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CultureInfo Class

Provides information about a specific culture (called a locale for unmanaged code development). The information includes the names for the culture, the writing system, the calendar used, and formatting for dates and sort strings.

To browse the .NET Framework source code for this type, see the Reference Source.

System.Object
  System.Globalization.CultureInfo

Namespace:  System.Globalization
Assemblies:   mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
  System.Globalization (in System.Globalization.dll)

[SerializableAttribute]
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public class CultureInfo : ICloneable, 
	IFormatProvider

The CultureInfo type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkCultureInfo(Int32)Initializes a new instance of the CultureInfo class based on the culture specified by the culture identifier.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCultureInfo(String)Initializes a new instance of the CultureInfo class based on the culture specified by name.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkCultureInfo(Int32, Boolean)Initializes a new instance of the CultureInfo class based on the culture specified by the culture identifier and on the Boolean that specifies whether to use the user-selected culture settings from the system.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkCultureInfo(String, Boolean)Initializes a new instance of the CultureInfo class based on the culture specified by name and on the Boolean that specifies whether to use the user-selected culture settings from the system.
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  NameDescription
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCalendarGets the default calendar used by the culture.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCompareInfoGets the CompareInfo that defines how to compare strings for the culture.
Public propertyCultureTypesGets the culture types that pertain to the current CultureInfo object.
Public propertyStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCurrentCultureGets or sets the CultureInfo object that represents the culture used by the current thread.
Public propertyStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCurrentUICultureGets or sets the CultureInfo object that represents the current user interface culture used by the Resource Manager to look up culture-specific resources at run time.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsDateTimeFormatGets or sets a DateTimeFormatInfo that defines the culturally appropriate format of displaying dates and times.
Public propertyStatic memberSupported in .NET for Windows Store appsDefaultThreadCurrentCultureGets or sets the default culture for threads in the current application domain.
Public propertyStatic memberSupported in .NET for Windows Store appsDefaultThreadCurrentUICultureGets or sets the default UI culture for threads in the current application domain.
Public propertySupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsDisplayNameGets the full localized culture name.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsEnglishNameGets the culture name in the format languagefull [country/regionfull] in English.
Public propertyIetfLanguageTagDeprecated. Gets the RFC 4646 standard identification for a language.
Public propertyStatic memberInstalledUICultureGets the CultureInfo that represents the culture installed with the operating system.
Public propertyStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsInvariantCultureGets the CultureInfo object that is culture-independent (invariant).
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsIsNeutralCultureGets a value indicating whether the current CultureInfo represents a neutral culture.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsIsReadOnlyGets a value indicating whether the current CultureInfo is read-only.
Public propertyKeyboardLayoutIdGets the active input locale identifier.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkLCIDGets the culture identifier for the current CultureInfo.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsNameGets the culture name in the format languagecode2-country/regioncode2.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsNativeNameGets the culture name, consisting of the language, the country/region, and the optional script, that the culture is set to display.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsNumberFormatGets or sets a NumberFormatInfo that defines the culturally appropriate format of displaying numbers, currency, and percentage.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsOptionalCalendarsGets the list of calendars that can be used by the culture.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsParentGets the CultureInfo that represents the parent culture of the current CultureInfo.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsTextInfoGets the TextInfo that defines the writing system associated with the culture.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkThreeLetterISOLanguageNameGets the ISO 639-2 three-letter code for the language of the current CultureInfo.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkThreeLetterWindowsLanguageNameGets the three-letter code for the language as defined in the Windows API.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsTwoLetterISOLanguageNameGets the ISO 639-1 two-letter code for the language of the current CultureInfo.
Public propertySupported by the XNA FrameworkUseUserOverrideGets a value indicating whether the current CultureInfo uses the user-selected culture settings.
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  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkClearCachedDataRefreshes cached culture-related information.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsCloneCreates a copy of the current CultureInfo.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkCreateSpecificCultureCreates a CultureInfo that represents the specific culture that is associated with the specified name.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsEqualsDetermines whether the specified object is the same culture as the current CultureInfo. (Overrides Object.Equals(Object).)
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsFinalizeAllows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetConsoleFallbackUICultureGets an alternate user interface culture suitable for console applications when the default graphic user interface culture is unsuitable.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetCultureInfo(Int32)Retrieves a cached, read-only instance of a culture by using the specified culture identifier.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetCultureInfo(String)Retrieves a cached, read-only instance of a culture using the specified culture name.
Public methodStatic memberGetCultureInfo(String, String)Retrieves a cached, read-only instance of a culture. Parameters specify a culture that is initialized with the TextInfo and CompareInfo objects specified by another culture.
Public methodStatic memberGetCultureInfoByIetfLanguageTagDeprecated. Retrieves a read-only CultureInfo object having linguistic characteristics that are identified by the specified RFC 4646 language tag.
Public methodStatic memberGetCulturesGets the list of supported cultures filtered by the specified CultureTypes parameter.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsGetFormatGets an object that defines how to format the specified type.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for the current CultureInfo, suitable for hashing algorithms and data structures, such as a hash table. (Overrides Object.GetHashCode().)
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsReadOnlyReturns a read-only wrapper around the specified CultureInfo.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibrarySupported in .NET for Windows Store appsToStringReturns a string containing the name of the current CultureInfo in the format languagecode2-country/regioncode2. (Overrides Object.ToString().)
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NoteNote

