Available three-letter subtags (was: Re: Applying for a common Moroccan Amazigh subtag)

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Mon Jan 17 19:30:21 CET 2011

I wrote:

>>> http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=xxx
> Technically, the relationship is not to Ethnologue codes, but to ISO
> 639-3 code elements, although I know these are kept in sync by policy.
> Ethnologue's site does include vestigial pages for constructed and
> historic languages which are actually standardized via Linguist List.
> I would argue that the best URL to check for availability is:
> http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/documentation.asp?id=xxx

Actually, there is an even better reason to use the ISO 639-3 link
instead of the Ethnologue link.  ISO 639-3 lists code elements for
language collections that are assigned in 639-5 (some of which are also
in 639-2) but not 639-3.  Ethnologue does not include these entries.  To
test this, do a search for 'aqa' ("Alacalufan languages"):

http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=aqa  (fails)

http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/documentation.asp?id=aqa  (succeeds)

Ethnologue continues to be an outstanding resource for detailed
information on the languages it does cover, a set which represents the
vast majority of language subtags in the LSR -- just not for determining
which three-letter combinations are available.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | http://www.ewellic.org
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | ietf-languages @ is dot gd slash 2kf0s ­

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