Language Preferences for Applications

People communicate with software through natural languages, such as English, French, and Spanish. Because each person has a different preferred language, it's important for applications to track and accommodate individual language preferences.

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The following describes how applications that integrate the Square API might accommodate these language preferences in communications. When communicating through a web browser or mobile application, applications can use the language preferences that those devices already provide. For other types of communication, you must have a language preference on file. Example communications include:

  • Sending a daily status email to a Square seller about how the application's functionality was used that day.
  • Printing receipts for a buyer when using hardware associated with your application.
  • Sending a text message to a buyer after they interact with your application.

Square maintains language preferences for each seller that applications can use in communications. By using Square's language preferences, sellers get a consistent language experience when they access your application, other third-party applications, and Square software.

Square manages language preferences using the language_code field at the Location and Merchant levels. These language codes are a subset of the language tags described in RFC 5646 and each identifies a particular language. For example:

  • en-US designates American English.
  • fr-CA designates Canadian French.

The language code has a primary language (such as "en") followed by an optional dialect subtag (such as "US"). If a language code has both parts, the parts are separated by a hyphen (for example, "en-US").

The language_code can be one of the following Square-supported language codes for the country where the location or merchant exists:

  • Australia: en-AU
  • Canada: fr-CA, en-CA
  • France: en, fr
  • Ireland: en-IE
  • Japan: en, ja
  • United Kingdom: en-GB
  • United States: en-US, es-US
  • All other countries: en, es, fr, ja

Use the Locations API to retrieve or update the language_code for each location. You can also manage these locations in the Seller Dashboard. Applications can use this language_code for communications at a location when there's neither a personal nor device language. For example:

  • Printing receipts - When Square Point of Sale (POS) prints a receipt, the buyer generally doesn't have a Square account or a device to select the language preference. So the receipt should be printed in the location's language.
  • Sending emails and other communications - Applications can use the location language when emailing receipts, invoices, or any other communications for a location.

Use the Merchants API to retrieve the language_code for a seller. The merchant language is the ultimate fallback language if the location’s language doesn't apply. For example, if your application sends a daily status report to a seller and applies to all their locations, then it's best to use the language of the overall merchant for the communication.

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Additional build basics considerations

There are several other introductory topics provided for a new developer to quickly learn the basics of developing applications with Square. For more information, see Basics of Building Applications with Square.