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l10n Locales (HTML) select box and data (SQL)

Posted by bcmoney on March 1, 2010 in E-Commerce, HTML, Semantic Web, SQL, XML with 7 Comments

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L10N is an acronym that stands for Localization (coming from the 10 letters in between “L” and “N” in the word Localization). L10N is a combination of software and language targeted to a specific region’s (or more specifically – locale’s) dialect and/or socio-cultural, politically correct, visually appealing representation. The standards and specifications most commonly used to implement or develop support for L10N is ISO 3166.

While a complete list of locales is available on the ISO’s ISO-3166 website, there are no particularly easy-to-use versions of the data except for a zipped XML file. For convenience’s sake, we’re offering an L10N SQL script in an easy-to-use 2-column format, and an HTML select drop-down version below:
L10N code:   

Code available here:

SQL for the same set of l10n data is available below:
[snippet id=46094]
You can feel free to change or enhance ithe simple 3 column structure anyway you like.

Localization and Internationalization go together quite well, and the W3C recommends this combination through the use of hyphenated values of the form:
Where i18n is the 3-character Internationalization language code, and l10n is the 2-character country/region code. For instance, the French language as spoken in France specifically would be:
Whereas the French language in Canada would be:

Within country locales, you can subdivide the nation into regions in a similar fashion, for example, the unique French spoken in Quebec could be:
This however, is not standardized. You can check the Internationalization and Localization friendliness of your websites and applications using the W3C i18n Checker.

Internationalization and Localization of Web Applications is certainly a well-studied if not under-used approach to making web content accessible to the widest audience possible.

Localization in particular has many benefits and use-cases. For example, Google’s search engine made great strides in specific locales not yet penetrated by a definitive market leader in search after having their basic search form translated into many languages and dialects. By 2002, the Google basic search interface had been translated into 72 language & locale combinations, including Klingon. In general, you can access different language localizations using the hl parameter, for instance Japanese, Celtic, English (US) or English (UK). Furthermore, they have embedded auto-localization features in their Google Translate service, which has made it much more popular than competitors such as BabelFish, and encouraged more users with multiple language skills to contribute translations, thereby continually improving the quality of translations. Localization studies have even convinced Google Japan to adapt their infamously simple homepage with single search form and a few header links to something more akin to Yahoo! Japan’s busy portal landing page (which rarely enough still enjoys a massive lead over Google in the Japanese search market).