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Chapter 19. Internationalization

Chapter 19. Internationalization

In this era of globalization, it is now more compelling than ever to be able to write applications that can be deployed in different countries and regions that speak different languages. There are two terms you need to be familiar with in this regard. The first is internationalization, often abbreviated to i18n because the word starts with an i and ends with an n, and there are 18 characters between the first i and the last n. Internationalization is the technique for developing applications that support multiple languages and data formats without rewriting the programming logic. The second term in localization, which is the technique of adapting an internationalized application to support a specific locale. A locale is a specific geographical, political, or cultural region. An operation that takes a locale into consideration is said to be locale-sensitive. For example, displaying a date is locale-sensitive because the date must be in the format used by the country or region of the user. The fifteenth day of November 2010 is written 11/15/2010 in the US, but printed as 15/11/2010 in Australia. For the same reason internationalization is abbreviated i18n, localization is abbreviated l10n.

Java was designed with internationalization in mind, employing Unicode for characters and strings. Making internationalized applications in Java is therefore easy. How you internationalize your applications depends on how much static data needs to be presented in different languages. There are two approaches.


  

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