PHP 5.5.20 is available

setlocale

(PHP 4, PHP 5)

setlocaleSet locale information

Description

string setlocale ( int $category , string $locale [, string $... ] )
string setlocale ( int $category , array $locale )

Sets locale information.

Parameters

category

category is a named constant specifying the category of the functions affected by the locale setting:

  • LC_ALL for all of the below
  • LC_COLLATE for string comparison, see strcoll()
  • LC_CTYPE for character classification and conversion, for example strtoupper()
  • LC_MONETARY for localeconv()
  • LC_NUMERIC for decimal separator (See also localeconv())
  • LC_TIME for date and time formatting with strftime()
  • LC_MESSAGES for system responses (available if PHP was compiled with libintl)

locale

If locale is NULL or the empty string "", the locale names will be set from the values of environment variables with the same names as the above categories, or from "LANG".

If locale is "0", the locale setting is not affected, only the current setting is returned.

If locale is an array or followed by additional parameters then each array element or parameter is tried to be set as new locale until success. This is useful if a locale is known under different names on different systems or for providing a fallback for a possibly not available locale.

...

(Optional string or array parameters to try as locale settings until success.)

Note:

On Windows, setlocale(LC_ALL, '') sets the locale names from the system's regional/language settings (accessible via Control Panel).

Return Values

Returns the new current locale, or FALSE if the locale functionality is not implemented on your platform, the specified locale does not exist or the category name is invalid.

An invalid category name also causes a warning message. Category/locale names can be found in » RFC 1766 and » ISO 639. Different systems have different naming schemes for locales.

Note:

The return value of setlocale() depends on the system that PHP is running. It returns exactly what the system setlocale function returns.

Changelog

Version Description
5.3.0 This function now throws an E_DEPRECATED notice if a string is passed to the category parameter instead of one of the LC_* constants.
4.3.0 Passing multiple locales became possible.
4.2.0 Passing category as a string is now deprecated, use the above constants instead. Passing them as a string (within quotes) will result in a warning message.

Examples

Example #1 setlocale() Examples

<?php
/* Set locale to Dutch */
setlocale(LC_ALL'nl_NL');

/* Output: vrijdag 22 december 1978 */
echo strftime("%A %e %B %Y"mktime(00012221978));

/* try different possible locale names for german as of PHP 4.3.0 */
$loc_de setlocale(LC_ALL'de_DE@euro''de_DE''de''ge');
echo 
"Preferred locale for german on this system is '$loc_de'";
?>

Example #2 setlocale() Examples for Windows

<?php
/* Set locale to Dutch */
setlocale(LC_ALL'nld_nld');

/* Output: vrijdag 22 december 1978 */
echo strftime("%A %d %B %Y"mktime(00012221978));

/* try different possible locale names for german as of PHP 4.3.0 */
$loc_de setlocale(LC_ALL'de_DE@euro''de_DE''deu_deu');
echo 
"Preferred locale for german on this system is '$loc_de'";
?>

Notes

Warning

The locale information is maintained per process, not per thread. If you are running PHP on a multithreaded server API like IIS or Apache on Windows, you may experience sudden changes in locale settings while a script is running, though the script itself never called setlocale(). This happens due to other scripts running in different threads of the same process at the same time, changing the process-wide locale using setlocale().

Tip

Windows users will find useful information about locale strings at Microsoft's MSDN website. Supported language strings can be found at » http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vclib/html/_crt_language_strings.asp and supported country/region strings at » http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vclib/html/_crt_country_strings.asp.

add a note add a note

User Contributed Notes 37 notes

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34
r dot nospam dot velseboer at quicknet dot nospam dot nl
12 years ago
be careful with the LC_ALL setting, as it may introduce some unwanted conversions. For example, I used

setlocale (LC_ALL, "Dutch");

to get my weekdays in dutch on the page. From that moment on (as I found out many hours later) my floating point values from MYSQL where interpreted as integers because the Dutch locale wants a comma (,) instead of a point (.) before the decimals. I tried printf, number_format, floatval.... all to no avail. 1.50 was always printed as 1.00 :(

When I set my locale to :

setlocale (LC_TIME, "Dutch");

my weekdays are good now and my floating point values too.

I hope I can save some people the trouble of figuring this out by themselves.

Rob
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10
Kari Sderholm aka Haprog
5 years ago
It took me a while to figure out how to get a Finnish locale correctly set on Ubuntu Server with Apache2 and PHP5.

