proposed ISO 639 change for "arn"

Gordon P. Hemsley gphemsley at
Mon Dec 10 20:50:02 CET 2012

On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM, Peter Constable
<petercon at> wrote:
> A proposal has been made to the ISO 639-RA/JAC to make changes for
> Mapudungun. This is currently coded as “arn”. The problem is that that ID
> was derived from an exonym that is considered offensive by some/all of the
> language community.
> “arn” has been coded in 639-2 since its inception in 1998, and was used in
> MARC before that. What has brought this issue up at this time is, IIUC, that
> members of the language community want to start creating Wikipedia content
> and, since Wikipedia uses ISO 639 IDs in domain names, that would entail
> using “arn” in the domain name for all such content.
> Two proposals have been floated. Both involve creating a new ID for
> Mapudungun (let’s call it “mxx”); they differ in their treatment of “arn”.
> -          Change the scope of “arn” to macrolanguage, encompassing
> Mapudungun (mxx) and Huilliche (huh)
> -          Change the scope of “arn” to language group (it would get added
> to ISO 639-5 as a result, and technically should be removed from ISO 639-3
> as out of scope)

Why not just deprecate the code and issue a new one? Isn't there
precedence for that?

Gordon P. Hemsley
me at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list