The java.util.ResourceBundle is a library used for internationalization (multiple languages). It is able to return messages as per the default Locale configured for the system. Such a functionality is used when one develops systems to be used all over the world.

1. How it works?

The library reads a property file based on the locale and name suffix used in the naming of the property. For example, consider a label file named This file is read by ResourceBundle utility when the Locale is set to en_US which stands for US-English.

Locale represents a region or location with its attributes. Locale is generally used to maintain details about the client using our application. Locale contains attributes of location and language to be used for the respective location. Thus, a Locale assists ResourceBundle to pick the right label file by determining the location to which the user belongs.

2. Example

Let us see the below example for even more clarity on the topic:

how_are_you = How are you?

how_are_you = apa khabar

package com.mkyong;

import java.util.Locale;
import java.util.ResourceBundle;

public class Application {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// en_US
		System.out.println("Current Locale: " + Locale.getDefault());
		ResourceBundle mybundle = ResourceBundle.getBundle("MyLabels");

		// read
		System.out.println("Say how are you in US English: " + mybundle.getString("how_are_you"));

		Locale.setDefault(new Locale("ms", "MY"));

		// read
		System.out.println("Current Locale: " + Locale.getDefault());
		mybundle = ResourceBundle.getBundle("MyLabels");
		System.out.println("Say how are you in Malaysian Malaya language: " + mybundle.getString("how_are_you"));



On executing this code, we get the below output:

Current Locale: en_US
Say how are you in US English: How are you?
Current Locale: ms_MY
Say how are you in Malaysian Malaya language: apa khabar

As it can be seen in the output, depending on the default value set for the Locale set. This utility is mainly used in Web Applications where the web browser assists in knowing the Locale of the remote user. This makes it possible to show the website in a specific language as far as available.

Download Source Code


  1. Locales Javadocs
  2. ResourceBundle Javadocs
  3. Available Locales