[wp-trac] [WordPress Trac] #48152: en as default language instead of en_us

WordPress Trac noreply at wordpress.org
Thu Sep 26 21:35:44 UTC 2019

#48152: en as default language instead of en_us
 Reporter:  colomet       |       Owner:  (none)
     Type:  defect (bug)  |      Status:  new
 Priority:  normal        |   Milestone:  Awaiting Review
Component:  I18N          |     Version:  5.2.3
 Severity:  normal        |  Resolution:
 Keywords:                |     Focuses:

Comment (by tobifjellner):

 At https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/
 you can find a detailed list of languages defined in the WordPress
 ecosystem and which of them are currently maintained by a locale team. As
 you can see, we don't have any locale that is only "es", just like for
 English, all different Spanish locales are tied to some geographic
 location. (It's a different story, though, how these locales are presented
 in wp-admin when you select the site language.)

 With regards to translation of WordPress core, plugins and themes, we have
 chosen the source strings all over core, plugins and themes to be denoted
 as en_US. Whatever translatable strings are in your code, they'll be
 handled as en_US, even if they happen are actually in German or French,
 for instance.

 This means:
 • If you have developed a plugin and used some other language in your
 plugin, then this plugin will most probably never have any translation,
 but will be used with the strings as they are. And, technically, they
 cannot be translated to en_US!

 • If you select en_US for your site, pages may load a millissecond
 quicker, since no translation will be used (for good or bad...)

 • There are quite a few differences between the various English locales
 (that's why we have several of them). They spell things differently; In
 some cases they use different words. The message to developers is that if
 you want to create a smooth experience for all your users, then en_US is
 the language version to choose for the strings in your code.
 (If you start digging, then I'm sure that you'll be able to find plugins
 that are aimed at a target audience in the UK and where the strings in the
 code are just using British English. That's OK, too.)

 Some 47% of the WordPress sites in the world are using en_US, i.e. the
 source strings as they are. This doesn't mean that they have to be located
 in, or aimed at a U.S. target audience, it just means that this language
 version fit their purpose.

 The short version is this: Long time ago WordPress as an ecosystem chose
 en_US. Now too much is depending on this, so we can't just go and change
 it. And, really, we don't need to.

 By the way: You're free to declare the language of your site as just "en".
 But even if you do that, in your settings you'd still need to choose
 en_US, en_GB, en_AU or en_CA as your underlying locale to be used.

Ticket URL: <https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/48152#comment:1>
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