Getting user locale with JavaScript

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

To get a user's prefered locale we can query the navigator.language.

1const locale = navigator.language; console.log(locale); // => "fr" 
To change your language in Chrome go to chrome://settings/languages and add/edit the list of languages.

To get the full list of user languages we can use navigator.languages. This returns an array of locales in order of preference.

1console.log(navigator.languages); // => ["fr", "en", "en-US"] 
Note: The locale value from navigator.language is just the first item from the array of locales;

If you need this value on a server side JavaScript build such as Gatsby then remember that the node.js environment has no concept of the navigator so we need to check for it and specify a fallback when it doesn't exist.

1const locale = (navigator && navigator.language) || "en"; console.log(locale); // Client => "fr" console.log(locale); // Server => "en" 

We can then use this preference to format content such as dates, currency and time for users to their local preferences.

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