Set current culture programmatically in an ASP.NET application

This article describes how to change the current culture and current UI culture in an ASP.NET application.

Original product version:   ASP.NET
Original KB number:   306162

Summary

In the .NET Framework, the CultureInfo class from the System.Globalization namespace provides culture-specific information such as the associated language, country or region, calendar, and cultural conventions. The CurrentCulture property represents the culture that the current thread uses. The CurrentUICulture property represents the current culture that Resource Manager uses to look up culture-specific resources at run time. There are three ways to set the Culture information in an ASP.NET application: application level, page level, and thread level.

Application level

Specify application level culture information in the web.config file:

  1. Start Notepad (or any other text editor).

  2. Paste the following code in Notepad:

    <configuration>
        <system.web>
            <globalization
                culture="ja-JP"
                uiCulture="zh-HK"
            />
        </system.web>
    </configuration>
    
  3. Save the text file as web.config in the root folder of your Web server. For example, C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Web.config.

  4. Start another instance of Notepad. Paste the following code in Notepad:

    <%@Page Language="C#" %>
    <% @Import Namespace="System.Globalization" %>
    <html>
        <head>
        </head>
        <script runat=server>
            public void Page_Load()
            {
                Response.Write ("Current Culture is " + CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.EnglishName);
            }
        </script>
        <body>
        </body>
    </html>
    
  5. Save this text file as Application.aspx in the root folder of your Web server.

  6. Start Internet Explorer, and then open Application.aspx.

Page level

The page level culture-specific information settings override the application level culture-specific information settings. Specify page level culture information by using the <@Page> directive:

  1. Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 of the Application level section to create the web.config file.

  2. Start another instance of Notepad. Paste the following code in Notepad:

    <%@Page Culture="fr-FR" Language="C#" %>
    <% @Import Namespace="System.Globalization" %>
    <html>
        <head>
        </head>
            <script runat=server>
            public void Page_Load()
            {
                Response.Write ("Current Culture is " + CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.EnglishName);
            }
            </script>
        <body>
        </body>
    </html>
    
  3. Save this text file as Page.aspx in the root folder of your Web server.

  4. Start Internet Explorer, and then open Page.aspx.

    Note

    The Current Culture setting is French, although Japanese is specified as the current culture in the web.config file.

Thread level

The thread level culture-specific information settings override the page level culture-specific information settings. Specify the thread level culture-specific information by setting the CurrentCulture property or the CurrentUICulture property of the current thread:

  1. Follow the steps 1, 2, and 3 of the Application level section to create the web.config file.

  2. Start another instance of Notepad. Paste the following code in Notepad:

    <% @Page Culture="fr-FR" Language="C#" %>
    <% @Import Namespace="System.Globalization" %>
    <% @Import Namespace="System.Threading" %>
    <html>
        <head>
        </head>
            <script runat=server>
            public void Page_Load()
            {    // Display the Current Culture
                Response.Write("Current Culture is " + Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.EnglishName + "<br>");
    
                // Modify the Current Culture
                Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = new CultureInfo("de-DE");
                Response.Write("Changing Culture to " + Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.EnglishName + "<br>");
            }
            </script>
        <body>
        </body>
    </html>
    
  3. Save this text file as Thread.aspx in the root folder of your Web server.

  4. Start Internet Explorer, and then open Thread.aspx.

    Note

    The current culture setting is German, although French is specified at the page level and Japanese is specified in the web.config file.

References

For more information, see CultureInfo Class.