British English locale

Is there any specific reason why there is no British English locale? (Or any other non-US English, for that matter)

My concern is mainly with the US date format, which is not common outside the US but if you want an English locale on a discourse site, it is forced upon you. But others might have other reasons for wanting British English.



As a proud English English speaker I’ve never run into any problems.

July 04, 2017 is completely understandable to me, it’s something like 07/04/17 which is prone to confusion (is it 4 July 2017*, 7 April 2017, or 17 April 2007?), but thankfully I’ve never seen a date formatted like that in Discourse.

* This is the one which makes the least sense, why would you not go in a consistent order? What do they put in the water over there? Lots of tea, I guess. Can’t we all just agree to use ISO 8601?


I don’t think this is about whether or not US dates are understandable. They certainly are. It’s more a question of whether you’re used to a particular date format so that you can read it without thinking about it or not.

On discourse, the most confusing date formats in US English are the frequently used short formats Jun 16 and Jun '16. A British locale would spare me that confusion.


Oh yes, I’d forgotten about that one - I have in the past found dates formatted like that very confusing…

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Is there a way to avoid this confusion? I’m admin of a Discourse forum.

The only workaround that I’m aware of is the one described here:


Six years in, and with most of my deployments here in the UK I’ve had zero comments or complaints about date formats. As a lazy Brit myself, with limited knowledge of other languages I use DDMMYY by default, but have never been perturbed by the Month DD, YY here on Discourse.

Has anyone substantiated this as a legitimate concern, beyond the hypothetical?

I agree it is trivial, and I’ve got quite used to american dates/spellings since getting involved in Discourse. If I had a pounddollar for every time I’ve misspelled Customise, Serialiser, Initialiser, Colour in the code, I could buy a lot of doughnuts!

However, I have seen user complaints about this. On a small forum I run we applied the solution @tophee linked. If you look around some other UK discourse forums you’ll see they’ve done the same. A couple of random examples: 1 and 2. I’m sure there are more.


No its not trivial.

Nothing is trivial if something is happening daily.
Even if its as small as having to blink my eye daily while coming to office.

But at the same time, nothing is big. Particularly when we already are getting so much free.

So it’s just a question of effort required to do it.

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I think it is fine, even expected, to have a british english locale.


Ideally we would have

  • English (equal to the current “English”, but with international date formats)
    • English (US) (only different date formats, fall back to English)
    • English (UK) (British spelling, fall back to English)

I definitely want to add an English locale with international date formats. I’m just not sure how. The correct way would be to

  1. change the date formats in the existing en locale files
  2. add an additional en_US locale
  3. migrate everyone who’s currently using en to en_US

In theory that should work without problems. I’ll certainly give it a try. The alternative would require us to invent a new locale key (e.g. en_INT) and add it as “English (International)”. I’m actually not a fan of that solution.

Also, @sau226 started working on the the British locale on Transifex. I’m not sure if he’s there’s more work to be done or if “colour” is actually the only word that needs changing in our locale files. I highly doubt it. :blush:


We’re slowly crawling through it. Definitely more than a few u’s missing sadly, America has a bizarre fixation with the letter z, to the point that certain acronyms lose their meaning.


I guess we need to analyse the locale file carefully for offences! :crazy_face:


I think you meant analyze :stuck_out_tongue:


Definitely not. Anyone who spells it like that is instantly disqualified from contributing. :smiley:

I’m assured Aussies know how to spell correctly. Puns about prison colonies aside, our antipodean cousins never once wasted an entire shipment of tea :angry:


OK, I started looking into this and it seems doable without a lot of changes. The only important question is: Do we switch to en_US as default or do we do we stick with en (and the international date formats) as default? I assumed we want en_US as default, so I gave that a try and other than a couple of failing specs it appears to be a smooth ride.


Discourse ships a new English locale that comes with international date and time formats. Please give it a try.

The old English locale has been renamed to “English (United States)” and is the new default locale.


English (British)


English (United States)


That was one of the few gifs which didn’t feature eagles, automatic weapons and 'murrica captions.