At first the output for "locale -a" was this:
C
en_US.utf8
POSIX

I had to install a finnish language pack with
"sudo apt-get install language-pack-fi-base"

Now the output for "locale -a" is:
C
en_US.utf8
fi_FI.utf8
POSIX

The last thing you need to do after installing the correct language pack is restart Apache with "sudo apache2ctl restart". The locale "fi_FI.utf8" can then be used in PHP5 after restarting Apache.

For setting Finnish timezone and locale in PHP use:
<?php
date_default_timezone_set
('Europe/Helsinki');
setlocale(LC_ALL, array('fi_FI.UTF-8','fi_FI@euro','fi_FI','finnish'));
?>
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11
russ at eatmymonkeydust dot com
3 years ago
If you are looking for a getlocale() function simply pass 0 (zero) as the second parameter to setlocale().

Beware though if you use the category LC_ALL and some of the locales differ as a string containing all the locales is returned:

<?php
echo setlocale(LC_ALL, 0);

// LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8;LC_NUMERIC=C;LC_TIME=C;LC_COLLATE=C;LC_MONETARY=C;LC_MESSAGES=C;LC_PAPER=C;LC_NAME=C;
// LC_ADDRESS=C;LC_TELEPHONE=C;LC_MEASUREMENT=C;LC_IDENTIFICATION=C

echo setlocale(LC_CTYPE, 0);

// en_US.UTF-8

setlocale(LC_ALL, "en_US.UTF-8");
echo
setlocale(LC_ALL, 0);

// en_US.UTF-8

?>

If you are looking to store and reset the locales you could do something like this:

<?php

$originalLocales
= explode(";", setlocale(LC_ALL, 0));
setlocale(LC_ALL, "nb_NO.utf8");

// Do something

foreach ($originalLocales as $localeSetting) {
  if (
strpos($localeSetting, "=") !== false) {
    list (
$category, $locale) = explode("=", $localeSetting);
  }
  else {
   
$category = LC_ALL;
   
$locale   = $localeSetting;
  }
 
setlocale($category, $locale);
}

?>

The above works here (Ubuntu Linux) but as the setlocale() function is just wrapping the equivalent system calls, your mileage may vary on the result.
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6
brice/axice/be
5 years ago
Pay attention to the syntax.
- UTF8 without dash ('-')
- locale.codeset and not locale-codeset.

Stupid newbie error but worth knowing them when starting with gettext.

<?php
$codeset
= "UTF8"// warning ! not UTF-8 with dash '-'
       
// for windows compatibility (e.g. xampp) : theses 3 lines are useless for linux systems

putenv('LANG='.$lang.'.'.$codeset);
putenv('LANGUAGE='.$lang.'.'.$codeset);
bind_textdomain_codeset('mydomain', $codeset);

// set locale
bindtextdomain('mydomain', ABSPATH.'/locale/');
setlocale(LC_ALL, $lang.'.'.$codeset);
textdomain('mydomain');
?>

where directory structure of locale is (for example) :
locale/fr_FR/LC_MESSAGES/mydomain.mo
locale/en_US/LC_MESSAGES/mydomain.mo

and ABSPATH is the absolute path to the locale dir

further note, under linux systems, it seems to be necessary to create the locale at os level using 'locale-gen'.
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3
Leigh Morresi
6 years ago
Setting locale that is not supported by your system will result in some string operations returning a question mark "?" in your strings where it needs to perform transliteration.

1) Always check the return of setlocale() to ensure it has set to something supported

2) on Linux you can use the "locale -a" command to find a list of supported locales
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3
Anonymous
8 years ago
The example from bruno dot cenou at revues dot org below shows the possibility, but I want to spell it out: you can add charset info to setlocale.

Example:

Into my utf-8-encoded page I want to insert the name of the current month, which happens to be March, in German "März" - with umlaut. If you use

   setlocale(LC_TIME, 'de_DE');
   echo strftime("%B");

this will return "M&auml;rz", but that html-entity will look like this on a utf-8 page: "M?rz". Not what I want.

But if you use

   setlocale(LC_TIME, 'de_DE.UTF8');  // note the charset info !
   echo strftime("%B");

this returns "M√§rz", which, on utf-8, looks like it should: "März".
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3
birkholz at web dot de
9 years ago
When i tried to get the current locale (e.g. after i set the lang to german with setlocale(LC_ALL, 'de_DE'); ), the following did not work on my suse linux 9.0-box:
$currentLocale = setlocale(LC_ALL, NULL);
This code did a reset to the server-setting.

