Analysis of ISO 639 and mappings to SIL Ethnologue
Wed, 13 Feb 2002 16:58:53 -0600

[apologies in advance to those who receive this multiple times]

In connection to work that Gary Simons and I have been doing in 
interaction with ISO/TC 37/SC 2/WG 1, we have added some new pages to the 
Ethnologue web site that present an analysis we have done of the existing 
ISO 639 language codes together with a proposed mapping of those codes to 
entries in the SIL Ethnologue. Here are some relevant URLs:

- -- entry point and intro (the 
following pages can be reached via links from this page)

- -- a table of current ISO 639 
codes, with links for each code to a report showing our proposed mapping 
to Ethnologue entries

- -- our analysis of ISO 639 

- -- a paper 
describing the principles by which we derived our proposed mapping and 
some issues that arise from the analysis (this is the paper I presented at 
IUC 20)

- -- information on the codes used in the 
Ethnologue, with links to downloadable files containing core language data 
from the Ethnologue

>From the first page mentioned above, you will find links to downlodable 
files containing the mapping data.

It should be noted that our analysis and proposed mapping have not been 
approved by ISO, though they are being given consideration. Some of the 
principles we adopted in deciding on mappings may turn out to be different 
from what ISO would want to adopt. We adopted those principles based on 
our understanding of what would best suit the interests of TC 37 (though 
not necessarily TC 46 -- due mainly to the circumstance of which committee 
we happened to be interacting with), and viewed them as a proposal for ISO 
to consider and revise as might be needed.

- 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: <>