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JavaScript internationalization and localization


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A JavaScript library for internationalization and localization that leverage the official Unicode CLDR JSON data. The library works both for the browser and as a Node.js module.

Heads up!

We're working on the migration to using the Unicode CLDR. This is an alpha version of Globalize: 1.0.0-pre.

Patches to the previous stable codebase probably can't be used. If you have a problem, please create an issue first before trying to patch it.

Getting Started

Why globalization?

Each language, and the countries that speak that language, have different expectations when it comes to how numbers (including currency and percentages) and dates should appear. Obviously, each language has different names for the days of the week and the months of the year. But they also have different expectations for the structure of dates, such as what order the day, month and year are in. In number formatting, not only does the character used to delineate number groupings and the decimal portion differ, but the placement of those characters differ as well.

A user using an application should be able to read and write dates and numbers in the format they are accustomed to. This library makes this possible, providing an API to convert user-entered number and date strings - in their own format - into actual numbers and dates, and conversely, to format numbers and dates into that string format.

About Globalize

Where to use it?

It's designed to work both in the browser, or in Node.js. It supports both AMD and CommonJS.

Where does the data come from?

Globalize uses the Unicode CLDR, the largest and most extensive standard repository of locale data.

We do NOT embed any i18n data within our library. However, we make it really easy to use. Read the section How to get and load CLDR JSON data for more information on its usage.

Load and use only what you need

Globalize is split in modules: core, number (coming soon), date, and translate. We're evaluating other modules, eg. plural, ordinals, etc.

The core implements Globalize.load( cldrData ), and Globalize.locale( locale ).

The date module extends core Globalize, and adds Globalize.formatDate( value, pattern, locale ), and Globalize.parseDate( value, patterns, locale ).

The translate module extends core Globalize, and adds Globalize.loadTranslations( locale, json ), and Globalize.translate( path , locale ).

More to come...

Browser Support

We officially support:

  • Firefox (latest - 1)+
  • Chrome (latest - 1)+
  • Safari 5.1+
  • IE 8+
  • Opera (latest - 1)+

Dry tests show Globalize also works on the following browsers:

  • Firefox 4+
  • Safari 5+
  • Chrome 14+
  • IE 6+
  • Opera 11.1+

If you find any bugs, please just let us know. We'll be glad to fix them for the officially supported browsers, or at least to update the documentation for the unsupported ones.


All distributables are UMD wrapped. So, it supports AMD, CommonJS, or global variables (in case neither AMD nor CommonJS have been detected).

Example of usage with script tags:

<script src="./external/cldrjs/dist/cldr.js"></script>
<script src="./dist/globalize.js"></script>
<script src="./dist/globalize/date.js"></script>

Example of usage on AMD:

bower install cldrjs globalize
  paths: {
    cldr: "bower_components/cldrjs/dist/cldr.runtime",
    globalize: "bower_components/globalize/dist/globalize"
require( [ "globalize", "globalize/date" ], function( Globalize ) {

Example of usage with Node.js:

npm install cldrjs globalize
var Globalize = require( "globalize" );

How to get and load CLDR JSON data

The Unicode CLDR is available for download as JSON ( This file contains the complete data of what the Unicode CLDR Project considers the top 20 languages (at the time of this writing).

You can generate the JSON representation of the languages not available in the ZIP file by using the official conversion tool ( This ZIP contains a README with instructions on how to build the data.

You can choose to generate unresolved data to save space or bandwidth (-r false option of the conversion tool), and instead have it resolve at runtime.

For the examples below, first fetch CLDR JSON data:

unzip -d cldr

Example of embedding CLDR JSON data:

  main: {
    en: {
  supplemental: {
    likelySubtags: {
    timeDate: {
    weekData: {

Example of loading it dynamically:

<script src="jquery.js"></script>
$.get( "cldr/en/ca-gregorian.json", Globalize.load );
$.get( "cldr/supplemental/likelySubtags.json", Globalize.load );
$.get( "cldr/supplemental/timeData.json", Globalize.load );
$.get( "cldr/supplemental/weekData.json", Globalize.load );

Example using AMD (also see our functional tests):

