Locale::Codes - a distribution of modules to handle locale codes
Locale-Codes is a distribution containing a set of modules designed to work with sets of codes which uniquely identify something. For example, there are codes associated with different countries, different currencies, different languages, etc. These sets of codes are typically maintained in some standard.
This distribution provides a way to work with these lists of codes. Because the data from the various standards is not available in any sort of consistent API, access to the lists is not available in any direct fashion. To compensate for this, the list of codes is stored internally within this distribution, and the distribution is updated on a regular basis to include all known codes at that point in time. This does mean that it is necessary to keep this distribution up-to-date to keep up with the various changes that are made in the various standards.
Traditionally, a module has been created to work with each type of code sets. So, there is a module for working with country lists, one for currency lists, etc. Since version 3.00, all of these individual modules were written as wrappers around a central module (which was not intended to be used directly) which did all of the real work.
Starting with version 3.50, the central module was reworked slightly to provide an object-oriented interface. All of the modules for working with individual types of code sets were reworked to use the improved OO module, so the traditional interfaces still work as they always have. As a result, you are free to use the traditional functional (non-OO) interfaces, or to use the OO interface and bypass the wrapper modules entirely.
Both methods will be supported in the future, so use the one that is best suited to your needs.
Within each type, any number of code sets are allowed. For example, sets of country codes are maintained in several different locations including the ISO-3166 standard, the IANA, and by the United Nations. The lists of countries are similar, but not identical. Multiple code sets are supported, though trying to convert from one code set to another will not always work since the list of countries is not one-to-one.
All data in all of these modules comes directly from the original standards (or as close to direct as possible), so it should be up-to-date at the time of release.
I plan on releasing a new version several times a year to incorporate any changes made in the standards. However, I don't always know about changes that occur, so if any of the standards change, and you want a new release sooner, just email me and I'll get one out.
use Locale::Codes ':constants';
$obj = new Locale::Codes 'country';
The following methods are available.
In all methods, when specifying a code set, the name (as a string) is always available.
Traditionally, you could also use a perl constant to specify the code set. In order to do so with the OO interface, you have to import the constants. To do that, load the module with:
use Locale::Codes ':constants';
$obj = new Locale::Codes;
$obj = new Locale::Codes 'country';
$obj = new Locale::Codes 'country','alpha-3';
$obj = new Locale::Codes 'country',LOCALE_COUNTRY_ALPHA_3;
This creates a new object that can access the data. If no type is specified (in the first argument), you must use the type method described below. No operations will work unless the type is specified.
The second argument is the default code set to use. This is optional, as each type has a default code set. The default code set can be set using the codeset method below.
The last example is only available if the constants were imported when the module was loaded.
By default, error messages will be produced when bad data is passed to any method. By passing in '0', these will be turned off so that all failures will be silent.
This will set the type of codes that will be worked with. $type may be any of the recognized types of code sets, including:
The list of valid types, and the code sets supported in each, are described in the Locale::Codes::Types document.
This method can be called any number of times to toggle between different types of code sets.
This sets the default code set to use. The list of code sets available for each type are described in the Locale::Codes::Types document.
In all other methods below, when an optional CODESET argument is omitted, it will default to this value.
$name = $obj->code2name($code [,$codeset] [,'retired']);
This functions take a code and returns a string which contains the name of the element identified. If the code is not a valid code in the CODESET specified then undef will be returned.
The name of the element is the name as specified in the standard, and as a result, different variations of an element name may be returned for different values of CODESET.
For example, the alpha-2 country code set defines the two-letter code "bo" to be "Bolivia, Plurinational State of", whereas the alpha-3 code set defines the code 'bol' to be the country "Bolivia (Plurinational State of)". So:
=> 'Bolivia, Plurinational State of'
=> 'Bolivia (Plurinational State of)'
By default, only active codes will be used, but if the string 'retired' is passed in as an argument, both active and retired codes will be examined.
@name = $obj->code2names($code [,$codeset]);
This functions take a code and returns a list of all names and aliases associated with that code.
Only active codes may be used and only active names and aliases will be returned.
$code = $obj->name2code($name [,$codeset] [,'retired']);
This function takes the name of an element (or any of it's aliases) and returns the code that corresponds to it, if it exists. If NAME could not be identified as the name of one of the elements, then undef will be returned.
The name is not case sensitive. Also, any known variation of a name may be passed in.
For example, even though the country name returned using 'alpha-2' and 'alpha-3' country codes for Bolivia are different, either country name may be passed in since for each code set (in addition to the more common alias 'Bolivia'). So:
$obj->name2code('Bolivia, Plurinational State of','alpha-2');
$obj->name2code('Bolivia (Plurinational State of)','alpha-2');
By default, only active names will be used, but if the string 'retired' is passed in as an argument, both active and retired names will be examined.
