a specific language whose code has changed, don't do

 
 if (locale.getLanguage().equals("he")) 
    ... 
 
Instead, do
 
 if (locale.getLanguage().equals(new Locale("he", "", "").getLanguage())) 
    ...

See Also:
getDisplayLanguage()

getCountry

public String getCountry()
Returns the country/region code for this locale, which will either be the empty string or an uppercase ISO 3166 2-letter code.

See Also:
getDisplayCountry()

getVariant

public String getVariant()
Returns the variant code for this locale.

See Also:
getDisplayVariant()

toString

public final String toString()
Getter for the programmatic name of the entire locale, with the language, country and variant separated by underbars. Language is always lower case, and country is always upper case. If the language is missing, the string will begin with an underbar. If both the language and country fields are missing, this function will return the empty string, even if the variant field is filled in (you can't have a locale with just a variant-- the variant must accompany a valid language or country code). Examples: "en", "de_DE", "_GB", "en_US_WIN", "de__POSIX", "fr__MAC"

Overrides:
toString in class Object
Returns:
a string representation of the object.
See Also:
getDisplayName()

getISO3Language

public String getISO3Language()
                       throws MissingResourceException
Returns a three-letter abbreviation for this locale's language. If the locale doesn't specify a language, this will be the empty string. Otherwise, this will be a lowercase ISO 639-2/T language code. The ISO 639-2 language codes can be found on-line at http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/englangn.html.

Throws:
MissingResourceException - Throws MissingResourceException if the three-letter language abbreviation is not available for this locale.

getISO3Country

public String getISO3Country()
                      throws MissingResourceException
Returns a three-letter abbreviation for this locale's country. If the locale doesn't specify a country, this will be the empty string. Otherwise, this will be an uppercase ISO 3166 3-letter country code. The ISO 3166-2 country codes can be found on-line at http://www.davros.org/misc/iso3166.txt.

Throws:
MissingResourceException - Throws MissingResourceException if the three-letter country abbreviation is not available for this locale.

getDisplayLanguage

public final String getDisplayLanguage()
Returns a name for the locale's language that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name returned will be localized for the default locale. For example, if the locale is fr_FR and the default locale is en_US, getDisplayLanguage() will return "French"; if the locale is en_US and the default locale is fr_FR, getDisplayLanguage() will return "anglais". If the name returned cannot be localized for the default locale, (say, we don't have a Japanese name for Croatian), this function falls back on the English name, and uses the ISO code as a last-resort value. If the locale doesn't specify a language, this function returns the empty string.


getDisplayLanguage

public String getDisplayLanguage(Locale inLocale)
Returns a name for the locale's language that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name returned will be localized according to inLocale. For example, if the locale is fr_FR and inLocale is en_US, getDisplayLanguage() will return "French"; if the locale is en_US and inLocale is fr_FR, getDisplayLanguage() will return "anglais". If the name returned cannot be localized according to inLocale, (say, we don't have a Japanese name for Croatian), this function falls back on the English name, and finally on the ISO code as a last-resort value. If the locale doesn't specify a language, this function returns the empty string.

Throws:
NullPointerException - if inLocale is null

getDisplayCountry

public final String getDisplayCountry()
Returns a name for the locale's country that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name returned will be localized for the default locale. For example, if the locale is fr_FR and the default locale is en_US, getDisplayCountry() will return "France"; if the locale is en_US and the default locale is fr_FR, getDisplayCountry() will return "Etats-Unis". If the name returned cannot be localized for the default locale, (say, we don't have a Japanese name for Croatia), this function falls back on the English name, and uses the ISO code as a last-resort value. If the locale doesn't specify a country, this function returns the empty string.


getDisplayCountry

public String getDisplayCountry(Locale inLocale)
Returns a name for the locale's country that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name returned will be localized according to inLocale. For example, if the locale is fr_FR and inLocale is en_US, getDisplayCountry() will return "France"; if the locale is en_US and inLocale is fr_FR, getDisplayCountry() will return "Etats-Unis". If the name returned cannot be localized according to inLocale. (say, we don't have a Japanese name for Croatia), this function falls back on the English name, and finally on the ISO code as a last-resort value. If the locale doesn't specify a country, this function returns the empty string.

Throws:
NullPointerException - if inLocale is null

getDisplayVariant

public final String getDisplayVariant()
Returns a name for the locale's variant code that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name will be localized for the default locale. If the locale doesn't specify a variant code, this function returns the empty string.


getDisplayVariant

public String getDisplayVariant(Locale inLocale)
Returns a name for the locale's variant code that is appropriate for display to the user. If possible, the name will be localized for inLocale. If the locale doesn't specify a variant code, this function returns the empty string.

Throws:
NullPointerException - if inLocale is null

getDisplayName

public final String getDisplayName()
Returns a name for the locale that is appropriate for display to the user. This will be the values returned by getDisplayLanguage(), getDisplayCountry(), and getDisplayVariant() assembled into a single string. The display name will have one of the following forms:

language (country, variant)

language (country)

language (variant)

country (variant)

language

country

variant

depending on which fields are specified in the locale. If the language, country, and variant fields are all empty, this function returns the empty string.


getDisplayName

public String getDisplayName(Locale inLocale)
Returns a name for the locale that is appropriate for display to the user. This will be the values returned by getDisplayLanguage(), getDisplayCountry(), and getDisplayVariant() assembled into a single string. The display name will have one of the following forms:

language (country, variant)

language (country)

language (variant)

country (variant)

language

country

variant

depending on which fields are specified in the locale. If the language, country, and variant fields are all empty, this function returns the empty string.

Throws:
NullPointerException - if inLocale is null

clone

public Object clone()
Overrides Cloneable

Overrides:
clone in class Object
Returns:
a clone of this instance.
See Also:
Cloneable

hashCode

public int hashCode()
Override hashCode. Since Locales are often used in hashtables, caches the value for speed.

Overrides:
hashCode in class Object
Returns:
a hash code value for this object.
See Also:
Object.equals(java.lang.Object), Hashtable

equals

public boolean equals(Object obj)
Returns true if this Locale is equal to another object. A Locale is deemed equal to another Locale with identical language, country, and variant, and unequal to all other objects.

Overrides:
equals in class Object
Parameters:
obj - the reference object with which to compare.
Returns:
true if this Locale is equal to the specified object.
See Also:
Object.hashCode(), Hashtable

Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 6

Submit a bug or feature
For further API reference and developer documentation, see Java SE Developer Documentation. That documentation contains more detailed, developer-targeted descriptions, with conceptual overviews, definitions of terms, workarounds, and working code examples.

Copyright © 1993, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Scripting on this page tracks web page traffic, but does not change the content in any way.