Retired 639-3 codes

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Dec 11 15:38:13 CET 2009

Gerard Meijssen <gerard dot meijssen at openprogress dot org> wrote:

> There are several reasons why the Wikipedias do not conform to the 
> IETF language tags. The first one was that at first the community 
> could and did ask for a Wikipedia in a language that was not 
> recognised and often still is not recognised in any way. When you 
> couple this to the insistance that "own" codes could be made up, you 
> will realise that this resulted in a fine mess. The second reason was 
> that the time it took for the IETF to recognise the ISO-639-3 was 
> considered too long. The existing language policy requires an 
> ISO-639-3 code. When people want to have a Wikipedia for instance in 
> Latgalian, they have to ask for it and, they do.

There's no reason they couldn't have followed the rules of BCP 47, at 
least, and created private-use tags beginning with "x-" with subtags not 
exceeding 8 letters.

"roa-tara" and "zh-classical" are not ISO 639-3 code elements, so that 
argument doesn't work here.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­ 

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list