To view the .NET Framework source code for this type, see the Reference Source. You can browse through the source code online, download the reference for offline viewing, and step through the sources (including patches and updates) during debugging; see instructions.

The CultureInfo class provides culture-specific information, such as the language, sublanguage, country/region, calendar, and conventions associated with a particular culture. This class also provides access to culture-specific instances of the DateTimeFormatInfo, NumberFormatInfo, CompareInfo, and TextInfo objects. These objects contain the information required for culture-specific operations, such as casing, formatting dates and numbers, and comparing strings. The CultureInfo class is used either directly or indirectly by classes that format, parse, or manipulate culture-specific data, such as String, DateTime, DateTimeOffset, and the numeric types.

In this section:

Culture names and identifiers
Invariant, neutral, and specific cultures
Custom cultures
Dynamic culture data
Culture and threads
Culture and application domains
CultureInfo object serialization
Control Panel overrides
Alternate sort orders

Culture names and identifiers

The CultureInfo class specifies a unique name for each culture, based on RFC 4646. The name is a combination of an ISO 639 two-letter lowercase culture code associated with a language and an ISO 3166 two-letter uppercase subculture code associated with a country or region.

NoteNote

When a culture name is passed to a class constructor or a method such as CreateSpecificCulture or CultureInfo, its case is not significant.

The format for the culture name is languagecode2>-country/regioncode2, where languagecode2 is the two-letter language code and country/regioncode2 is the two-letter subculture code. Examples include ja-JP for Japanese (Japan) and en-US for English (United States). In cases where a two-letter language code is not available, a three-letter code derived from ISO 639-2 is used.

Note that some culture names also specify an ISO 15924 script. For example, Cyrl specifies the Cyrillic script and Latn specifies the Latin script. A culture name that includes a script uses the pattern languagecode2-scripttag-country/regioncode2. An example of this type of culture name is uz-Cyrl-UZ for Uzbek (Cyrillic, Uzbekistan). On Windows operating systems before Windows Vista, a culture name that includes a script uses the pattern languagecode2-country/regioncode2-scripttag, for example, uz-UZ-Cyrl for Uzbek (Cyrillic, Uzbekistan).

A neutral culture is specified by only the two-letter lowercase language code. For example, fr specifies the neutral culture for French, and de specifies the neutral culture for German.

NoteNote

There are two culture names that contradict this rule. The cultures Chinese (Simplified), named zh-Hans, and Chinese (Traditional), named zh-Hant, are neutral cultures. The culture names represent the current standard and should be used unless you have a reason for using the older names zh-CHS and zh-CHT.

A culture identifier is a standard international numeric abbreviation and has the components necessary to uniquely identify one of the installed cultures. Your application can use predefined culture identifiers or define custom identifiers.

Certain predefined culture names and identifiers are used by this and other classes in the System.Globalization namespace. Detailed culture information appears in the National Language Support (NLS) API Reference at the Go Global Developer Center.

