3-letter codes (Re: What are the codes for Konkani?)

From: John Clews (10646er@sesame.demon.co.uk)
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 19:59:39 EST

Brendan Murray <brendan_murray@lotus.com> asked via the "Unicode
List" <unicode@unicode.org> on Wednesday, 8 Dec 1999:

> What are the codes for Konkani?
> The USMARC language identifiers have Konkani listed as "kok", but I
> can't find any ISO-639 identifier. Anyone know what the 2-char
> language code is?

There is not always a one to one mapping, although often MARC codes
and ISO 639-2/B codes have been alligned. In a recent posting to
<iso639@dkuug.dk>, which covers language codes, I indicated that
several 3-letter codes are in use, but not all currently relate to
each other, and there are some conflicting uses, particularly if
Ethnologue codes are added to the equation.

There is a Joint Advisory Committee for ISO 639, one of whose roles
is to ensure compatiblilty between different codes, and some work has
already been done in harmonising USMARC (or LC - Library of Congress)
codes with ISO 639-2/B.

The information below, which includes Ethnologue codes too, gives
some idea of the current complexity of the situation, just taking
into account the languages begining with "Ko..." in English, and
ignoring dialects, alternative names, creoles, spoken languages and
sign languages, which are also listed by Ethnologue.

There are different entities in each code list, though ISO 639-2/B
and USMARC/LC codes are most consistent with each other.

The examples below also, inevitably, include Konkani.

 ETH LC B3 T3 ISO 639-1 (ETH: Ethnologue; LC: Lib of Congress)
                                  (B3: ISO 639-2/B; T3: ISO 639-2/T)
 --- --- kom --- (kv) Komi
 koi --- --- --- -- Komi-Permyak
 kpv --- --- --- -- Komi-Zyrian
 kon --- kon --- kg Kongo (Kongo, Zaire assumed)
 kwy --- --- --- -- Kongo ("Kongo, San Salvador" in Zaire)
 knk --- kok --- -- Konkani (India)
 gom --- --- --- -- Konkani (Goanese; India and Kenya)
 kkn kor kor kor ko Korean
 ksi kos Kosraean

Apologies in advance for any errors. Most LC/USMARC codes now match
ISO 639-2/B codes, and I may have been inconsistent in not explicitly
noting enough LC/USMARC codes here.

For further information, it may be useful for you to contact the new
Chair of the Joint Advisory Committee for ISO 639, Rebecca Guenther
<rgue@loc.gov> at the Library of Congress, and/or subscribe to

Best regards

John Clews

John Clews, SESAME Computer Projects, 8 Avenue Rd, Harrogate, HG2 7PG
tel: 0171 412 7826 (day); 0171 272 8397 (evening); 01423 888 432 (w/e)
Email: Language@sesame.demon.co.uk

Committee Chair of ISO/TC46/SC2: Conversion of Written Languages; Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization; Committee Member of CEN/TC304: Information and Communications Technologies: European Localization Requirements Committee Member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages; Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC2: Coded Character Sets

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