Re: ISO 15924 and ISO 639

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2007 - 16:47:50 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: ISO 15924 and ISO 639"

    Florence Chan asked:

    > How can I find out which language a script code belongs to?

    Well, technically, you can't. Script codes don't "belong to"

    The way to put it is: For a given language, what script (or
    scripts) is it (typically) written in.

    > For example,
    > The script code "Hans" has a description of "Han (Simplified variant)".
    > How can I tell this script is part of the "Chinese" language?

    Simplified Han isn't "part of" the Chinese language. Instead,
    Simplified Han is a set of orthographic conventions for using
    the Han script, and those particular orthographic conventions
    are made use of primarily in the PRC and in Singapore -- for
    writing Chinese.

    > Has any of you done any manual work to map the Script code to the
    > Language code?

    I think what you are looking for is this:

    That isn't exhaustive, of course. The Latin script is used
    to write *thousands* of languages -- not just the ones listed
    in that table. But it will give you a guide to the usage
    of scripts for many languages.

    You could extrapolate from that table to do some mapping
    between ISO 15924 script codes and ISO 639 language codes,
    if you wanted -- but don't expect for there to be any
    definitive mapping. This is because ISO 15924 script codes
    are bibliographic codes, and contain codes for things which
    aren't actually scripts in the sense used by the Unicode
    Standard. And ISO 639 language codes contain codes for
    "things" other than languages, as well.


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