Languages, countries, locales, currencies, and scripts

A user's language preferences need to be identified so that appropriate processing can be applied. For example, language preferences in a Web browser can be used to select Web pages in the preferred language of the user. Language preferences can also be used to select among tools, such as dictionaries, to assist in the processing or understanding of content in different languages.

In addition, knowledge about the particular language used in content is required by some types of natural-language processing applications; for example, spell-checking, computer-synthesized speech, Braille transcription, or high-quality print renderings.

Language can be identified by labelling the information content with an identifier or "tag". These tags can also indicate additional language attributes, such as the dialect, writing system, or orthography. This information can be required to process or render the content into an appropriate form or style.

Machine-readable language identifiers are required for all software programs used in the language industry.

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