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Internationalization Policy


When listing countries or other geographic areas in documentation, menus, mirror/FTP lists, or other contexts, it is important to introduce such lists as "Countries or Regions" so that an implied sovereignty claim is neither made nor denied to those regions which have their own top level domains.

The ISO 3166 country codes do not necessarily refer to nation-states (e.g. Hong Kong) and should not be treated as such. Likewise the "official" ISO 3166 short English names for those countries and regions which have top level domains are in some cases controversial, and not all of them are commonly used in the software industry.

We follow the guidelines used by IBM, Microsoft, Google, and other prominent software companies in their documentation in that Taiwan should never be included with a distinction referring to the Republic of China, People's Republic of China, or a national flag. Interpretation of the word "Taiwan" is in the eye of the beholder, and The FreeBSD Project does not endorse any particular position.


  1. IBM Localization guidelines