$code = $obj->code2code($code [,$codeset] ,$codeset2);
This function takes a code from one code set (CODESET or the default code set), and returns the corresponding code from another code set (CODESET2). CODE must exists in the code set specified by CODESET and must have a corresponding code in the code set specified by CODESET2 or undef will be returned.
Note that this function does NOT support retired codes.
@code = $obj->all_codes([$codeset] [,'retired']);
This returns a list of all code in the code set. The codes will be sorted.
By default, only active codes will be returned, but if the string 'retired' is passed in as an argument, both active and retired codes will be returned.
@name = $obj->all_names([$codeset] [,'retired']);
This method returns a list of all elements names for which there is a corresponding code in the specified code set.
The names returned are exactly as they are specified in the standard, and are sorted.
Since not all elements are listed in all code sets, the list of elements may differ depending on the code set specified.
By default, only active names will be returned, but if the string 'retired' is passed in as an argument, both active and retired names will be returned.
The following additional methods are available and can be used to modify the code list data (and are therefore not generally useful).
$flag = $obj->rename_code($code,$new_name [,$codeset]);
This method can be used to change the official name of an element. At that point, the name returned by the code2name method would be NEW_NAME instead of the name specified in the standard.
The original name will remain as an alias.
For example, the official country name for code 'gb' is 'United Kingdom'. If you want to change that, you might call:
$obj->rename_code('gb', 'Great Britain');
This means that calling code2name('gb') will now return 'Great Britain' instead of 'United Kingdom'.
If any error occurs, a warning is issued and 0 is returned. An error occurs if CODE doesn't exist in the specified code set, or if NEW_NAME is already in use but for a different element.
If the method succeeds, 1 is returned.
$flag = $obj->add_code($code,$name [,$codeset]);
This method is used to add a new code and name to the data.
Both CODE and NAME must be unused in the data set or an error occurs (though NAME may be used in a different data set).
For example, to create the fictitious country named "Duchy of Grand Fenwick" with codes "gf" and "fen", use the following:
$obj->add_code("fe","Duchy of Grand Fenwick",'alpha-2');
$obj->add_code("fen","Duchy of Grand Fenwick",'alpha-3');
The return value is 1 on success, 0 on an error.
$flag = $obj->delete_code($code [,$codeset]);
This method is used to delete a code from the data.
CODE must refer to an existing code in the code set.
$flag = $obj->add_alias($name,$new_name);
This method is used to add a new alias to the data. They do not alter the return value of the code2name function.
NAME must be an existing element name, and NEW_NAME must be unused or an error occurs.
$flag = $obj->delete_alias($name);
This method is used to delete an alias from the data. Once removed, the element may not be referred to by NAME.
NAME must be one of a list of at least two names that may be used to specify an element. If the element may only be referred to by a single name, you'll need to use the add_alias method to add a new alias first, or the remove_code method to remove the element entirely.
If the alias is used as the name in any code set, one of the other names will be used instead. Predicting exactly which one will be used requires you to know the order in which the standards were read, which is not reliable, so you may want to use the rename_code method to force one of the alternate names to be used.
$flag = $obj->replace_code($code,$new_code [,$codeset]);
This method is used to change the official code for an element. At that point, the code returned by the name2code method would be NEW_CODE instead of the code specified in the standard.
NEW_CODE may either be a code that is not in use, or it may be an alias for CODE (in which case, CODE becomes and alias and NEW_CODE becomes the "real" code).
The original code is kept as an alias, so that the code2name routines will work with either the code from the standard or the new code.
However, the all_codes method will only return the codes which are considered "real" (which means that the list of codes will now contain NEW_CODE, but will not contain CODE).
$flag = $obj->add_code_alias($code,$new_code [,$codeset]);
This method adds an alias for the code. At that point, NEW_CODE and CODE will both work in the code2name method. However, the name2code method will still return the original code.
These routines delete an alias for the code.
These will only work if CODE is actually an alias. If it is the "real" code, it will not be deleted. You will need to use the rename_code method to switch the real code with one of the aliases, and then delete the alias.
In addition the the primary OO module, the following modules are included in the distribution for the traditional way of working with code sets.
Each module will work with one specific type of code sets.
This includes support for country codes (such as those listed in ISO-3166) to specify the country.
Because this module was originally distributed as Locale::Country, it is also available under that name.
This includes support for language codes (such as those listed in ISO-639) to specify the language.
Because this module was originally distributed as Locale::Language, it is also available under that name.
This includes support for currency codes (such as those listed in ISO-4217) to specify the currency.
