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SET LANGUAGE (Transact-SQL)

Specifies the language environment for the session. The session language determines the datetime formats and system messages.

Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2008 through current version), Azure SQL Database.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

SET LANGUAGE { [ N ] 'language' | @language_var } 

[N]'language' | @language_var

Is the name of the language as stored in sys.syslanguages. This argument can be either Unicode or DBCS converted to Unicode. To specify a language in Unicode, use N'language'. If specified as a variable, the variable must be sysname.

The setting of SET LANGUAGE is set at execute or run time and not at parse time.

SET LANGUAGE implicitly sets the setting of SET DATEFORMAT.

Requires membership in the public role.

The following example sets the default language to Italian, displays the month name, and then switches back to us_english and displays the month name again.

DECLARE @Today DATETIME;
SET @Today = '12/5/2007';

SET LANGUAGE Italian;
SELECT DATENAME(month, @Today) AS 'Month Name';

SET LANGUAGE us_english;
SELECT DATENAME(month, @Today) AS 'Month Name' ;
GO
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