Re: Recent changes to i18n standards

Date: Fri Aug 23 2002 - 16:31:44 EDT

On 08/23/2002 04:54:58 AM "Doug Ewell" wrote:

>For those who like to keep up on such things, there have been recent
>changes to the code lists of two important standards related to
>internationalization -- ISO 639 (language codes) and ISO 3166-2 (codes
>for country subdivisions).

In addition to the two new code elements in ISO 639-2, there's another
development of interest in relation to language coding: ISO/TC 37 has
begun working toward development of a new part to this standard, to be
designated ISO 639-3, that will provide 3-letter identifiers for all known
languages. The relationship to part 2 will be that this the
individual-language code elements in part 2 will be a subset of part 3
(part 2 will continue to have collective-language identifiers but part 3 will
not). The reason for the subsetting relationship of part 2 to part 3
(rather than just adding a bunch of things to part 2) is that some user
communities (e.g. bibliographers) have indicated a need to restrict
individual-language identifiers to only developed languages with
significant bodies of literature. I'm anticipating a time frame of about
one year for this to be completed (assuming the process goes smoothly).

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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