$currentLocale = setlocale(LC_ALL, 0); works perfectly for me, but the manual says NULL and 0 are equal in this case, but NULL seems to act like "".
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1
de ronino at kde (reverse it)
6 years ago
I experienced the behavior stated in the above Warning box: Running PHP5 on a multithreaded Apache made the current locale change sometimes all of a sudden within a script, so strftime() output wasn't in the required format.

I recompiled Apache with the prefork MPM and now it works like a charm. Took me a long time to find out the reason as I overlooked the warning box searching for either a bug report or a programming error of mine...
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1
garygendron at yahoo dot com
4 years ago
For a php Mysql query, you could also use, for french canadian, in this example :

$query = 'SET lc_time_names = "fr_CA"';
$result = mysql_query($query) or die("Query failed");

$query = 'SELECT @@lc_time_names';
$result = mysql_query($query) or die("Query failed");

$query = 'SELECT id, created, YEAR(created) as year, MONTH(created) as month,' .
' CONCAT_WS(" ", MONTHNAME(created), YEAR(created)) as archive' .           
' FROM #__TABLE as e' .
' GROUP BY archive' .
' ORDER BY id DESC';

Your data will be displayed in any locale setting you want. You may even $_GET[lc_time_name] from your multilanguage website.
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0
data dot ocean dot italia at gmail dot com
1 year ago
Instead, using php with IIS, I had to use this line for Italian language...

<?php setlocale(LC_ALL, 'Italian_Italy.1250'); ?>
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0
phcorp
3 years ago
To find the locale of a Unix system:
<?php system('locale -a') ?>
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0
tomas dot hampl at gmail dot com
3 years ago
On Linux, setlocale() depends on the installed locales. To see which locales are available to PHP, run this from the terminal:

"locale -a"

Provided list are all locales that are available on your server for PHP to use. To add a new one, run

locale-gen <locale name> (this may need sudo / root permissions), for example to add a Czech locale, run something like this:

"sudo locale-gen cs_CZ.utf8"

Then you can use this locale declaration:

setlocale(LC_ALL, 'cs_CZ.utf8');
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0
leif at neland dot dk
4 years ago
Regarding dash'es in locale, it appears they should be omitted entirely.

In /etc/locale.gen I have

da_DK.ISO-8859-15 ISO-8859-15

but locale -a gives

da_DK.iso885915

which is the format setlocale()  wants.

(Debian)
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0
Omer Sabic
4 years ago
On Linux/Apache, when you install and try to use a new locale, the setlocale() function with the new locale will fail sometimes, but not always. To furthermore complicate, setlocale() will always complete with any of the previously installed locales. This would seem a really weird behaviour, which you can fix by restarting Apache, as Kari Sderholm aka Haprog mentioned, but I felt it needed to be properly pointed out.
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0
wisborg
5 years ago
It is correct as stated below that it is common that the UTF-8 should be used without the dash. However on some systems (e.g. MacOS 10.4) the dash is essential.
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-1
RobQuist
1 year ago
In addition to russ, about getting / backing up the locale:
I'm using this in unit-tests. I wanted to test something based on locale, and reset the locale after the tests were done.

Yet there were some errors;
* setlocale doesn't like strings anymore. You need to use constants.
* Some contants don't exist anymore.

Here's an updated piece of code:

<?php
$originalLocales
= explode(";", setlocale(LC_ALL, 0));
setlocale(LC_ALL, 'nl_NL.UTF-8');

//Do something here

//Recover to the default setting
       
$skipConstants = array( //these will be returned by setlocale(LC_ALL, 0), but don't exist anymore.
           
'LC_PAPER',
           
'LC_NAME',
           
'LC_ADDRESS',
           
'LC_TELEPHONE',
           
'LC_MEASUREMENT',
           
'LC_IDENTIFICATION'
       
);

        foreach (
$originalLocales as $localeSetting) {
            if (
strpos($localeSetting, "=") !== false) {
                list (
$category, $locale) = explode("=", $localeSetting);
            } else {
               
$category = LC_ALL;
               
$locale   = $localeSetting;
            }

            if (!
in_array($category, $skipConstants)) {
               
setlocale(constant($category), $locale); //Using strings is deprecated.
           
}
        }
?>
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0
Un_passant
6 years ago
For debian/ubuntu, don't forget the charset UFT8.

// Works on Ubuntu 8.04 Server
setlocale(LC_TIME, 'fr_FR.UTF8', 'fr.UTF8', 'fr_FR.UTF-8', 'fr.UTF-8');
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0
michal dot kocarek at brainbox dot cz
6 years ago
Note about using UTF-8 locale charset on Windows systems:

According to MSDN, Windows setlocale()'s implementation does not support UTF-8 encoding.

