Bernhard Graf


Locale::Country::Multilingual - mapping ISO codes to localized country names


Version 0.22


    use Locale::Country::Multilingual {use_io_layer => 1};

    my $lcm = Locale::Country::Multilingual->new();
    $country = $lcm->code2country('JP');        # $country gets 'Japan'
    $country = $lcm->code2country('CHN');       # $country gets 'China'
    $country = $lcm->code2country('250');       # $country gets 'France'
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('Norway');    # $code gets 'NO'
    $lcm->set_lang('zh'); # set default language to Chinese
    $country = $lcm->code2country('CN');        # $country gets '中国'
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('日本');      # $code gets 'JP'
    @codes   = $lcm->all_country_codes();
    @names   = $lcm->all_country_names();
    # more heavy call
    my $lang = 'en';
    $country = $lcm->code2country('CN', $lang);        # $country gets 'China'
    $lang = 'zh';
    $country = $lcm->code2country('CN', $lang);        # $country gets '中国'
    my $CODE = 'LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2'; # by default
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('Norway', $CODE);    # $code gets 'NO'
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('Norway', $CODE);    # $code gets 'NOR'
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('Norway', $CODE);    # $code gets '578'
    $code    = $lcm->country2code('挪威', $CODE, 'zh');    # with lang=zh
    $lang = 'zh';
    @codes   = $lcm->all_country_codes($CODE);         # return codes with 3alpha
    @names   = $lcm->all_country_names($lang);         # get all Chinese Countries Names


Locale::Country::Multilingual is an OO replacement for Locale::Country, and supports country names in several languages.

Language Codes

A language is selected by a two-letter language code as described by ISO 639-1 This code can be amended by a two-letter region code, that is described by ISO 3166-1 This combination of language and region is also described in RFC 4646 and RFC 4647, and is commonly used for HTTP 1.1 and the POSIX setlocale(3) function. Codes can be given in small or capital letters and be divided by an arbitrary string of none-letter ASCII bytes (but "-" or "_" is recommended).

Language Selection Fallback

In case a language code contains a region, language selection falls back to the two-letter language code if no specific language file for the region exists. Example: For "zh_CN" selection will fall back to "zh" since there is no file "zh-cn.dat" - actually "zh.dat" happens to contain the country names in Simplified (Han) Chinese.


ISO Compliance

ISO-3166 defines country codes in upper case letters. ISO-639 defines language codes in lower case letters. This facilitates differentiation between language and country codes.

Beginning with release version 0.20 method "country2code" returns country codes in capital letters. On the input side all methods accept country and language codes in any case for maximum convenience.

This document uses upper case letters for country codes and lower case letters for language codes.

Unicode Support

Unicode implementation before release 0.07 was broken. In fact it still is for the benefit of downwards compatibility, but can be fixed by using the use_io_layer option. If you use this module without use_io_layer, then your code is broken.

Beginning with release 0.30 use_io_layer will be enabled by default.

Beginning with release 0.40 use_io_layer will be removed.

Deprecated Languages

Releases before 0.09 of this module offered languages "cn" and "tw". Those were replaced by "zh" and "zh-tw" to comply with the ISO 639 standard and RFC 2616. "cn" and "tw" are still supported, but will be removed in a near future - probably in release 0.30.



  use Locale::Country::Multilingual 'en', 'fr', {use_io_layer => 1};

The import class method is called when a module is use'd. Language files can be pre-loaded at compile time, by specifying their language codes. This can be useful when several processes are forked from the main application, e.g. in an Apache mod_perl environment - language data that is loaded before forking is shared by all processes and thus saving memory.

The last argument can be a reference to a hash of options.

The only option ATM is use_io_layer and works for Perl 5.8 and higher. See Locale::Country::Multilingual::Unicode for more information.


  $lcm = Locale::Country::Multilingual->new;
  $lcm = Locale::Country::Multilingual->new(
    lang => 'es',
    use_io_layer => 1,

Constructor method. Accepts optional list of named arguments:


The language to use. See "AVAILABLE LANGAUGES" for what codes are accepted.


