ISO 639-3 2011 changes: introduction

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Jul 27 21:02:43 CEST 2012

The latest round of primary and extended language subtag registrations 
based on ISO 639-3 changes is finally ready for review. These 
registrations are based on the ISO 639-3 2011 series of change requests, 
which were published in February 2012.

Although there were some hiccups on the ISO 639-3 side in the first few 
weeks following publication, the vast majority of the delay in 
processing these requests has been due to conflicting priorities on my 
part. I hope the 5-month delay has not caused excessive hardship for 
people waiting to use the new subtags.

The proposed records and registration forms will be sent to this list in 
three subsequent messages: one for new subtags, one for updates, and one 
for deprecations.

There are 180 registrations in all: 99 for new subtags, 53 for updates 
to existing subtags, and 28 to deprecate existing subtags. Two of the 
new registrations are for extended language (extlang) subtags, for sign 

Although ISO 639-3 has converted the existing code elements for Nepali 
and Oriya into macrolanguages, and added new code elements for Nepali 
proper and Oriya proper (and the other two encompassed languages), no 
proposals are presented here to add Nepali and Oriya to the list of 
macrolanguages whose encompassed languages get extlang subtags 
(currently 8, epitomized by Chinese and Arabic). This can be discussed 
on the list, and proposals added, if desired. As a note, two years ago 
we did this for Latvian, and the resulting discussion carried on for 

Please review these proposals and make comments to the list. If you are 
commenting on a particular subtag, please change the Subject line to 
indicate the specific subtag or language (not just "Re: ISO 639-3 2011 
changes: new subtags").


Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­ 

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