Because this module was originally distributed as Locale::Currency, it is also available under that name.
This includes support for script codes (such as those listed in ISO-15924) to specify the script.
Because this module was originally distributed as Locale::Script, it is also available under that name.
This includes support for language extension codes (such as those listed in the IANA language registry) to specify the language extension.
This includes support for language variation codes (such as those listed in the IANA language registry) to specify the language variation.
This includes support for language family codes (such as those listed in ISO 639-5) to specify families of languages.
In addition to the modules above, there are a number of support modules included in the distribution. Any module not listed above falls into that category.
These modules are not intended to be used by programmers. They contain functions or data that are used by the modules listed above. No support of any kind is offered for using these modules directly. They may be modified at any time.
As of version 2.00, the modules supported common variants of names.
For example, Locale::Country supports variant names for countries, and a few of the most common ones are included in the data. The country code for "United States" is "us", so:
Now the following will also return 'us':
country2code('United States of America');
Any number of common aliases may be included in the data, in addition to the names that come directly from the standards. If you have a common alias for a country, language, or any other of the types of codes, let me know and I'll add it, with some restrictions.
For example, the country name "North Korea" never appeared in any of the official sources (instead, it was "Korea, North" or "Korea, Democratic People's Republic of". I would honor a request to add an alias "North Korea" since that's a very common way to specify the country (please don't request this... I've already added it).
On the other hand, a request to add Zaire as an alias for "Congo, The Democratic Republic of" will not be honored. The country's official name is no longer Zaire, so adding it as an alias violates the standard. Zaire was kept as an alias in versions of this module prior to 3.00, but it has been removed. Other aliases (if any) which no longer appear in any standard (and which are not common variations of the name in the standards) have also been removed.
Occasionally, a code is deprecated, but it may still be desirable to have access to it.
Although there is no way to see every code that has ever existed and been deprecated (since most codesets do not have that information available), as of version 3.20, every code which has ever been included in these modules can be referenced.
For more information, refer to the documentation on the code2name, name2code, all_codes, and all_names methods above.
The list of all code sets available for each type.
A history of changes made to this distribution.
Because each code set uses a slightly different list of elements, and they are not necessarily one-to-one, there may be some confusion about the relationship between codes from different code sets.
For example, ISO 3166 assigns one code to the country "United States Minor Outlying Islands", but the IANA codes give different codes to different islands (Baker Island, Howland Island, etc.).
This may cause some confusion... I've done the best that I could do to minimize it.
Currently all names must be all ASCII. I plan on relaxing that limitation in the future.
If you find a bug in Locale::Codes, there are three ways to send it to me. In order of preference, they are:
You can submit it as an issue on GitHub. This can be done at the following URL:
This is the preferred method. Please submit problems requests as GitHub issues if at all possible.
You are welcome to send it directly to me by email. The email address to use is: email@example.com.
Please note that because cpan.org addresses are published, they are used by a lot of spammers and phishers. Please include the name of the perl module in the subject line of ALL messages sent to my cpan.org address or it will likely be missed.
You can submit it using the CPAN tracking tool. This can be done at the following URL:
There was discussion of halting this service a while back (though it continues to function), so only use this as a last resort.
Please do not use other means to report bugs (such as forums for a specific OS or Linux distribution) as it is impossible for me to keep up with all of them. These are the current methods that are guaranteed to notify me.
When filing a bug report, please include the following information:
Please include the version of Locale::Codes you are using. You can get this by using the script:
If you want to report missing or incorrect codes, you must be running the most recent version of Locale::Codes.
If you find any problems with the documentation (errors, typos, or items that are not clear), please send them to me. I welcome any suggestions that will allow me to improve the documentation.
Locale::Country and Locale::Language were originally written by Neil Bowers at the Canon Research Centre Europe (CRE). They maintained the distribution from 1997 to 2001.
Locale::Currency was originally written by Michael Hennecke and was modified by Neil Bowers for inclusion in the distribution.
From 2001 to 2004, maintenance was continued by Neil Bowers. He modified Locale::Currency for inclusion in the distribution. He also added Locale::Script.
From 2004-2009, the module was unmaintained.
In 2010, maintenance was taken over by Sullivan Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Neil Bower's permission. All problems or comments should be sent to him using any of the methods listed above.
Copyright (c) 1997-2001 Canon Research Centre Europe (CRE).
Copyright (c) 2001 Michael Hennecke (Locale::Currency)
Copyright (c) 2001-2010 Neil Bowers
Copyright (c) 2010-2023 Sullivan Beck
This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.
To install Locale::Codes, copy and paste the appropriate command in to your terminal.
perl -MCPAN -e shell
For more information on module installation, please visit the detailed CPAN module installation guide.