Citation from "MSDN setlocale, _wsetlocale" page (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/x99tb11d.aspx):
The set of available languages, country/region codes, and code pages includes all those supported by the Win32 NLS API except code pages that require more than two bytes per character, such as UTF-7 and UTF-8. If you provide a code page like UTF-7 or UTF-8, setlocale will fail, returning NULL.

So basically, code like
<?php setlocale(LC_ALL, 'Czech_Czech Republic.65001'); // 65001 is UTF-8 codepage ?>
does not work on Windows at all.

(written in time of PHP 5.2.4)
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0
bryn AT lunarvis DOT com
6 years ago
Posting this in the hope it might be useful to others, as I could find very little info anywhere. If you want to use a Welsh locale and have the suitable language support installed, you pass 'cym' (abbreviated form of Cymraeg) to setlocale:

<?php
setlocale
(LC_TIME, 'cym');
$welsh= gmstrftime("%A, %B %Y - %H:%M",time());
echo
$welsh;
?>

The above certainly applies to Windows systems, but should also apply to Unix if the required support is installed.

Cheers,

Bryn.
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0
ostapk
6 years ago
There is a new PECL extension under development called intl (it will be available in PHP5.3). Meanwhile all who rely on the setlocale() and friends should be aware about the limitations of them as covered in this post on the onPHP5.com blog: http://www.onphp5.com/article/22
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0
Periklis
7 years ago
In *some* Windows systems, setting LC_TIME only will not work, you must either set LC_ALL or both LC_CTYPE and LC_TIME. BUT if you have already set LC_TIME using setlocale earlier in the script, dates will not be affected! For example:
<?php
setlocale
(LC_TIME, 'greek');
setlocale(LC_CTYPE, 'greek');
?>
will not work, while
<?php
setlocale
(LC_CTYPE, 'greek');
setlocale(LC_TIME, 'greek');
?>
will do the job.
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0
mvanbaak
7 years ago
To complement Sven K's tip about debian:

You can also install the package locales-all
That one holds all the locales there are in compiled form.
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0
Sven K
8 years ago
If your system doesn't show any installed locales by "locale -a", try installing them by "dpkg-reconfigure locales" (on debian).
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0
Edwin Martin
8 years ago
Debian users: Addition to Gabor Deri's note: if setlocale doesn't work in your locale and you're on Debian, and Gabor Deri's note doesn't work, you have to install the locales package.

As root, type: "apt-get install locales" and it will be installed.
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0
pigmeu at pigmeu dot net
10 years ago
!!WARNING!!

The "locale" always depend on the server configuration.

i.e.:
When trying to use "pt_BR" on some servers you will ALWAYS get false. Even with other languages.

The locale string need to be supported by the server. Sometimes there are diferents charsets for a language, like "pt_BR.utf-8" and "pt_BR.iso-8859-1", but there is no support for a _standard_ "pt_BR".

This problem occours in Windows platform too. Here you need to call "portuguese" or "spanish" or "german" or...

Maybe the only way to try to get success calling the function setlocale() is:
setlocale(LC_ALL, "pt_BR", "pt_BR.iso-8859-1", "pt_BR.utf-8", "portuguese", ...);

But NEVER trust on that when making functions like date conversions or number formating. The best way to make sure you are doing the right thing, is using the default "en_US" or "en_UK", by not calling the setlocale() function. Or, make sure that your server support the lang you want to use, with some tests.

Remember that: Using the default locale setings is the best way to "talk" with other applications, like dbs or rpc servers, too.

[]s

Pigmeu
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0
dv at josheli dot com
10 years ago
On Novell Netware, the language codes require hyphens, not underscores, and using anything other than LC_ALL doesn't work directly.

So... (from their support list)....

