I am a Dutch user and prefer the my local date & time format, system wide. I have no trouble speaking or understanding English and find it very useful to have the rest of my system configured in English to make my life easier when I need to Google a term, for example.

Is it possible to apply the a local date/time/currency/etc. format to the system, while maintaining English menu & dialog captions?



  • go to System → Administration → Language Support

  • at Language, select English as your default language:

    enter image description here

  • And in the Text tab, choose Dutch as your preffered Locale for numbers, dates and currency.

    enter image description here

I've been using this setting for a long time, and it's a bit weird sometimes, you may see something like "This file was modified on Maandag...", but it works very well with most apps.

After a bit of troubleshooting, it turns out you also have to:

  • Click 'Apply System-Wide'

  • Reboot

  • It's System->Administration->Language Support in my system. Feb 1 '11 at 13:10
  • Thanks for the reply. I actually did this and expected it to work, but my settings are still set to English for some reason. I tried applying system-wide and rebooting, without success. Feb 1 '11 at 13:19
  • Please post the output of locale to a pastebin and add it to your question, I just noticed mine is a bit strange. Feb 1 '11 at 13:22
  • @Stefano you have selected German, not Dutch. At least in the screen-shot and according to the pastebin. Dutch would be nl_NL.
    – Pit
    Feb 1 '11 at 14:06
  • @Stefano added the output. Not surpring, but still strange: output seems to indicate en.US only even though I did not configure it this way... Feb 1 '11 at 14:13

For some reason it seems to work now.

What I did:

  • Click 'Apply System-Wide'
  • Reboot

I'd swear I did this before, but logic is against me.

  • I'm glad that did it! I've added those two steps to my answer so that it now explains the whole thing. Feb 1 '11 at 18:17
  • 1
    Guys I already commented on the first answer that you have to restart you system (several times) for "Changes to take effect". There is even a notice under the language-drop-down menu saying "Changes take effect the next time you log in"
    – Pit
    Feb 1 '11 at 18:35

For Ubuntu 11.10

  • Go to System setings → Language Support
  • At Language, select English as your default language
  • Click Install/ remove languages...
  • Make sure the language you want for your date, time and currency is installed
  • Go to the Regional formats tab to select your preferred locale for time, date and currency
  • Ignore the error in the example
  • Click Apply system-wide and reboot

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