Question on ISO-639:1988

Peter Constable petercon at
Tue Jun 8 15:04:34 CEST 2004

> From: Lee Gillam [mailto:l.gillam at]

> > A summary statement of need for ISO 639-3 was included in the NWIP.
> The NWIP statement was, IMO, a bit vague in respect of users, use
> and the like:

Admittedly. The working group were all in consensus on the reality of
the need for more complete coverage at levels of granularity comparable
to what already existed, so, as I said, there was no request for
anything more, either within the WG or the SC.

> > - ISO 639-3 is to be simply an extension of ISO 639-2.
> >
> > - It uses exactly the same mechanisms (alpha-3).
> I have been wondering how we will know whether an alpha-3 comes from
> or 639-3 if the mechanisms are the same?

>From published code tables: the ISO 639-3 code table will include
entries not found in the ISO 639-2 code table. It is up to users of the
standards to decide whether the scope of their interests is satisfied by
ISO 639-2, or requires the larger set in ISO 639-3.

> Would this question not also be relevant to what is being supported in
> RFC 3066? Perhaps there is an answer somewhere already?

It can be determined that the set in ISO 639-3 is or isn't in scope for
a successor to RFC 3066, though I suspect there is near consensus on
this list that it would be in scope and should be included.

Peter Constable

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