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Locale and Language Features in Windows XP

The robust international support features that were built into Windows 2000 serves as the foundation upon which Windows XP has further enhanced. With the release of Windows XP, Microsoft further improved locale and language handling.

Note:The information contained on this page also applies to Windows Server 2003 family, with the exception of new locales added to Windows XP Service Pack 2. New locales in Windows XP SP2 are not supported in Windows Server 2003.

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Locales in Windows XP

Locales Added in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Language Support

Locales in Windows XP

Windows XP supports a total of 136 locales, which includes the 126 locales supported by Windows 2000, plus the following:

  • Divehi – Maldives
  • Galician – Spain
  • Gujarati – India
  • Kannada – India
  • Kyrgyz (Cyrillic) – Republic of Kyrgyzstan
  • Mongolian (Cyrillic) – Mongolia
  • Punjabi (Gurmukhi) – India
  • Syriac – Syria
  • Telugu – India
  • Invariant locale

The Invariant Locale (Locale ID = 0x007f) is a locale that can be used by applications when a consistent and locale–independent result is required. The invariant locale can be used, for example, when comparing character strings using the CompareString() API and a consistent result regardless of the User Locale is expected.

The settings of the Invariant Locale are similar to US–English international standards, but should not be used to display formatted data.

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Locales Added in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Windows XP Service Pack 2 introduced 24 additional locales:

  • Bengali – India
  • Bosnian – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatian – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Malayalam – India
  • Maori – New Zealand
  • Maltese – Malta
  • Quechua – Bolivia
  • Quechua – Ecuador
  • Quechua – Peru
  • Sami, Inari – Finland
  • Sami, Lule – Norway
  • Sami, Lule – Sweden
  • Sami, Northern – Finland
  • Sami, Northern – Norway
  • Sami, Northern – Sweden
  • Sami, Skolt – Finland
  • Sami, Southern – Norway
  • Sami, Southern – Sweden
  • Serbian Latin – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbian Cyrillic – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Tswana (Setsuana) – South Africa
  • Xhosa (isiZhosa) – South Africa
  • Welsh – United Kingdom
  • Zulu – South Africa

These locales are automatically installed when you update Windows XP to SP2. You can select new locales in Regional and Language Options. These are not supported in Windows Server 2003.

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Language Support

Language Collections (known as "Supplemental language support" in Regional Options). There's no need in Windows XP for separate language groups that can be installed as it is under Windows 2000. Most of the language files are already included in the core installation of Windows XP. The exceptions are the fonts and IMEs for the East Asian languages (CHS, CHT, Korean and Japanese) and the Uniscribe Script Processor (USP) engine required for the shaping and display of complex scripts.

Language support files are now grouped into three collections, as follows:

Basic Collection (installed on all languages of the OS)

  • Western Europe and United States (1)
  • Central Europe (2)
  • Baltic (3)
  • Greek (4)
  • Cyrillic (5)
  • Turkic (6)

Complex script collection (always installed on Arabic and Hebrew localized OSes)

  • Thai (11)
  • Hebrew (12)
  • Arabic (13)
  • Vietnamese (14)
  • Indic (15)
  • Georgian (16)
  • Armenian (17)

East Asian collection (always installed on East Asian localized operating systems)

  • Japanese (7)
  • Korean (8)
  • Traditional Chinese (9)
  • Simplified Chinese (10)

The Language IDs used in Windows 2000 are indicated in brackets. This change does not affect unattend and maintenance scripts to install language support. Installing any one of the languages in one collection will automatically install all the other languages within that collection. For example, an answer file specifying Language Group 8 (Korean) will invoke the installation of Language Groups 7, 9 and 10 too.

For language information that is common to both Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000, please see the Windows 2000 FAQ.


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