], function( Globalize, enCaGregorian, likelySubtags, timeData, weekData ) {

  Globalize.load( enCaGregorian );
  Globalize.load( likelySubtags );
  Globalize.load( timeData );
  Globalize.load( weekData );


Example using Node.js:

var Globalize = require( "globalize" );
Globalize.load( require( "./cldr/supplemental/likelySubtags.json" ) );
Globalize.load( require( "./cldr/supplemental/timeData.json" ) );
Globalize.load( require( "./cldr/supplemental/weekData.json" ) );
Globalize.load( require( "./cldr/en/ca-gregorian.json" ) );


Core module

Globalize.load( cldrJSONData )

This method allows you to load CLDR JSON locale data. Globalize.load() is a proxy to Cldr.load(). For more information, see


Globalize.locale( [locale] )

Set default locale, or get it if locale argument is omitted.


  • locale The locale string, eg. "en", "pt_BR", or "zh_Hant_TW".

An application that supports globalization and/or localization will need to have a way to determine the user's preference. Attempting to automatically determine the appropriate culture is useful, but it is good practice to always offer the user a choice, by whatever means.

Whatever your mechanism, it is likely that you will have to correlate the user's preferences with the list of locale data supported in the app. This method allows you to select the best match given the locale data that you have included and to set the Globalize locale to the one which the user prefers.

Globalize.locale( "pt" );
console.log( Globalize.locale().attributes );
// {
//    "languageId": "pt",
//    "maxLanguageId": "pt_Latn_BR",
//    "language": "pt",
//    "script": "Latn",
//    "territory": "BR",
//    "region": "BR"
// }

LanguageMatching TBD (CLDR's spec

Number module

Globalize.formatNumber( value [, attributes] [, locale] )

Format a number according to the given attributes and the given locale (or the default locale if not specified).


  • value Number to be formatted, eg. 3.14;
  • attributes Optional
    • style: Optional String decimal (default), or percent;
    • minimumIntegerDigits: Optional non-negative integer Number value indicating the minimum integer digits to be used. Numbers will be padded with leading zeroes if necessary;
    • minimumFractionDigits and maximumFractionDigits: Optional non-negative integer Number values indicating the minimum and maximum fraction digits to be used. Numbers will be rounded or padded with trailing zeroes if necessary;
    • minimumSignificantDigits and maximumSignificantDigits: Optional positive integer Number values indicating the minimum and maximum fraction digits to be shown. Either none or both of these properties are present; if they are, they override minimum and maximum integer and fraction digits. The formatter uses however many integer and fraction digits are required to display the specified number of significant digits;
    • round: Optional String with rounding method ceil, floor, round (default), or truncate;
    • useGrouping: Optional boolean (default is true) value indicating whether a grouping separator should be used;
  • locale Optional locale string that overrides default;
Globalize.locale( "en" );
Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592 );           // "3.142"
Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592, {}, "es" ); // "3,142"
Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592, {}, "ar" ); // "3٫142"

Controlling digits by specifying integer and fraction digits counts:

Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592, { maximumFractionDigits: 2 } );
// "3.14"

Globalize.formatNumber( 1.5, { minimumFractionDigits: 2 } );
// "1.50"

Controlling digits by specifying significant digits counts:

Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592, {
  minimumSignificantDigits: 1,
  maximumSignificantDigits: 3
// "3.14"

Globalize.formatNumber( 12345, {
  minimumSignificantDigits: 1,
  maximumSignificantDigits: 3
// "12,300"

equal( Globalize.formatNumber( 0.00012345, {
    minimumSignificantDigits: 1,
    maximumSignificantDigits: 3
// "0.000123"

Using different rounding functions example:

Globalize.formatNumber( 3.141592, { maximumFractionDigits: 2, round: "ceil" } );
// "3.15"

Globalize.parseNumber( value, [formats], [locale] )


Date module

Globalize.formatDate( value, format [, locale] )

Format a date according to the given format and locale (or the current locale if not specified).


