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Criteria for ISO 639-1
The following criteria for defining new languages in ISO 639-1 has been
established by the ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee.
- Relation to ISO 639-2. Since ISO 639-1 is to remain a subset
of ISO 639-2, it must first satisfy the requirements for ISO 639-2 and
also satisfy the following.
- a significant body of existing documents (specialized texts, such
as college or university textbooks, technical documentation manuals,
specialized journals, subject-field related books, etc.) written
in specialized languages
- a number of existing terminologies in various subject fields (e.g.
technical dictionaries, specialized glossaries, vocabularies, etc.
in printed or electronic form)
- Recommendation.A recommendation and support of a specialized
authority (such as a standards organization, governmental body, linguistic
institution, or cultural organization)
- Other considerations
- the number of speakers of the language community
- the recognized status of the language in one or more countries
- the support of the request by one or more official bodies
- Collective codes. ISO 639-1 does not use collective codes.
If these are necessary the alpha-3 code shall be used.
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