Remember that the culture names and identifiers represent only a subset of cultures that can be found on a particular computer. Windows versions or service packs can change the available cultures. Applications add custom cultures using the CultureAndRegionInfoBuilder class. Users add their own custom cultures using the Microsoft Locale Builder tool. Microsoft Locale Builder is written in managed code using the CultureAndRegionInfoBuilder class.

Several distinct names are closely associated with a culture, notably the names associated with the following class members:

Invariant, neutral, and specific cultures

The cultures are generally grouped into three sets: invariant cultures, neutral cultures, and specific cultures.

An invariant culture is culture-insensitive. Your application specifies the invariant culture by name using an empty string ("") or by its identifier. InvariantCulture defines an instance of the invariant culture. It is associated with the English language but not with any country/region. It is used in almost any method in the Globalization namespace that requires a culture.

A neutral culture is a culture that is associated with a language but not with a country/region. A specific culture is a culture that is associated with a language and a country/region. For example, fr is the neutral name for the French culture, and fr-FR is the name of the specific French (France) culture. Note that Chinese (Simplified) and Chinese (Traditional) are also considered neutral cultures.

Creating an instance of a CompareInfo class for a neutral culture is not recommended because the data it contains is arbitrary. To display and sort data, specify both the language and region. Additionally, the Name property of a CompareInfo object created for a neutral culture returns only the country and does not include the region.

The defined cultures have a hierarchy in which the parent of a specific culture is a neutral culture and the parent of a neutral culture is the invariant culture. The Parent property contains the neutral culture associated with a specific culture. Custom cultures should define the Parent property in conformance with this pattern.

If the resources for a specific culture are not available in the operating system, the resources for the associated neutral culture are used. If the resources for the neutral culture are not available, the resources embedded in the main assembly are used. For more information on the resource fallback process, see Packaging and Deploying Resources in Desktop Apps.

The list of locales in the Windows API is slightly different from the list of cultures supported by the .NET Framework. If interoperability with Windows is required, for example, through the p/invoke mechanism, the application should use a specific culture that is defined for the operating system. Use of the specific culture ensures consistency with the equivalent Windows locale, which is identified with a locale identifier that is the same as LCID.

A DateTimeFormatInfo or a NumberFormatInfo can be created only for the invariant culture or for specific cultures, not for neutral cultures.

If DateTimeFormatInfo.Calendar is the TaiwanCalendar but the Thread.CurrentCulture is not set to zh-TW, then DateTimeFormatInfo.NativeCalendarName, DateTimeFormatInfo.GetEraName, and DateTimeFormatInfo.GetAbbreviatedEraName return an empty string ("").

Custom cultures

In addition to the predefined cultures supported by the Windows operating system and the .NET Framework, the .NET Framework supports three types of custom cultures:

  • New cultures that supplement the cultures available in Windows or the .NET Framework. For example, an application could install a CultureInfo object that represents the fj-FJ (or Fijan (Fiji)) culture on a system.

  • Replacement cultures whose properties are different from the properties of the standard cultures supported by Windows and the .NET Framework.

  • Standard cultures with user overrides. The user can use the Region and Language application in Control Panel to customize an existing culture's property values.

NoteNote

You can use the CultureAndRegionInfoBuilder class to define, save, and register custom cultures that either supplement or replace existing cultures. The CultureAndRegionInfoBuilder.Save method creates a Locale Data Markup Language (LDML) file that can be used to install a custom culture on target systems.

Because the .NET Framework supports custom cultures, you should consider the following when working with culture-specific data:

  • Custom cultures can have values that exceed the ranges of the predefined cultures. For example, some cultures have unusually long month names, unexpected date or time formats, or other unusual data.

  • When you display culture-specific data in the user interface, you should respect the user's customizations; for example, the user might want a 24-hour clock or a yyyyMMdd date format.

  • Remember that custom cultures override default values. Therefore, you cannot consider culture data to be stable. Country names, number and date formats, and spellings may change in the future. If you want to serialize culture-sensitive data such as date and time strings to be passed to the date and time parsing functions, you should use the invariant culture or a specific custom format string.