  • value Date instance to be formatted, eg. new Date();
  • format
    • String, skeleton. Eg "GyMMMd";
    • Object, accepts either one:
      • Skeleton, eg. { skeleton: "GyMMMd" }. List of all skeletons [TODO];
      • Date, eg. { date: "full" }. Possible values are full, long, medium, short;
      • Time, eg. { time: "full" }. Possible values are full, long, medium, short;
      • Datetime, eg. { datetime: "full" }. Possible values are full, long, medium, short;
      • Raw pattern, eg. { pattern: "dd/mm" }. List of all date patterns;
  • locale Optional locale string that overrides default;
Globalize.formatDate( new Date( 2010, 10, 30, 17, 55 ), { datetime: "short" } );
// "11/30/10, 5:55 PM"

Globalize.formatDate( new Date( 2010, 10, 30, 17, 55 ), { datetime: "short" }, "de" );
// "30.11.10 17:55"

Comparison between different locales.

locale Globalize.formatDate( new Date( 2010, 10, 1, 17, 55 ), { datetime: "short" } )
en "11/1/10, 5:55 PM"
en_GB "01/11/2010 17:55"
de "01.11.10 17:55"
zh "10/11/1 下午5:55"
ar "1‏/11‏/2010 5:55 م"
pt "01/11/10 17:55"
es "1/11/10 17:55"

Globalize.parseDate( value [, formats] [, locale] )

Parse a string representing a date into a JavaScript Date object, taking into account the given possible formats (or the given locale's set of preset formats if not provided). As before, the current locale is used if one is not specified.


  • value String with date to be parsed, eg. "11/1/10, 5:55 PM";
  • formats Optional array of formats;
  • locale Optional locale string that overrides default
Globalize.locale( "en" );
Globalize.parseDate( "1/2/13" );
// Wed Jan 02 2013 00:00:00

Globalize.locale( "es" );
Globalize.parseDate( "1/2/13" );
// Fri Feb 01 2013 00:00:00

Translate module

Globalize.loadTranslation( locale, translationData )

Load translation data per locale.


  • locale Locale string;
  • translationData A JSON object with translation mappings;
Globalize.loadTranslation( "pt_BR", {
  greetings: {
    hello: "Olá",
    bye: "Tchau"

Globalize.translate( path [, locale] )

Translate item given its path.


  • path Translation item path;
  • locale Optional locale string that overrides default
Globalize.locale( "pt_BR" );
Globalize.translate( "greetings/bye" );
// ➡ "Tchau"


File structure

├── bower.json (metadata file)
├── (doc file)
├── dist/ (output of built bundles)
├── external/ (external dependencies, eg. cldr.js, QUnit, RequireJS)
├── Gruntfile.js (Grunt tasks)
├── LICENSE (license file)
├── package.json (metadata file)
├── (doc file)
├── src/ (source code)
│   ├── build/ (build helpers, eg. intro, and outro)
│   ├── common/ (common function helpers across modules)
│   ├── core.js (core module)
│   ├── date/ (date source code)
│   ├── date.js (date module)
│   ├── translate.js (translate module)
│   └── util/ (basic JavaScript helpers polyfills, eg
└── test/ (unit and functional test files)
    ├── fixtures/ (CLDR fixture data)
    ├── functional/ (functional tests)
    ├── functional.html
    ├── functional.js
    ├── unit/ (unit tests)
    ├── unit.html
    └── unit.js

Source files

The source files are as granular as possible. When combined to generate the build file, all the excessive/overhead wrappers are cut off. It's following the same build model of jQuery and Modernizr.

Core, and all modules' public APIs are located in the src/ directory. For example: core.js, date.js, and translate.js.


Install Grunt and external dependencies. First, install the grunt-cli and bower packages if you haven't before. These should be installed globally (like this: npm install -g grunt-cli bower). Then:

npm install && bower install

Build distribution files.



Tests can be run either in the browser or using Node.js (via Grunt).

Unit tests

To run the unit tests, run grunt test:unit, or open file:///.../globalize/test/unit.html in a browser. It tests the very specific functionality of each function (sometimes internal/private).

The goal of the unit tests is to make it easy to spot bugs, easy to debug.

Functional tests

To run the functional tests, create the dist files by running grunt. Then, run grunt test:functional, or open file:///.../globalize/test/functional.html in a browser. Note that grunt will automatically run unit and functional tests for you to ensure the built files are safe.

The goal of the functional tests is to ensure that everything works as expected when it is combined.

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