Adding a new language or locale

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If you plan a new localization of OOo and want to have a new language or locale added, some very basic assignments and mappings have to be done to make it known to the code and the build system.

  • The numeric Microsoft® locale identifier (LCID), here informally usually referred as MS-LangID, for attribution used by the core code and also needed for import and export of MS-Office document file formats.
  • The ISO 639 language code and ISO 3166 country code for internationalization, API and OpenDocument Format (ODF) file storage.
  • A mapping between those two.
  • A language list box entry.
  • Whether the language uses complex text layout (CTL).
  • Whether the language is written from right to left (RTL).
  • An entry for the build system to build the UI localization.

If your language/locale is already present in one of the language list boxes of the font attribution dialog (Format → Character → Font), probably nothing needs to be done, except maybe an entry to the build system needs to be added. If in doubt, just ask on the dev@l10n mailing list.

To have a LangID assigned and the necessary mappings and entries added, please first login to the OOo website and then submit an issue of type Enhancement to Component l10n and Subcomponent i18npool by using this URL.

Your requested language usually will be added for the next minor release of OOo.

Just state that you want Language (Country) [xxx-YY] added, and if it is CTL or RTL please say so. The xxx here is the ISO 639-1 (two characters codes, preferred if one exists for the language) or 639-2/639-3 (three characters codes) language code and YY the ISO 3166 country code. If you don't know them don't mind, the responsible i18n developer (assigned issue owner) will look them up anyway. The best source is SIL ISO 639-3.

If you happen to know that MS already defined a language identifier for your language/locale you may state that as well. URLs pointing to relevant information can be found at erAck's link collection, try to pick the NLS information page first. Unfortunately MS published several resources with only partial information instead of consolidating all on just one single page. They also change their URLs from time to time, which is why this page here doesn't directly link to them. Again, it doesn't matter if you don't include the ID, the i18n developer will look it up anyway and assign an ID unique within OOo if it doesn't already exist.

Adding a language to the language list box makes it available for character attribution and spell-checking. Availability of spell checker, hyphenation and thesaurus of course depends on the installed dictionaries. To be able to fully support it as a locale, including number formats and calendar data, and having it selectable as default document language we would need a locale data file. Please see How to submit new Locale Data for details.

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