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I want all applications in my system to be in English language but I want all formats (dates, currency, numbers) to be localized for Germany. I set up my Gnome Shell to the correct setting but occasionally find programs that are still displayed in German language.

While investigating for a possible reason, I noticed that the locale command tells me that LANGUAGE is set to en but another environment variable named LANG is set to de_DE.UTF-8. I tried to find out what the semantics for these two variables are exactly, but the manpage only talks about the many LC_ variables. When I set LANG manually to en_US.UTF-8 at least the programs I tested changed to display everything in English.

What's the difference between LANG and LANGUAGE and is it a bug that Gnome doesn't set both to en? Is Gnome even responsible for setting it? What is the best way to fix my problem? Is there maybe a way to force Gnome to set both to English?

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There are a number of environment variables for fine tuning the locale settings: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, LC_MONETARY, LC_NUMERIC and LC_TIME (what LANGUAGE is supposed to be used for I don't know). LANG is used as a fall back if no LC_ variable is set and LC_ALL is used to override them all. Since LC_MESSAGES is used to for text messages you would want to set that one to en_US.UTF-8, LANG to de_DE.UTF-8 and leave the rest (especially LC_ALL) uset.

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