Skip Headers
Oracle® Database Client Installation Guide
11g Release 2 (11.2) for Microsoft Windows

Part Number E24187-05
Go to Documentation Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Go to Index
Go to Master Index
Master Index
Go to Feedback page
Contact Us

Go to previous page
Go to next page
PDF · Mobi · ePub

C Configuring Oracle Database Globalization Support

This appendix describes the following Globalization Support topics:

C.1 Installing and Using Oracle Components in Different Languages

This section describes the following procedures:

C.1.1 Configuring Oracle Components to Run in Different Languages

You can specify the language and the territory, or locale, in which you want to use Oracle components. The locale setting of a component determines the language of the user interface of the component and the globalization behavior, such as date and number formatting. Depending on the Oracle component, the locale of the component is either inherited from the operating system session that started the component, or is defined by the NLS_LANG environment variable.

The operating system locale usually influences Oracle components that are based on Java technology. The NLS_LANG environment variable usually influences Oracle components that use Oracle Client libraries such as OCI.


The user interface of an Oracle component will be displayed in a selected language only if the appropriate translation is available and has been installed. Otherwise, the user interface will be displayed in English.

C.1.1.1 Determining the Operating System Locale

The locale setting of your operating system session determines the language of the user interface and the globalization behavior for components such as Oracle Universal Installer, Oracle Net Configuration Assistant, and Oracle Database Configuration Assistant. It also determines the globalization behavior of Oracle Database sessions created by a user application through Oracle JDBC driver, unless overridden by the application.

Open the Control Panel from the Start menu to modify the operating system locale settings. On Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, and in the classic view of the Control Panel on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, click Regional and Language Options. In the default view of the Control Panel on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, click Change keyboards or other input methods.

To set locale for the current operating system user on Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Windows Server 2003 R2, select the desired locale from the pop-up list in Standards and formats area on the Regional Options tab. On Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, select the desired locale from the Current format pop-up list on the Formats tab.

Some of the locales may be unavailable until you install required operating system support files. On Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Windows Server 2003 R2, make sure the relevant check boxes are checked in "Supplemental language support" area on Languages tab.

Some Oracle components, such as SQL*Plus, require that the Windows System Locale is also set to the language in which the components are to be run. System Locale is called Language for non-Unicode programs on Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2. On Windows XP and Windows 2003, select the locale from the pop-up list in the "Language for non-Unicode programs" area on the Advanced tab. On Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, click the Change system locale... button on the Administrative tab, accept the use of administrative privileges, if User Account Control is active, and select the locale from the pop-up list in the opened dialog box.


The operating system must be restarted after the System Locale is changed. See the operating system documentation for further information about Windows locale settings.

C.1.1.2 Configuring Locale and Character Sets with the NLS_LANG Environment Variable

The NLS_LANG environment variable determines the language of the user interface and the globalization behavior for components such as SQL*Plus, exp, and imp. It sets the language and territory used by the client application and the database user session. It also declares the character set for entering and displaying data by the client application.

The NLS_LANG environment variable uses the following format:


In this format:

  • language specifies the language used for displaying user interface, error messages, sorting, day names, and month names

  • territory specifies the conventions for default date, monetary and numeric formats

  • characterset specifies the encoding of the database client, which is the character set for data entered or displayed by a client program

    In most cases, this is the Oracle character set that corresponds to the Windows ANSI Code Page as determined by the System Locale.

The NLS_LANG parameter on Windows can be set

  • in Registry under the subkey corresponding to a given Oracle home,

  • as an environment variable.

When you install Oracle Database components and the NLS_LANG parameter is not yet set in the Registry subkey of the target Oracle home, Oracle Universal Installer sets the NLS_LANG parameter to a default value derived from the operating system locale for the current user.


AL32UTF8 is the Oracle Database character set that is appropriate for XMLType data. It is equivalent to the IANA registered standard UTF-8 encoding, which supports all valid XML characters.

Do not confuse Oracle Database database character set UTF8 (no hyphen) with database character set AL32UTF8 or with character encoding UTF-8. Database character set UTF8 has been superseded by AL32UTF8. Do not use UTF8 for XML data. UTF8 supports only Unicode version 3.0 and earlier; it does not support all valid XML characters. AL32UTF8 has no such limitation.