You have to set TIME, NUMERIC etc. info in two steps as given below rather than one. This is due to the limitation of setlocale function of LibC.
<?php
   setlocale
(LC_ALL, 'es-ES');
  
$loc = setlocale(LC_TIME, NULL);
   echo
strftime("%A %e %B %Y", mktime(0, 0, 0, 12, 22, 1978));
 
// jeuves 22 diciembre 1978
?>
This should work.

or of course, reset LC_ALL...
<?php
setlocale
(LC_ALL, 'es-ES');
echo
strftime("%A %e %B %Y", mktime(0, 0, 0, 12, 22, 1978));
setlocale(LC_ALL, '');
// jeuves 22 diciembre 1978
?>
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0
noog at libero dot it
14 years ago
On windows:
Control Panel->International Settings
You can set your locale and customize it
And locale-related PHP functions work perfectly
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-1
c dot madmax at gmail dot com
1 year ago
<?php

// the last foldername only contains a german umlaut (lower a with two dots = \xE4 in ISO-8859-1)
$path = "/home/madmax/photos_from_the_last_10_years/\xE4"

// php escapeshellarg remove characters (depends on locale settings)
// the following example will delete /home/madmax/photos_from_the_last_10_years/
// instead of /home/madmax/photos_from_the_last_10_years/ä

shell_exec(sprintf('rm -fr %s' escapeshellarg($path)));

// dear php developers, how stupid is that?
// I tell you: it is very very stupid! The problem exists since years and nothing happens (see bug #54391)

// this code will not remove all your photos of the last 10 years :)
function binary_safe_escapeshellarg_that_is_not_totally_buggy_and_do_not_remove_f___ing_characters($string)
{
    return(@
sprintf("'%s'", @strtr($string, Array("\x27" => "\x27\x5C\x27\x27"))));
};

// delete /home/madmax/photos_from_the_last_10_years/ä
// and not /home/madmax/photos_from_the_last_10_years/
shell_exec(sprintf('rm -fr %s' binary_safe_escapeshellarg_that_is_not_totally_buggy_and_do_not_remove_f___ing_characters($path))); // binary safe!

?>
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-1
mk at totu dot com
10 years ago
Be carefull - setting a locale which uses commas instead of dots in numbers may cause a mysql db not to understand the query:
<?php
setlocale
(LC_ALL,"pl");
$price = 1234 / 100; // now the price looks like 12,34
$query = mysql_query("SELECT Id FROM table WHERE price='".$price."'");
?>
Even if there is a price 12.34 - nothing will be found
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-1
szepeshazi at gmail dot com
7 years ago
For those of you who are unfortunate enough (like me) to work in Windows environment, and try to set the locale to a language _and_ to UTF-8 charset, and were unable to do it, here is a workaround.

For example to output the date in hungarian with UTF-8 charset, this will work:

    $dateString = "%B %d., %A";
    setlocale(LC_ALL,'hungarian');
    $res=strftime($dateString);
    echo(iconv('ISO-8859-1', 'UTF-8', $res));

If anybody knows how to set the locale on Windows to the equivalent of "hu_HU.UTF-8" on unix, please do tell me.
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-1
flavioacvalverde at gmail dot com
3 years ago
For Portugal I had to use

<?php setlocale(LC_ALL, 'Portuguese_Portugal.1252'); ?>

using php with IIS on Windows server.
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-1
glenn at europlan dot no
9 years ago
In most Unix/Linux system, you could use:

locale -a

This will list all available locales on the server.
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-1
jonas at jonashaag dot de
6 years ago
On Ubuntu, you have to take p.e. "de_DE.utf8", all available languages you can get with:
    locale -a
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-1
lifeless
8 years ago
if your server is an ubuntu (debian like)
you need to install the locales you want (default is english and your language) go to aptitude and install -language-pack-*-base it will resolve dependencies and will try to install a suggested package, remove it if you don't care and proceed.
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-1
misc dot anders at feder dot dk
13 years ago
Under FreeBSD, locale definitions are stored in the /usr/share/locale/ directory. Danish time formats and weekdays, for instance, are stored in /usr/share/locale/da_DK.ISO_8859-1/LC_TIME.
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-3
Morgan Christiansson &lt;mog at linux dot nu&gt;
14 years ago
check /usr/share/locale/ if you want more info about the locale available with your *NIX box

there is also a file called /usr/share/locale/locale.alias with a list of aliases
such as swedish for sv_SE

so on all boxes i have accounts on (rh 6.0 and slack 3.4) you can just use setlocale("LC_ALL","swedish"); or other prefered language in plain english.

However, the weekdays were in all lowercase :(

Note: export LC_ALL=swedish made a lot of programs swedish for me, it's also possible to make them russian or japanese :)
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-5
Arjon
6 years ago
Please take heed and read the warning above if you are running on a XAMPP or any other Windows apache server! It just took me far too long to figure this out; and all the while there was a warning right on the page.

If you're experiencing shifting locale settings (check with setlocale(LC_ALL,0), returning the current locale stuff) and you're running a windows server, then it's not just you! Again, I urge everyone to read the red, but oh so easy not to read, warning message on this page.
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