Different countries and cultures have varying conventions for how to
communicate. These conventions range from very simple ones, such as the
format for representing dates and times, to very complex ones, such as
the language spoken.
Internationalization of software means programming it to be able
to adapt to the user's favorite conventions. In ISO C,
internationalization works by means of locales. Each locale
specifies a collection of conventions, one convention for each purpose.
The user chooses a set of conventions by specifying a locale (via
All programs inherit the chosen locale as part of their environment.
Provided the programs are written to obey the choice of locale, they
will follow the conventions preferred by the user.