Talk:List of ISO 639-3 codes

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Table headings?[edit]

It's nice to have the table of languages in the article. But could someone plesae supply it with the column headings? As it is, it seems a bit hard to interpret.... --Alvestrand 21:06, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I will attempt to do that - however adding any markup or turning it into a proper table will make this article nearly impossible to load and scroll Iancarter 22:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Table List Todo[edit]

  • add native name / translations to the list
  • link to language articles
  • discuss splitting into 5 subpages : A-Z (complete), A-G, H-N, O-U, V-Z
I would like to see a complete table somewhere with translations in all major languages. Iancarter 22:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


....list is too long. IMO better split into 26 (a,b,c...) pages. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 02:20, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

well - i would like to see some kind of complete list somewhere. but you are right - once more translations come in it will be nearly impossible to load. I will start creating subpages A-Z and a "complete" page as well as various subsets based on the different properties. is there a way to "include" other pages in wiki? that would be handy - otherwise i will appoint/dedicate myself to keeping the various sets synchronized.

  • Table head is wrong: ISO 693-3 (T) ISO 693-2 (2) ISO 693-2 (B)
  • whats wrong with them (oh and i moved them into a template)? ISO 693-3 is effectively ISO 693-2/T and the rest is taken from []. You might have noticed that there are some codes in the list that are not technically in 3 (mostly the collections and families) but are reserved/left out. whenever i come across one of these I include them in the list and highlight the row with the red Template:ISO639COL. (to defuse future criticism, this is NOC because it just includes and marks something from 693-2 that is officially not in 693-3)--Iancarter 07:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. 693 != 639
  2. 639-3 != 639-2T
  3. 639-2 should be 639-1
  4. I don't know your sources, but ISO 639:aaa is missing. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 10:12, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Lol 693 != 639 ups, that is what happens when wiki takes away sleep time (corrected); 639-3 != 639-2T (3 is based on 2(T) the header is just a shortcut for "ISO 639-3 / ISO 639-2 (T)"); ISO 693 mentions 639-2; my base source was the SIL.ORG list and LOC.GOV. might have missed that one during copy paste. If you find stuff like that just add it. Iancarter 10:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't add by hand, because you have the database and auto-generate lists. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 10:42, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Nope, that would be completely unwiki-ish, my db (and I) sync with the current lists (I hope that some "natives" start adding their languages) - watching all of them.
ok didn't knew. Can you link all the codes in the first columne to the redirects? 639-2 corrected to 639-1. esp corrected to spa. The table with deu,zho,spa in the head makes the table to wide on my screen. Please drop the columnes. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 10:54, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
suggestion: make only one column for codes and note somewhere else what kind of code something is. Whether 639-2, 639-3. Maybe mark 639-2 B codes (only 24) - don't make a col for 24 entries. drop the 639-1 codes. IMO these few 639-1 codes can have their own list. List of ISO 639-1 codes. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 10:40, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
  • please delete the foreign langs.
  • please delete the B column. It is wrong and has only around 24 entries. these should go into first columne.
  • how about linking the codes in the first columne? [[ISO 639:eng|eng]]
  • maybe delete the 639-1 columne too, it has only 136 entries.
  • can you create a 639-1 list, including 639-3 codes? this could be a transition table for wikipedia-babel, if wp wants to use 639-3 one day. -- Tobias Conradi (Talk) 21:31, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Can do once my external database driven listing is ready (will allow a many filtering and output options) - also want to enable editing but maybe not include the entire wiki engine. will see.


  • how about using redirects like ISO 639:deu? makes linking easier. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 17:37, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
    • implemented the redirects: Category:Redirects from ISO 639. Similiar to Category:Redirects from UN/LOCODE Tobias Conradi (Talk) 18:29, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
    • good idea - would also "standardize" the different wikis. Are administrators able to create batch files like that? I could generate the SQL for those pages - i doubt you want to do 7600 edits - also that might be spamming (wouldnt you love to limit that to major languages? ;-)). --Iancarter 08:43, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
      • Maybe we can do this by hand. Would be nice to have a matrix or list, to see which ISO 639:xyz do not exist. In some case there will not be redirects but dab pages. All the 'XYZ (Other)' would need listings or explanations. see ISO 639:art. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 10:20, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


Would one of you mind explaining to me why this is not listcruft and or a blatant violation of WP:NOT? This is going to take up an awful lot of space to have all these page on the servers.--Chaser T 04:20, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

it is not listcruft because there are various articles on languages already and many languages have own pages which will be linked from here. Wikipedia:Babel itself is concerned with migrating to ISO 693-3. Besides this is an international standard which deserves its own entry and is not indiscriminate information. Iancarter 04:48, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll trust you. If you're working with Babel, I assume you know what you're talking about. Sorry to have hassled you and thanks for the explanation.--Chaser T 05:41, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Suggest Translation Languages[edit]

  • idealy this would be a nxn matrix but regarding the extinct or exotic languages that makes neither sense nor is it practical.
  • so: lets focus on main languages and if some native speakers would like their language included they can either edit the pages directly

or send me a table (excel/html/csv/tab) containing the code and their language translation and i can use my wiki table generator to update the list.

so far I suggest the following languages:

  • english
  • spanish
  • german
  • french
  • russian
  • chinese
  • japanese
  • portuguese
  • korean
  • swedish
  • nynorsk
  • hindu
  • arabic
  • hebrew
  • dutch