Set this true if you need correct encoding behavior. See Locale::Country::Multilingual::Unicode for more information.



Set the current language. Only argument is a language code as described in the "DESCRIPTION" above.

See "AVAILABLE LANGAUGES" for what codes are accepted.

This method does not actually load the language data. Use "assert_lang" if you really need to know for sure if a language is supported.


  $lang = $lcm->assert_lang('es', 'it', 'fr');

Tries to load any of the given languages. Returns the language code for the first language that was successfully loaded. Returns undef if none of the given languages could be loaded. Actually loads the language data, but does not set the language, so you probably want to use it this way:

  $lang = $lcm->assert_lang(qw/es it fr en/)
    and $lcm->set_lang($lang)
    or die "unable to load any language\n";


  $country = $lcm->code2country('GB');
  $country = $lcm->code2country('GB', 'zh');

Turns an ISO 3166-1 code into a country name in the current language. The default language is "en".

Accepts either two-letter or a three-letter code or a 3 digit numerical code.

A language might be given as second argument to set the output language only for this call - it does not change the current language, that was set with "set_lang".

Returns the country name.

This method croaks if the language is not available.


  $code = $lcm->country2code(
    'République tchèque', 'LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2', 'fr'

Take a country name and return the two-letter code when available. Aside from being case-insensitive the country must be written exactly the way how "code2country" returns it.

The second argument is optional and can be one of "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2", "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_3" and "LOCALE_CODE_NUMERIC". The default is "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA2".

The third argument is the language to use for the country name and is optional too.

Returns an ISO-3166 code or undef if search fails.

This method croaks if the language is not available.


  @countrycodes = $lcm->all_country_codes;
  @countrycodes = $lcm->all_country_codes($codeset);

Returns an unsorted list of all ISO-3166 codes.

The argument is optional and can be one of "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2", "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_3" and "LOCALE_CODE_NUMERIC". The default is "LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA2".


  @countrynames = $lcm->all_country_names;
  @countrynames = $lcm->all_country_names('fr');

Returns an unsorted list of country names in the current or given locale.


en English
bg Bulgarian
bn Bengali
ca Catalan
cs Czech
cy Welsh
da Danish
de German
dz Dzongkha
el Greek
eo Esperanto
es Spanish
et Estonian
eu Basque
fa Persian
fi Finnish
fo Faroese
fr French
ga Irish
gl Galician
gu Gujarati
he Hebrew
hi Hindi
hr Croatian
hu Hungarian
hy Armenian
id Indonesian
ii Sichuan Yi
is Icelandic
it Italian
ja Japanese
ka Georgian
km Central Khmer
kn Kannada
ko Korean
ln Lingala
lo Lao
lt Lithuanian
lv Latvian
mk Macedonian
ml Malayalam
mn Mongolian
ms Malay
mt Maltese
my Burmese
nb Norwegian Bokmål
ne Nepali
nl Dutch
nn Norwegian Nynorsk
no Norwegian
pl Polish
ps Pushto
pt Portuguese
ro Romanian
ru Russian
se Northern Sami
sk Slovak
sl Slovenian
so Somali
sq Albanian
sr Serbian
sv Swedish
sw Swahili
ta Tamil
te Telugu
th Thai
to Tonga
tr Turkish
uk Ukrainian
ur Urdu
uz Uzbek
vi Vietnamese
zh (zh-cn) Chinese Simp.
zh-tw Chinese Trad.

Language files are more or less (in-)complete and fall back to English. Corrections, additions and more languages are highly appreciated.


subversion trunk


Locale::Country, ISO 639, ISO 3166, RFC 2616 RFC 4646, RFC 4647, Unicode CLDR Project


Thanks to michele ongaro for Italian/Spanish/Portuguese/German/French/Japanese dat files.

Thanks to Andreas Marienborg for Norwegian dat file.

Thanks to all contributors of the Unicode CLDR Project.


Fayland Lam <fayland at>

Bernhard Graf <graf at>


Copyright 2007-2008 by the aforementioned authors.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

Part of the data used for this module is generated from data provided by the CLDR project. See the LICENSE.cldr in this distribution for details on the CLDR data's license.

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