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What is the actual issue you want to solve? What is your application doing? On which operating system? If it is a matter of internationalization, e.g. adapting your software to give messages in various human languages, most operating systems provide a framework for that. On Linux and Posix systems, you can use the locale(7) infrastructure. If you goal is ...


If you know what language you want before the lookup, it's going to be faster to search one small language-specific table than a huge universal table with lots of languages. Option 2 gets my vote!

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