Dynamic culture data

Except for the invariant culture, culture data is dynamic. This is true even for the predefined cultures. For example, countries or regions adopt new currencies, change their spellings of words, or change their preferred calendar, and culture definitions change to track this. Custom cultures are subject to change without notice, and any specific culture might be overridden by a custom replacement culture. Also, as discussed below, an individual user can override cultural preferences. Applications should always obtain culture data at run time.

Caution noteCaution

When saving data, your application should use the invariant culture, a binary format, or a specific culture-independent format. Data saved according to the current values associated with a particular culture, other than the invariant culture, might become unreadable or might change in meaning if that culture changes.

Culture and threads

When a new application thread is started, its current culture and current UI culture are defined by the current system culture, and not by the current thread culture. The following example illustrates the difference. It sets the current culture and current UI culture of an application thread to the French (France) culture (fr-FR). If the current culture is already fr-FR, the example sets it to the English (United States) culture (en-US). It displays three random numbers as currency values and then creates a new thread, which, in turn, displays three more random numbers as currency values. But as the output from the example shows, the currency values displayed by the new thread do not reflect the formatting conventions of the French (France) culture, unlike the output from the main application thread.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   static Random rnd = new Random();

   public static void Main()
   {
      if (Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name != "fr-FR") {
         // If current culture is not fr-FR, set culture to fr-FR.
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
      }
      else {
         // Set culture to en-US.
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
      }
      ThreadProc();

      Thread worker = new Thread(ThreadProc);
      worker.Name = "WorkerThread";
      worker.Start();
   }

   private static void DisplayThreadInfo()
   {
      Console.WriteLine("\nCurrent Thread Name: '{0}'", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.Name);
      Console.WriteLine("Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: {0}/{1}", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name,
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture.Name);                        
   }

   private static void DisplayValues()
   {
      // Create new thread and display three random numbers.
      Console.WriteLine("Some currency values:");
      for (int ctr = 0; ctr <= 3; ctr++)
         Console.WriteLine("   {0:C2}", rnd.NextDouble() * 10);                        
   }

   private static void ThreadProc()
   {
      DisplayThreadInfo();
      DisplayValues();
   }
}
// The example displays output similar to the following: 
//       Current Thread Name: '' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: fr-FR/fr-FR 
//       Some currency values: 
//          8,11 € 
//          1,48 € 
//          8,99 € 
//          9,04 € 
//        
//       Current Thread Name: 'WorkerThread' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: en-US/en-US 
//       Some currency values: 
//          $6.72 
//          $6.35 
//          $2.90 
//          $7.72

In versions of the .NET Framework before the .NET Framework 4.5, the most common way to ensure that the main application thread shares the same culture with all other worker threads is to pass either the name of the application-wide culture or a CultureInfo object that represents the application-wide culture to a System.Threading.ParameterizedThreadStart delegate. The following example uses this approach to ensure that the currency values displayed by two threads reflect the formatting conventions of the same culture.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   static Random rnd = new Random();

   public static void Main()
   {
      if (Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name != "fr-FR") {
         // If current culture is not fr-FR, set culture to fr-FR.
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
      }   
      else {
         // Set culture to en-US.
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
         Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
      }
      DisplayThreadInfo();
      DisplayValues();

       Thread worker = new Thread(Example.ThreadProc);
       worker.Name = "WorkerThread";
       worker.Start(Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture);
   }

   private static void DisplayThreadInfo()
   {
      Console.WriteLine("\nCurrent Thread Name: '{0}'", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.Name);
      Console.WriteLine("Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: {0}/{1}", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name,
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture.Name);                        
   }

   private static void DisplayValues()
   {
      // Create new thread and display three random numbers.
      Console.WriteLine("Some currency values:");
      for (int ctr = 0; ctr <= 3; ctr++)
         Console.WriteLine("   {0:C2}", rnd.NextDouble() * 10);                        
   }

   private static void ThreadProc(Object obj) 
   {
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = (CultureInfo) obj;
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = (CultureInfo) obj;
      DisplayThreadInfo();
      DisplayValues();
   }
}
// The example displays output similar to the following: 
//       Current Thread Name: '' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: fr-FR/fr-FR 
//       Some currency values: 
//          6,83 € 
//          3,47 € 
//          6,07 € 
//          1,70 € 
//        
//       Current Thread Name: 'WorkerThread' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: fr-FR/fr-FR 
//       Some currency values: 
//          9,54 € 
//          9,50 € 
//          0,58 € 
//          6,91 €

You can set the culture and UI culture of thread pool threads in a similar manner by calling the ThreadPool.QueueUserWorkItem(WaitCallback, Object) method.

