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Reference : Internationalization, Localization, and Unicode : Internationalization and Localization : Locale

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A locale represents the language and cultural data chosen by the user and dynamically loaded into memory at runtime. The locale settings are applied to the operating system and to subsequent application launches.
While language is a fairly straightforward item, cultural data is a little more complex. Dates, numbers, and currency are all examples of data that is formatted according to cultural expectations. Because cultural preferences are bound to a geographic area, country is an important element of locale. Together these two elements (language and country) provide a precise context in which information can be presented. Locale presents information in the language and form that is best understood and appreciated by the local user.