Using the CultureInfo Class 

The CultureInfo class contains culture-specific information, such as the language, country/region, calendar, and cultural conventions associated with a specific culture. This class also provides the information required for performing culture-specific operations, such as casing, formatting dates and numbers, and comparing strings.

The CultureInfo class specifies a unique name for each culture. For a list of culture names, see the description of the CultureInfo class. Your application can use the CultureInfo.GetCultures method to retrieve a complete list of all cultures. The following example displays a list of all cultures.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class printClass
   public static void Main()
      foreach (CultureInfo ci in

Using CultureInfo with Unmanaged Code

.NET Framework applications can access unmanaged functions in dynamic link libraries using the Platform Invoke service. However, when your application passes a CultureInfo object to the Win32 function GetLocaleInfo, remember that the function return is not always consistent with the return from the RegionInfo class constructor.

A .NET Framework RegionInfo object corresponds to a country/region. To initialize a RegionInfo object using a CultureInfo object, your application must specify a CultureInfo object that represents a specific culture, such as ar-DZ for Arabic (Algeria). An attempt to initialize a RegionInfo object with a CultureInfo object that represents a neutral culture (for example, "ar" for Arabic) throws an exception. The neutral culture does not specify the region or country information necessary for mapping to a country/region.

The GetLocaleInfo API function differs from the RegionInfo constructor in that it returns a country/region for a CultureInfo object that represents either a specific culture or a neutral culture. For example, if the application passes a CultureInfo object that represents the neutral culture "ar" (Arabic) to GetLocaleInfo, the function maps the neutral culture to the default country/region with which it is associated. In this case, GetLocaleInfo returns Saudi Arabia. Be careful when using the GetLocaleInfo function, as the default country/region mapping it provides might be culturally inappropriate for your application. To eliminate this discrepancy, have your application use only specific cultures when interoperating with an API function.

The following example demonstrates how the RegionInfo class constructor and the GetLocaleInfo function can return different values when passed the same CultureInfo object. Note that when the CultureInfo object represents the specific culture ar-DZ for Arabic (Algeria), both methods return Algeria as the country/region name. However, when the CultureInfo object represents the neutral culture ar (Arabic), the results differ. The RegionInfo constructor fails to return a country/region, while GetLocaleInfo returns Algeria.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace CountryRegionName
  class CountryRegionName
    // The name of a country or region in English
    int LOCALE_SENGCOUNTRY     = 0x1002;

    // Use COM interop to call the Win32 API GetLocalInfo.
    [DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet=CharSet.Unicode)]
    public static extern int GetLocaleInfo(
       // The locale identifier.
       int Locale,
       // The information type.
       int LCType,
       // The buffer size.
       [In, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)] string lpLCData,int cchData

    // A method to retrieve the .NET Framework Country/Region
    // that maps to the specified CultureInfo.
    public String GetNetCountryRegionName(CultureInfo ci)
      // If the specified CultureInfo represents a specific culture,
      // the attempt to create a RegionInfo succeeds.
        RegionInfo ri = new RegionInfo(ci.LCID);
        return ri.EnglishName;
      // Otherwise, the specified CultureInfo represents a neutral
      // culture, and the attempt to create a RegionInfo fails.
        return String.Empty;

    // A method to retrieve the Win32 API Country/Region
    // that maps to the specified CultureInfo.
    public String GetWinCountryRegionName(CultureInfo ci)
      int size = GetLocaleInfo(ci.LCID, LOCALE_SENGCOUNTRY, null, 0);
      String str = new String(' ', size);
      int err  = GetLocaleInfo(ci.LCID, LOCALE_SENGCOUNTRY, str, size);
      // If the string is not empty, GetLocaleInfo succeeded.
      // It will succeed regardless of whether ci represents
      // a neutral or specific culture.
      if(err != 0)  
        return str;
        return String.Empty;

    static void Main(string[] args)
      CountryRegionName crn = new CountryRegionName();

      // Create a CultureInfo initialized to the neutral Arabic culture.
      CultureInfo ci1 = new CultureInfo(0x1);  
      Console.WriteLine("\nThe .NET Region name: {0}", 
      Console.WriteLine("The Win32 Region name: {0}",

      // Create a CultureInfo initialized to the specific 
      // culture Arabic in Algeria.
      CultureInfo ci2 = new CultureInfo(0x1401);  
      Console.WriteLine("\nThe .NET Region name: {0}", 
      Console.WriteLine("The Win32 Region name: 

This example produces the following output:

The .NET Region name:
The Win32 Region name: Saudi Arabia

The .NET Region name: Algeria
The Win32 Region name: Algeria

See Also