Starting with the .NET Framework 4.5, you can set the culture and UI culture of all threads in an application domain more directly by assigning a CultureInfo object that represents that culture to the DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture properties. The following example uses these properties to ensure that all threads in the default application domain share the same culture.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   static Random rnd = new Random();

   public static void Main()
   {
      if (Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name != "fr-FR") {
         // If current culture is not fr-FR, set culture to fr-FR.
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
      }   
      else {
         // Set culture to en-US.
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");
      }
      ThreadProc();

      Thread worker = new Thread(Example.ThreadProc);
      worker.Name = "WorkerThread";
      worker.Start();
   }

   private static void DisplayThreadInfo()
   {
      Console.WriteLine("\nCurrent Thread Name: '{0}'", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.Name);
      Console.WriteLine("Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: {0}/{1}", 
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.Name,
                        Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture.Name);                        
   }

   private static void DisplayValues()
   {
      // Create new thread and display three random numbers.
      Console.WriteLine("Some currency values:");
      for (int ctr = 0; ctr <= 3; ctr++)
         Console.WriteLine("   {0:C2}", rnd.NextDouble() * 10);                        
   }

   private static void ThreadProc() 
   {
      DisplayThreadInfo();
      DisplayValues();
   }
}
// The example displays output similar to the following: 
//       Current Thread Name: '' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: fr-FR/fr-FR 
//       Some currency values: 
//          6,83 € 
//          3,47 € 
//          6,07 € 
//          1,70 € 
//        
//       Current Thread Name: 'WorkerThread' 
//       Current Thread Culture/UI Culture: fr-FR/fr-FR 
//       Some currency values: 
//          9,54 € 
//          9,50 € 
//          0,58 € 
//          6,91 €
Caution noteCaution

Although the DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture properties are static members, they define the default culture and default UI culture only for the application domain that is current at the time these property values are set. For more information, see the next section, Culture and application domains.

When you assign values to the DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture properties, the culture and UI culture of the threads in the application domain also change if they have not explicitly been assigned a culture. However, these threads reflect the new culture settings only while they execute in the current application domain. If these threads execute in another application domain, their culture becomes the default culture defined for that application domain. As a result, we recommend that you always set the culture of the main application thread, and not rely on the DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture properties to change it.

Culture and application domains

DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture are static properties that explicitly define a default culture only for the application domain that is current when the property value is set or retrieved. The following example sets the default culture and default UI culture in the default application domain to French (France), and then uses the AppDomainSetup class and the AppDomainInitializer delegate to set the default culture and UI culture in a new application domain to Russian (Russia). A single thread then executes two methods in each application domain. Note that the thread's culture and UI culture are not explicitly set; they are derived from the default culture and UI culture of the application domain in which the thread is executing. Note also that the DefaultThreadCurrentCulture and DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture properties return the default CultureInfo values of the application domain that is current when the method call is made.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Reflection;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      // Set the default culture and display the current date in the current application domain.
      Info info1 = new Info();
      SetAppDomainCultures("fr-FR");

      // Create a second application domain.
      AppDomainSetup setup = new AppDomainSetup();
      setup.AppDomainInitializer = SetAppDomainCultures;
      setup.AppDomainInitializerArguments = new string[] { "ru-RU" };
      AppDomain domain = AppDomain.CreateDomain("Domain2", null, setup);
      // Create an Info object in the new application domain.
      Info info2 = (Info) domain.CreateInstanceAndUnwrap(typeof(Example).Assembly.FullName, 
                                                         "Info"); 