Iancarter 03:09, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

don't translate. only use english. All other would be biased. what is done on meta or so is another thing. how to name the 26 lists? compare ISO 3166-2:DE which is very short and handy. could be ISO 639-3:a? Or better ISO 639:a Tobias Conradi (Talk) 20:41, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
How can translation be bias? I believe providing the translations would greatly improve the reference and resource character of the pages. The pages should contain all major languages or if someone is willing and able to translate it in other languages go ahead. I have created subpages using a slash not a colon List_of_ISO_639-3_codes/a (but if that is some kind of standard that would be easy to move). In fact - you are right again - i will move them to your suggestion.
what is major what not? the only major language on english WP is english. In a csv file we should have lot's of languages. Very good idea, i like this. But in the lists here: use english only. (and maybe french, since this is officially used in the 639-2 standard. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 17:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
well - i am looking at this from the perspective of creating a central point of reference and cross reference for languages on wikipedia. You are right, the discussions on List of languages by number of native speakers shows that there is controversy. I would (and by doing so make myself target of flaming) define "major languages" by numbers of speakers (native and educated) AND by access to technology, literature and global commerce AND availability of wikipedians. I expect some criticism of this because it is not NPOV in a broad sense but implementation of such a grand list requires some policies and limitations.
  • The obvious and least controversial would be to use english and native only - but then again some of the quality and usefulness would suffer. List of common phrases in various languages is an article that attempts something similar.
  • Another would be to start a major project across wikis that sync layout and access (decentralization is a mess to maintain and watch).
  • my suggestion: look at WIKIPEDIA.ORG top to bottom, or in other words

The size of its wiki determines if a language is major or not. ;-) --Iancarter 07:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd suggest using only English, native, and something along the lines of 'name used in national majority language'. The latter would however cause a lot of arguments. So may be 'other commonly used names'. Another point is that many minority languages will not have distinctive names in many languages, reducing the usefulness of such a list. And widely spoken languages, which may have variable names, should have their own wikipedia articles, where one might discover the other names. --Drmaik 08:26, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
what is a "variable name" (there should be one main one no?!), I agree that minority languages should remain outside of this.
By variable name I'm referring to a language like German, which is called all sorts of very different things in different languages... But Babungo language, for example, will be called much the same by everyone, apart from perhaps themselves and near neighbours. --Drmaik 10:58, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I have thought of a solution that might solve this: I am creating a template Template:ISO639 which will take the various translations of a language but might only display some of them (and if its only english and native - the wikisource will contain all). The template will also reduce the size and increase flexibility. Iancarter 10:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
    • move all non-english non-native non-local out. enWP is not responsible for storing meta-ralated data. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 12:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
      • waaa, nobody likes my massive centralization concept (must be something American ;-) ), I will see if I can publish the centralized data outside of wikipedia (on one of my sites) and then offer "generated" code to the various language ISO639-wiki-project-managers... if that makes sense at all... or start a "" or better "" site... time to get some sleep.

Intro section?[edit]

It'd be nice if there was an intro section explaining what ISO is, briefly, and what all those codes are. I got to this page by clicking Random article, and this was, in fact, pretty random. Cheers. --Fang Aili talk 15:15, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Fang, thx for your comment. I wikified the nav-header, hoping this helps at least a little [1] Tobias Conradi (Talk) 16:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Links to articles[edit]

Where there exists an article on a given language, it would be nice if the English translation linked to that article. -- Beland 06:10, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, actually it makes more sense for the English translation to link to the article rather than the three letter code. The code represents the language of course, but it also simply represents the code as an entity in itself. The language name in the eng section might be better for the links. You could even extend that to have the names in other languages link to the articles in other Wikipedias. That way the table could be copied to other Wikipedias for their use (with only the headers needing to be changed) - Parsa 22:29, 14 January 2007 (UTC).

Scanian (scy)[edit]

Shouldn't this list also include Scanian (scy)? [2] /Jiiimbooh 14:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Definition of color codes[edit]

Can the pages of the list have a definition of the color coding? I get that they represent macrolanguages and such, but it's not really obvious. - Parsa 06:04, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


The SIL pages don't specifically say fry represents the generic language group "Frisian". The ISO 639-3 page says Western Frisian is fry. However, the Ethnologue page for West Frisian has fri. SIL's list for "f" language codes does not have fri at all. - Parsa 01:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I received emails from SIL and the Ethnologue editor. The change made in the ISO 639-3 codes was made after Ethnologue 5 was published. They said they would make the change of Western Frisian to fry. - Parsa 06:08, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Removing the codes?[edit]

Any objections if I remove the codes from this page? They just link to anchors in ISO 639:a etc., which is facilitated by the navigation bar at the top, and they are a nuisance to maintain. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 20:17, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

New additions for 2011[edit] -- Evertype· 23:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Add new link for FULL content[edit]

I would like to see a link that can show ALL of ISO 639-3 codes. I just need the "3-letter code" and "full name" fields in the table, no need for local translations that make the table too complex and slow to load. When I see "list" I'm expecting a FULL list - and not like this, which is separated/scattered to alphabetical groups, that would take lightyears to load and save them all for my documentation.

And thank you whoever you are good people for making this list, it just need a minor update that should be exist in the 1st place: "The goddamn most-wanted FULL LIST of ISO 639-3 (sorted alphabetically by alphabet-grouping, in ascending order) and its link located in here." --[Ois1974 @ 2014-03-29 Sat]-- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)