Language Identifier List Criteria

Georg Schweizer gschweizer at
Mon Dec 20 21:16:13 CET 2004

> Some languages are spoken in many countries, and the language is not 
> distinctive in each country. I have started to accept suggestions as 
> to which language-region codes do not represent a distinct language 
> variation, and therefore are not recommended as tags, without good 
> reason.

The criteria should be political rather than linguistic ones, as both 
the ISO 639 language tags and the ISO 3166 country codes are based on 
political agreement. Therefore I would not speak of "distict language 
variations", but of distinct *official standards* (or at least distinct 
conventions). Variations can be found everywhere (even within one 
political region), whereas the same conventions can be followed by 
several countries.

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