      // Execute methods in the two application domains.
      info2.DisplayDate();
      info2.DisplayCultures();

      info1.DisplayDate();
      info1.DisplayCultures();            
   }

   public static void SetAppDomainCultures(string[] names)
   {
      SetAppDomainCultures(names[0]);
   }

   public static void SetAppDomainCultures(string name)
   {
       try {
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(name);
         CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(name);
      }
      // If an exception occurs, we'll just fall back to the system default. 
      catch (CultureNotFoundException) {
         return;
      }   
      catch (ArgumentException) {
         return;
      } 
   }
}

public class Info : MarshalByRefObject
{
   public void DisplayDate()
   {
      Console.WriteLine("Today is {0:D}", DateTime.Now);
   }

   public void DisplayCultures()
   {
      Console.WriteLine("Application domain is {0}", AppDomain.CurrentDomain.Id);
      Console.WriteLine("Default Culture: {0}", CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentCulture);
      Console.WriteLine("Default UI Culture: {0}", CultureInfo.DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture);
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       Today is 14 октября 2011 г. 
//       Application domain is 2 
//       Default Culture: ru-RU 
//       Default UI Culture: ru-RU 
//       Today is vendredi 14 octobre 2011 
//       Application domain is 1 
//       Default Culture: fr-FR 
//       Default UI Culture: fr-FR

For more information about cultures and application domains, see Application Domains and Threads.

CultureInfo object serialization

When a CultureInfo object is serialized, all that is actually stored is Name and UseUserOverride. It is successfully de-serialized only in an environment where that Name has the same meaning. The following three examples show why this is not always the case:

  • If the CultureTypes property value is CultureTypes.WindowsOnlyCultures, and if that culture was first introduced in Windows Vista or a later version of the Windows operating system, it is not possible to de-serialize it on Windows XP. Similarly, if the culture was first introduced in Windows XP Service Pack 2, it is not possible to de-serialize it for a Windows XP system on which the culture has not been installed.

  • If the CultureTypes value is CultureTypes.UserCustomCulture, and the computer on which it is de-serialized does not have this user custom culture installed, it is not possible to de-serialize it.

  • If the CultureTypes value is CultureTypes.ReplacementCultures, and the computer on which it is de-serialized does not have this replacement culture, it de-serializes to the same name, but not all of the same characteristics. For example, if en-US is a replacement culture on computer A, but not on computer B, and if a CultureInfo object referring to this culture is serialized on computer A and de-serialized on computer B, then none of the custom characteristics of the culture are transmitted. The culture de-serializes successfully, but with a different meaning.

Control Panel overrides

The user might choose to override some of the values associated with the current culture of Windows through the regional and language options portion of Control Panel. For example, the user might choose to display the date in a different format or to use a currency other than the default for the culture. In general, your applications should honor these user overrides.

If UseUserOverride is true and the specified culture matches the current culture of Windows, the CultureInfo uses those overrides, including user settings for the properties of the DateTimeFormatInfo instance returned by the DateTimeFormat property, and the properties of the NumberFormatInfo instance returned by the NumberFormat property. If the user settings are incompatible with the culture associated with the CultureInfo, for example, if the selected calendar is not one of the OptionalCalendars, the results of the methods and the values of the properties are undefined.

Alternate sort orders

Some cultures support more than one sort order. For example:

  • The Spanish (Spain) culture has two sort orders: the default international sort order, and the traditional sort order. When you instantiate a CultureInfo object with the es-ES culture name, the international sort order is used. When you instantiate a CultureInfo object with the es-ES-tradnl culture name, the traditional sort order is used.

  • The zh-CN (Chinese (Simplified, PRC)) culture supports two sort orders: by pronunciation (the default) and by stroke count. When you instantiate a CultureInfo object with the zh-CN culture name, the default sort order is used. When you instantiate a CultureInfo object with a local identifier of 0x00020804, strings are sorted by stroke count.

The following table lists the cultures that support alternate sort orders and the identifiers for the default and alternate sort orders.

