ISO 639-1

Last updated
Find a language
Enter an ISO 639-1 code to find the corresponding language article

ISO 639-1:2002, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 1: Alpha-2 code, is the first part of the ISO 639 series of international standards for language codes. Part 1 covers the registration of two-letter codes. There are 184 two-letter codes registered as of December 2018. The registered codes cover the world's major languages.

Contents

These codes are a useful international and formal shorthand for indicating languages.

Examples of ISO 639-1 codes
CodeISO 639-1 language name Endonym
EnglishFrenchGerman
en English anglaisEnglischEnglish
es Spanish espagnolSpanischespañol
pt Portuguese portugaisPortugiesischportuguês
zh Chinese chinoisChinesisch中文, Zhōngwén

Many multilingual web sites—such as Wikipedia—use these codes to prefix URLs of specific language versions of their web sites: for example, en.Wikipedia.org is the English version of Wikipedia. See also IETF language tag. (Two-letter country-specific top-level-domain code suffixes are often different from these language-tag prefixes).

ISO 639, the original standard for language codes, was approved in 1967. It was split into parts, and in 2002 ISO 639-1 became the new revision of the original standard. The last code added was ht, representing Haitian Creole on 2003-02-26. The use of the standard was encouraged by IETF language tags, introduced in RFC 1766 in March 1995, and continued by RFC 3066 from January 2001 and RFC 4646 from September 2006. The current version is RFC 5646 from September 2009. Infoterm (International Information Center for Terminology) is the registration authority for ISO 639-1 codes.

New ISO 639-1 codes are not added if an ISO 639-2 code exists, so systems that use ISO 639-1 and 639-2 codes, with 639-1 codes preferred, do not have to change existing codes. [1]

If an ISO 639-2 code that covers a group of languages is used, it might be overridden for some specific languages by a new ISO 639-1 code.

ISO 639-1 codes added after RFC publication in January 2001
ISO 639-1ISO 639-2NameDate addedPreviously covered by
ioido Ido 2002-01-15 [2] art
wawln Walloon 2002-01-29 [3] roa
lilim Limburgish 2002-08-02 [4] gem
iiiii Sichuan Yi 2002-10-14 [5] sit
anarg Aragonese 2002-12-23 [6] roa
hthat Haitian Creole 2003-02-26 [7] cpf

There is no specification on treatment of macrolanguages (see ISO 639-3).

See also

Related Research Articles

Country code alphabetic or numeric geographical codes that represent countries and dependent areas

Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this. The term country code frequently refers to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 or international dialing codes, the E.164 country calling codes.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

ISO 639 is a set of standards by the International Organization for Standardization that is concerned with representation of names for languages and language groups.

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 RFCtwo-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. They are the most widely used of the country codes published by ISO, and are used most prominently for the Internet's country code top-level domains. They are also used as country identifiers extending the postal code when appropriate within the international postal system for paper mail, and has replaced the previous one consisting one-letter codes. They were first included as part of the ISO 3166 standard in its first edition in 1974.

ISO 639-2:1998, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code, is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 487 entries in the list of ISO 639-2 codes.

ISO 15924, Codes for the representation of names of scripts, defines two sets of codes for a number of writing systems (scripts). Each script is given both a four-letter code and a numeric one. Script is defined as "set of graphic characters used for the written form of one or more languages".

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory identified with a country code.

Registration authorities exist for many standards organizations, such as ANNA, the Object Management Group, W3C, IEEE and others. In general, registration authorities all perform a similar function, in promoting the use of a particular standard through facilitating its use. This may be by applying the standard, where appropriate, or by verifying that a particular application satisfies the standard's tenants. Maintenance agencies, in contrast, may change an element in a standard based on set rules – such as the creation or change of a currency code when a currency is created or revalued. The Object Management Group has an additional concept of certified provider, which is deemed an entity permitted to perform some functions on behalf of the registration authority, under specific processes and procedures documented within the standard for such a role.

The International Standard Identifier for Libraries and Related Organisations (ISIL), ISO 15511, assigns unique identifiers to libraries and related organisations, such as archives and museums.

ISO 639-3:2007, Codes for the representation of names of languages – Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages, is an international standard for language codes in the ISO 639 series. It defines three-letter codes for identifying languages. The standard was published by ISO on 1 February 2007.

ISO 639-5:2008 "Codes for the representation of names of languages—Part 5: Alpha-3 code for language families and groups" is a highly incomplete international standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It was developed by ISO Technical Committee 37, Subcommittee 2, and first published on May 15, 2008. It is part of the ISO 639 series of standards.

ISO 639-6, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 6: Alpha-4 code for comprehensive coverage of language variants, was a proposed international standard in the ISO 639 series, developed by ISO/TC 37/SC 2. It contained four-letter codes that denote variants of languages and language families. This allowed one to differentiate between, for example, historical (glvx) versus revived (rvmx) Manx, while ISO 639-3 only includes glv for Manx.

Language localisation is the process of adapting a product's translation to a specific country or region. It is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalisation and localisation.

An IETF BCP 47 language tag is a code to identify human languages. For example, the tag en stands for English; es-419 for Latin American Spanish; rm-sursilv for Sursilvan; gsw-u-sd-chzh for Zürich German; nan-Hant-TW for Min Nan Chinese as spoken in Taiwan using traditional Han characters. To distinguish language variants for countries, regions, writing systems etc., IETF language tags combine subtags from other standards such as ISO 639, ISO 15924, ISO 3166-1, and UN M.49. The tag structure has been standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Best Current Practice (BCP) 47; the subtags are maintained by the IANA Language Subtag Registry. IETF language tags are used by computing standards such as HTTP,, HTML, XML, and PNG.

This page lists published lists of languages.

This is a list of ISO 639 codes and IETF language tags for individual constructed languages, complete as of April 2019.

Southern Min Wikipedia edition of the free-content encyclopedia

The Southern Min Wikipedia or Holopedia is the Southern Min edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It is the second largest Wikipedia in a variety of Chinese. Written in Pe̍h-ōe-jī, it mainly uses the Hokkien Taiwanese dialect. As of November 2016, it has over 200,000 articles.

References

  1. ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee - Working principles for ISO 639 maintenance
  2. "ISO639-1 Languages: Ido". Library of Congress.
  3. "ISO639-1 Languages: Walloon". Library of Congress.
  4. "ISO639-1 Languages: Limburgan". Library of Congress.
  5. "ISO639-1 Languages: Sichuan Yi". Library of Congress.
  6. "ISO639-1 Languages: Aragonese". Library of Congress.
  7. "ISO639-1 Languages: Haitian". Library of Congress.