The Intl.Locale.prototype.collation property is an accessor property that returns the collation type for the Locale, which is used to order strings according to the locale's rules.


Collation is the process of ordering strings of characters. It is used whenever strings must be sorted and placed into a certain order, from search query results to ordering records in a database. While the idea of placing strings in order might seem trivial, the idea of order can vary from region to region and language to language. The collation property helps to make it easier for JavaScript programmers to access the collation type used by a particular locale.

Below is a table with the available collation types, taken from the Unicode collation specification.

Valid collation types

Collation Type Description
big5han Pinyin ordering for Latin, big5 charset ordering for CJK characters (used in Chinese)
compat A previous version of the ordering, for compatibility
dict Dictionary style ordering (such as in Sinhala)

The direct collation type has been deprected. Do not use.


Binary code point order (used in Hindi)
ducet The default Unicode collation element table order
emoji Recommended ordering for emoji characters
eor European ordering rules
gb2312 Pinyin ordering for Latin, gb2312han charset ordering for CJK characters (used in Chinese)
phonebk Phonebook style ordering (such as in German)
phonetic Phonetic ordering (sorting based on pronunciation)
pinyin Pinyin ordering for Latin and for CJK characters (used in Chinese)
reformed Reformed ordering (such as in Swedish)
search Special collation type for string search
searchjl Special collation type for Korean initial consonant search
standard Default ordering for each language
stroke Pinyin ordering for Latin, stroke order for CJK characters (used in Chinese)
trad Traditional style ordering (such as in Spanish)
unihan Pinyin ordering for Latin, Unihan radical-stroke ordering for CJK characters (used in Chinese)

Pinyin ordering for Latin, zhuyin order for Bopomofo and CJK characters (used in Chinese)


Like other locale subtags, the collation type can be added to the Intl.Locale object via the locale string, or a configuration object argument to the constructor.

Adding a collation type via the locale string

In the Unicode locale string spec, collation types are locale key "extension subtags". These subtags add additional data about the locale, and are added to locale identifiers by using the -u extension. Thus, the collation type can be added to the initial locale identifier string that is passed into the Locale constructor. To add the collation type, first add the -u extension to the string. Next, add the -co extension to indicate that you are adding a collation type. Finally, add the collation to the string.

let stringColl = new Intl.Locale("en-Latn-US-u-co-emoji");
console.log(stringColl.collation); // Prints "emoji"

Adding a collation type via the configuration object argument

The Intl.Locale constructor has an optional configuration object argument, which can contain any of several extension types, including collation types. Set the collation property of the configuration object to your desired collation type, and then pass it into the constructor.

let configColl = new Intl.Locale("en-Latn-US", {collation: "emoji"});
console.log(configColl.collation); // Prints "emoji"


ECMAScript Internationalization API (ECMA-402)

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also