Re: Euro Currency for UK

From: Addison Phillips [wM] (
Date: Thu Oct 09 2003 - 08:46:54 CST

Hmm.. this isn't really a Unicode question. You might want to post this
question over on the i18n programming list ''
or on the locales list at ''.

You don't say what your programming or operating environments are. There
are two possibilities here.

If you want to use your existing software to display currencies as the
Euro instead of pounds, you can generally either set the display
settings (Windows Regional options control panel) for currency to "look
like" the Euro. Or you can set (on Unix systems) the LC_MONETARY locale
variable to some locale that uses the Euro with English-like formatting.
A few systems actually provide a specialized variant locale for
en_GB@EURO for this purpose. A few provide an en_US@EURO, which won't be
helpful to you because of differences in the separators used in the two

You can also compile your own locale tables on Unix. Read the man pages
on locale.

If you are writing your own software, then it really isn't that hard.
Some programming environments, such as Java, provide either a separate
Currency class with the ability to create specific display-time formats
that take both the currency and the display locale into account. Others
require you to create a formatter to convert the value into a string for

In fact, when working with currency it is important to associate which
currency you mean with the value. You may experience problems if you
create a data field for "value" and format it according to the machine's
runtime locale. The runtime locale can imply a certain default currency,
as you note, but "default" does not mean "only". Consider:


Not right:

en_GB: £123,45
en_US: $123.45
de_DE: €123,45
ja_JP: ¥123

Most commonly the ISO4217 currency code is associated with a value to
create a data structure that is specific:


en_GB: €123,45
en_US: €123.45
de_DE: €123,45
ja_JP: €123.45

Getting the formatting right is a matter of accessing the formatting
fucctions of your programming API correctly. Most programming
environments provide a way to format a value using separate locale rules
(for grouping and decimal separators) and currency.

More information about what you're trying to do would help in
recommending a solution.

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Director, Globalization Architecture
webMethods, Inc.
+1 408.962.5487
Internationalization is an architecture. It is not a feature.
Chair, W3C I18N WG Web Services Task Force

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