Continuing the discussion from Business Week Day:
As I have mentioned in the linked post, Locale is not the exact same as UI language.
I’ll take KDE (Linux and Qt) as an example here:
As we see, in the first screenshot one can select the UI language. This, well, defines the language of the UI and everything you see on screen, except what in the second screenshot.
Second screenshot allows defining the locale of the user, and override Numbers, Time, Currency, Units and Sorting.
This is important as many use the system in their preferred language, but are living in a different country where they have different preferences for the locale.
I’ll take examples from my region, the Arab region:
- All countries have Arabic as the main language.
- Mashriq countries prefers using Eastern Arabic numerals (٠١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩), while Maghreb countries prefers using Arabic numerals (0123456789).
- Egypt, Sudan and Gulf countries prefers using the Latin month names, transliterated to Arabic: Arabic names of Gregorian months - Wikipedia, while the Levant and Mesopotamia prefers using the Assyrian month names: Arabic names of Gregorian months - Wikipedia, and Maghreb countries prefers using the transliteration of French month names: Arabic names of Gregorian months - Wikipedia.
Therefore, dates are affected by these differences:
- All countries write from right to left.
- Mashriq countries: ١٢ يناير ٢٠٢٠ = 2020 January 12 (Read from right to left)
- Maghreb countries: 12 جانفي 2020 = 2020 January 12 (Read from right to left)
- Simply put: Was it Eastern numerals or Western/Arabic numerals, it is written from right to left, which makes it even harder to decide on the numbers let the format.
Even the Thousands separator is different:
(Eastern Arabic numerals also have another separator: ١٠٬٠٠٠٫٠٠: )
How it affects Discourse:
- Date and time formats, numbers, start of business week.
What is not affected:
- Relative dates.
- Extract and bake Unicode formats and allow the user to select any locale they like. This needs thinking as it might conflict with Moment.JS.
- Provide all the means and ways for translators to select which format to show where in the software.