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Locale Setting Concepts for Internationalization

The locale setting defines the language of your user interface and the display formats for information like time, date, and currency. MATLAB® uses the user-specified locale on all platforms.

If MATLAB does not correctly display characters in your language, you might have a locale setting problem. Locale is composed of individual settings that you can control. Each platform uses different parameters to specify the locale setting. These terms are relevant to understanding locale settings:

  • locale — Format: language_territory.codeset

    For example, for the U.S. English locale setting en_US.UTF-8, en means that the display language is English. US indicates that time and date displays use U.S. conventions. UTF-8 is the character encoding (codeset) used to display text.

  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) — Nearly universal character encoding for US English and control characters.

  • Unicode — A universal character set that “provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language.”

  • UTF-8 — A variable width character encoding tor Unicode that is backwards compatible with ASCII. It has become the dominate encoding for the World Wide Web and anywhere else that cross-platform, cross-locale interoperability is required.

  • user locale setting — Setting on your computer that specifies the locale that you want to use when running MATLAB. If your user-specified locale is not supported, MATLAB uses the default locale en_US_POSIX.US-ASCII.

  • system locale setting — Setting on Microsoft® Windows® platforms. The user locale and system locale must be the same value. If these values are not the same, you might see garbled text or incorrectly displayed characters.

  • i18n — Short for the word internationalization, where 18 stands for the number of letters between the letters i and n.

Default Locale Setting

MATLAB does not support every locale setting. If the user-specified locale is unsupported, MATLAB uses the default locale en_US_POSIX.US-ASCII, also known as C locale.

Supported Character Sets and Encodings

MATLAB uses Unicode as its internal character set so that it can represent all letters and symbols, regardless of platform, language, or locale. MATLAB uses UTF-8 as its default character encoding to ensure that all Unicode code points can be correctly represented in files and byte streams. MATLAB also supports other character encodings for backwards compatibility and interoperability.

Platform-Specific Localized Formats for Current Folder Browser

In the Current Folder Browser, MATLAB usually uses platform-neutral localized formats and rules. You can, however, use the operating system short date format to control the format for displaying file date and time data.

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