Using database character set UTF8 for XML data could cause an irrecoverable error or affect security negatively. If a character that is not supported by the database character set appears in an input-document element name, a replacement character (usually a question mark) is substituted for it. This will terminate parsing and raise an exception.

See Also:

For example:




  • English (United Kingdom) - ENGLISH_UNITED KINGDOM.WE8MSWIN1252

  • English (United States) - AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8MSWIN1252


  • French (France) - FRENCH_FRANCE.WE8MSWIN1252

  • German (Germany) - GERMAN_GERMANY.WE8MSWIN1252




  • Spanish (Spain) - SPANISH_SPAIN.WE8MSWIN1252

  • Spanish (Mexico) - MEXICAN SPANISH_MEXICO.WE8MSWIN1252


C. NLS_LANG Settings in Console Mode and Batch Mode

Before you can use Oracle utilities such as SQL*Plus, SQL Loader, Import, and Export from the Command Prompt window, you may have to set the character set field of the NLS_LANG parameter to a value different than the one set in Registry.

This is required because programs running in console mode use, with a few exceptions, a different code page (character set) from programs running in GUI mode. The default Oracle home NLS_LANG parameter in the Registry is always set to the appropriate GUI code page. If you do not set the NLS_LANG parameter for the console mode session correctly, incorrect character conversion can corrupt error messages and data.

For Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese, the console (OEM) code page is identical to the GUI (ANSI) code page. In this case, you do not need to set the NLS_LANG parameter. For other languages, set the correct character set value of NLS_LANG by issuing a SET NLS_LANG command in the same Command Prompt window in which you want to start the affected utility.

Similarly, in batch mode, set the correct character set value of NLS_LANG by inserting a SET NLS_LANG command at the start of the batch procedure, according to the character set of the files to be processed in the procedure.

To find the current console code page, issue the CHCP command in the Command Prompt window. Use the reported code page number to look up the corresponding Oracle character set name in Table C-1.

Table C-1 lists the Oracle character sets that correspond to the console mode code pages.

Table C-1 Oracle Character Sets for Console Mode (OEM) Code Pages

OEM Code Page Oracle Character Set for Console Mode

437 (US)


737 (Greek)


775 (Baltic)


850 (Multilingual Latin I)


852 (Latin II)


855 (Cyrillic)


857 (Turkish)


858 (Multilingual Latin I + Euro)


866 (Russian)


874 (Thai)


932 (Japanese Shift-JIS)


936 (Simplified Chinese GBK)


949 (Korean)


950 (Traditional Chinese Big5)


1258 (Vietnam)


C.1.2 Installing Translation Resources

To view the user interface of Oracle components in different languages, you must install the appropriate language translations along with the component. To select the translation resources that you want to install:


Part of Oracle Database Vault user interface text is stored in database tables in the DVSYS schema. By default, only the English language is loaded into these tables. You can use Oracle Database Vault Configuration Assistant to add more languages to Oracle Database Vault. For the necessary steps, see Appendix C in Oracle Database Vault Administrator's Guide.
  1. Start Oracle Universal Installer.

  2. On the Select Installation Option screen, select the installation option and click Next.

  3. On the System Class screen, select the type of system for installing the database, and click Next.

  4. On the Grid Installation Options screen, select the type of database installation you want to perform, and click Next.

  5. On the Select Install type screen, select the type of installation, and click Next.

  6. On the Select Product Languages screen, select the language in which you want to run the product from the Available Languages field.


    The Available Languages field lists all languages supported by Oracle globalization libraries. The set of languages for which a translation is actually available is usually smaller and depends on a particular component. The scope of translation for a given component may differ between languages. For example, some translations may include all user interface text, while others may include only error messages and no help files.
  7. Use the > arrow to move the selected language to the Selected Languages field, and then click OK.


    Oracle Universal Installer will ignore languages in the Selected Languages field for which no translation is available.

C.2 Running Oracle Universal Installer in Different Languages

The operating system locale determines the language in which Oracle Universal Installer runs. Oracle Universal Installer may run in one of the following languages:

To run Oracle Universal Installer in a desired language:

  1. Change the locale for the operating system user and the System Locale as described in "Determining the Operating System Locale" section.

  2. Run Oracle Universal Installer by following the instructions in the "Installing the Oracle Database Client Software" section.

If the selected language is not from the languages listed earlier, then Oracle Universal Installer runs in English.