Collect day and month names of a culture in C#

The CultureInfo class helps you get the names of days and months in various languages that belong to the selected culture.

Here come 2 simple functions to collect the day and month names in string lists:

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Using DateTimeFormatInfo to localise date and time in .NET C#

Every programmer loves working with dates and time, right? Whether or not you like it it is inevitable to show the dates in a format that the viewer understands. You should not show dates presented according to the US format in Japan and vice versa.

The DateTimeFormatInfo class includes a range of useful properties to localise date and time. The entry point to the DateTimeFormatInfo class is CultureInfo. E.g. if you’d like to format a date according to various cultures – Swedish, Hungarian and German – then you can do it as follows:

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Finding the current culture settings using the CultureInfo class in .NET C#

Finding the the culture settings – the locale – of a thread is straightforward in .NET:

CultureInfo cultureInfo = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;

We extract the current culture from the current thread. The CultureInfo class holds a number of properties to extract information from it. Examples:

string cultureName = cultureInfo.Name;
string cultureDisplayName = cultureInfo.DisplayName;
string nativeName = cultureInfo.NativeName;
string englishName = cultureInfo.EnglishName;
string cultureAbbreviation = cultureInfo.TwoLetterISOLanguageName;

As my computer is set to run with Swedish settings I got the following values from top to bottom:

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Comparing strings using the CompareInfo class in .NET C#

It’s important to be aware of the cultural settings in a globalised application when comparing strings. The CompareInfo class and the CompareOptions enumeration provide a useful way to compare strings based on specific cultures.

One way to get hold of the CompareInfo class belonging to a specific culture is through the CultureInfo class:

CultureInfo swedishCulture = new CultureInfo("sv-SE");
CompareInfo swedishCompareInfo = swedishCulture.CompareInfo;

CultureInfo hungarianCulture = new CultureInfo("hu-HU");
CompareInfo hungarianCompareInfo = hungarianCulture.CompareInfo;

CultureInfo germanCulture = new CultureInfo("de-DE");
CompareInfo germanCompareInfo = germanCulture.CompareInfo;

The CompareInfo object has a Compare method which returns 0 if the strings are equal, -1 if the first string is less than the second and 1 if the opposite is the case. The following comparison of two German strings returns -1 as by default the comparison is case-sensitive:

int comparison = germanCompareInfo.Compare("mädchen", "Mädchen");

This is where the CompareOptions enumeration proves useful. Here are the possible values:

  • IgnoreCase: make the comparison case-insensitive
  • IgnoreNonSpace: ignore diacritics, or officially non-spacing combining characters in Unicode. Example: “Madchen” will be equal to “Mädchen” with this flag
  • IgnoreSymbols: ignore symbols, like white-space, #, $, % etc. “Mädch$en” and “M#ädchen” will be considered equal with this flag
  • IgnoreKana and IgnoreWidth: concern mostly the Japanese language
  • None: the default value if the basic overload of Compare is called
  • Ordinal: quick but culture-insensitive comparison based on the Unicode value of each character
  • OrdinalIgnoreCase: same as Ordinal but the comparison is also case-insensitive
  • StringSort: use a sort algorithm where non-alphanumeric symbols, such as ‘-‘ come before the alphanumeric characters

Read all posts related to Globalisation in .NET here.

Collect day and month names of a culture in C#

The CultureInfo class helps you get the names of days and months in various languages that belong to the selected culture.

Here come 2 simple functions to collect the day and month names in string lists:

Read more of this post

Finding the user’s supported cultures using the CultureInfo class in .NET C#

The CultureInfo class has a static method to retrieve the supported locales on the user’s machine:

CultureInfo[] supportedCultures = CultureInfo.GetCultures(CultureTypes.AllCultures);

The GetCultures method accepts a CultureTypes enumeration:

  • AllCultures: show all cultures regardless of the type
  • FrameworkCultures: show all specific and neutral cultures that ship with .NET
  • InstalledWin32Cultures: all cultures installed on Windows
  • NeutralCultures: all language-specific, i.e. neutral cultures where the region which determines the specific culture is omitted
  • ReplacementCultures: custom cultures created by the user that replace an existing culture
  • SpecificCultures: the most precise culture type where both the language and regions are denoted
  • UserCustomCulture: custom cultures
  • WindowsOnlyCultures: deprecated, yields an array with 0 elements in .NET 4+

So in case you’d like to find all specific cultures and their names you can write as follows:

CultureInfo[] supportedCultures = CultureInfo.GetCultures(CultureTypes.SpecificCultures);
List<CultureInfo> ordered = supportedCultures.OrderBy(c => c.Name).ToList();
foreach (CultureInfo ci in ordered)
{
	Console.WriteLine(string.Concat(ci.Name, ": ", ci.EnglishName));
}

However, if you’re only interested in the supported languages then the following will do:

CultureInfo[] supportedCultures = CultureInfo.GetCultures(CultureTypes.NeutralCultures);
List<CultureInfo> ordered = supportedCultures.OrderBy(c => c.Name).ToList();
foreach (CultureInfo ci in ordered)
{
	Console.WriteLine(string.Concat(ci.Name, ": ", ci.EnglishName));
}

Read all posts related to Globalisation in .NET here.

Finding the user’s current region using RegionInfo in .NET C#

The CultureInfo object helps a lot in finding information about the user’s current culture. However, on occasion it may not be enough and you need to find out more about that user’s regional characteristics. You can easily retrieve a RegionInfo object from CultureInfo which will hold information about a particular country or region.

You can find the current region in two ways from CultureInfo:

CultureInfo cultureInfo = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
RegionInfo regionInfo = new RegionInfo(cultureInfo.LCID);
// or 
regionInfo = new RegionInfo(cultureInfo.Name);

string englishName = regionInfo.EnglishName;
string currencySymbol = regionInfo.CurrencySymbol;
string currencyEnglishName = regionInfo.CurrencyEnglishName;
string currencyLocalName = regionInfo.CurrencyNativeName;

My computer is set to use Swedish-Sweden as the specific culture so I get the following values from top to bottom:

  • Sweden
  • kr
  • Swedish krona
  • Svensk krona

If I change the current culture to my home country, i.e. Hungary…

CultureInfo hungaryCulture = new CultureInfo("hu-HU");
Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = hungaryCulture;
regionInfo = new RegionInfo(hungaryCulture.LCID);
englishName = regionInfo.EnglishName;
currencySymbol = regionInfo.CurrencySymbol;
currencyEnglishName = regionInfo.CurrencyEnglishName;
currencyLocalName = regionInfo.CurrencyNativeName;

…then the values are of course adjusted accordingly:

  • Hungary
  • Ft
  • Hungarian Forint
  • forint

Read all posts related to Globalisation in .NET here.

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