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Perl 5 version 12.0 documentation
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  1. use Locale::Script;
  2. use Locale::Constants;
  3. $script = code2script('ph'); # 'Phoenician'
  4. $code = script2code('Tibetan'); # 'bo'
  5. $code3 = script2code('Tibetan',
  6. LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_3); # 'bod'
  7. $codeN = script2code('Tibetan',
  9. @codes = all_script_codes();
  10. @scripts = all_script_names();


The Locale::Script module provides access to the ISO codes for identifying scripts, as defined in ISO 15924. For example, Egyptian hieroglyphs are denoted by the two-letter code 'eg', the three-letter code 'egy', and the numeric code 050.

You can either access the codes via the conversion routines (described below), or with the two functions which return lists of all script codes or all script names.

There are three different code sets you can use for identifying scripts:

  • alpha-2

    Two letter codes, such as 'bo' for Tibetan. This code set is identified with the symbol LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2 .

  • alpha-3

    Three letter codes, such as 'ell' for Greek. This code set is identified with the symbol LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_3 .

  • numeric

    Numeric codes, such as 410 for Hiragana. This code set is identified with the symbol LOCALE_CODE_NUMERIC .

All of the routines take an optional additional argument which specifies the code set to use. If not specified, it defaults to the two-letter codes. This is partly for backwards compatibility (previous versions of Locale modules only supported the alpha-2 codes), and partly because they are the most widely used codes.

The alpha-2 and alpha-3 codes are not case-dependent, so you can use 'BO', 'Bo', 'bO' or 'bo' for Tibetan. When a code is returned by one of the functions in this module, it will always be lower-case.


The standard defines various special codes.

  • The standard reserves codes in the ranges qa - qt, qaa - qat, and 900 - 919, for private use.

  • zx, zxx, and 997, are the codes for unwritten languages.

  • zy, zyy, and 998, are the codes for an undetermined script.

  • zz, zzz, and 999, are the codes for an uncoded script.

The private codes are not recognised by Locale::Script, but the others are.


There are three conversion routines: code2script() , script2code() , and script_code2code() .

  • code2script( CODE, [ CODESET ] )

    This function takes a script code and returns a string which contains the name of the script identified. If the code is not a valid script code, as defined by ISO 15924, then undef will be returned:

    1. $script = code2script('cy'); # Cyrillic
  • script2code( STRING, [ CODESET ] )

    This function takes a script name and returns the corresponding script code, if such exists. If the argument could not be identified as a script name, then undef will be returned:

    1. $code = script2code('Gothic', LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_3);
    2. # $code will now be 'gth'

    The case of the script name is not important. See the section KNOWN BUGS AND LIMITATIONS below.

  • script_code2code( CODE, CODESET, CODESET )

    This function takes a script code from one code set, and returns the corresponding code from another code set.

    1. $alpha2 = script_code2code('jwi',
    3. # $alpha2 will now be 'jw' (Javanese)

    If the code passed is not a valid script code in the first code set, or if there isn't a code for the corresponding script in the second code set, then undef will be returned.


There are two function which can be used to obtain a list of all codes, or all script names:

  • all_script_codes ( [ CODESET ] )

    Returns a list of all two-letter script codes. The codes are guaranteed to be all lower-case, and not in any particular order.

  • all_script_names ( [ CODESET ] )

    Returns a list of all script names for which there is a corresponding script code in the specified code set. The names are capitalised, and not returned in any particular order.


The following example illustrates use of the code2script() function. The user is prompted for a script code, and then told the corresponding script name:

  1. $| = 1; # turn off buffering
  2. print "Enter script code: ";
  3. chop($code = <STDIN>);
  4. $script = code2script($code, LOCALE_CODE_ALPHA_2);
  5. if (defined $script)
  6. {
  7. print "$code = $script\n";
  8. }
  9. else
  10. {
  11. print "'$code' is not a valid script code!\n";
  12. }


  • When using script2code() , the script name must currently appear exactly as it does in the source of the module. For example,

    1. script2code('Egyptian hieroglyphs')

    will return eg, as expected. But the following will all return undef:

    1. script2code('hieroglyphs')
    2. script2code('Egyptian Hieroglypics')

    If there's need for it, a future version could have variants for script names.

  • In the current implementation, all data is read in when the module is loaded, and then held in memory. A lazy implementation would be more memory friendly.


  • Locale::Language

    ISO two letter codes for identification of language (ISO 639).

  • Locale::Currency

    ISO three letter codes for identification of currencies and funds (ISO 4217).

  • Locale::Country

    ISO three letter codes for identification of countries (ISO 3166)

  • ISO 15924

    The ISO standard which defines these codes.


    Home page for ISO 15924.


Neil Bowers <>


Copyright (c) 2002-2004 Neil Bowers.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.