Culture name

Culture

Default sort name and identifier

Alternate sort name and identifier

es-ES

Spanish (Spain)

International: 0x00000C0A

Traditional: 0x0000040A

zh-TW

Chinese (Taiwan)

Stroke Count: 0x00000404

Bopomofo: 0x00030404

zh-CN

Chinese (PRC)

Pronunciation: 0x00000804

Stroke Count: 0x00020804

zh-HK

Chinese (Hong Kong SAR)

Stroke Count: 0x00000c04

Stroke Count: 0x00020c04

zh-SG

Chinese (Singapore)

Pronunciation: 0x00001004

Stroke Count: 0x00021004

zh-MO

Chinese (Macao SAR)

Pronunciation: 0x00001404

Stroke Count: 0x00021404

ja-JP

Japanese (Japan)

Default: 0x00000411

Unicode: 0x00010411

ko-KR

Korean (Korea)

Default: 0x00000412

Korean Xwansung - Unicode: 0x00010412

de-DE

German (Germany)

Dictionary: 0x00000407

Phone Book Sort DIN: 0x00010407

hu-HU

Hungarian (Hungary)

Default: 0x0000040e

Technical Sort: 0x0001040e

ka-GE

Georgian (Georgia)

Traditional: 0x00000437

Modern Sort: 0x00010437

The following example shows how to create a CultureInfo object for Spanish (Spain) with the international sort and another CultureInfo object with the traditional sort.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Globalization;

public class SamplesCultureInfo
{

   public static void Main()
   {

      // Creates and initializes the CultureInfo which uses the international sort.
      CultureInfo myCIintl = new CultureInfo("es-ES", false);

      // Creates and initializes the CultureInfo which uses the traditional sort.
      CultureInfo myCItrad = new CultureInfo(0x040A, false);

      // Displays the properties of each culture.
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "PROPERTY", "INTERNATIONAL", "TRADITIONAL");
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "CompareInfo", myCIintl.CompareInfo, myCItrad.CompareInfo);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "DisplayName", myCIintl.DisplayName, myCItrad.DisplayName);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "EnglishName", myCIintl.EnglishName, myCItrad.EnglishName);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "IsNeutralCulture", myCIintl.IsNeutralCulture, myCItrad.IsNeutralCulture);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "IsReadOnly", myCIintl.IsReadOnly, myCItrad.IsReadOnly);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "LCID", myCIintl.LCID, myCItrad.LCID);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "Name", myCIintl.Name, myCItrad.Name);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "NativeName", myCIintl.NativeName, myCItrad.NativeName);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "Parent", myCIintl.Parent, myCItrad.Parent);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "TextInfo", myCIintl.TextInfo, myCItrad.TextInfo);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "ThreeLetterISOLanguageName", myCIintl.ThreeLetterISOLanguageName, myCItrad.ThreeLetterISOLanguageName);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "ThreeLetterWindowsLanguageName", myCIintl.ThreeLetterWindowsLanguageName, myCItrad.ThreeLetterWindowsLanguageName);
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-31}{1,-47}{2,-25}", "TwoLetterISOLanguageName", myCIintl.TwoLetterISOLanguageName, myCItrad.TwoLetterISOLanguageName);
      Console.WriteLine();

      // Compare two strings using myCIintl.
      Console.WriteLine("Comparing \"llegar\" and \"lugar\"");
      Console.WriteLine("   With myCIintl.CompareInfo.Compare: {0}", myCIintl.CompareInfo.Compare("llegar", "lugar"));
      Console.WriteLine("   With myCItrad.CompareInfo.Compare: {0}", myCItrad.CompareInfo.Compare("llegar", "lugar"));

   }

}

/*
This code produces the following output.

PROPERTY                       INTERNATIONAL                                  TRADITIONAL              
CompareInfo                    CompareInfo - es-ES                            CompareInfo - es-ES_tradnl
DisplayName                    Spanish (Spain)                                Spanish (Spain)          
EnglishName                    Spanish (Spain, International Sort)            Spanish (Spain, Traditional Sort)
IsNeutralCulture               False                                          False                    
IsReadOnly                     False                                          False                    
LCID                           3082                                           1034                     
Name                           es-ES                                          es-ES                    
NativeName                     Español (España, alfabetización internacional) Español (España, alfabetización tradicional)
Parent                         es                                             es                       
TextInfo                       TextInfo - es-ES                               TextInfo - es-ES_tradnl  
ThreeLetterISOLanguageName     spa                                            spa                      
ThreeLetterWindowsLanguageName ESN                                            ESP                      
TwoLetterISOLanguageName       es                                             es                       

Comparing "llegar" and "lugar"
   With myCIintl.CompareInfo.Compare: -1
   With myCItrad.CompareInfo.Compare: 1

*/

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.
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