ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is
a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies).
The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out
through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject
for which a technical committee has been established has the right to
be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental
and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.
ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.
International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given
in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.
The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards.
Draft International Standards adopted by the technical committees are
circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an International
Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements
of this document may be the subject of patent rights. ISO shall not be
held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.
ISO 639‑5 was prepared by Technical
Committee ISO/TC 37, Terminology and other language and content resources, Subcommittee SC 2, Terminographical and lexicographical working methods.
ISO 639 consists of the following parts, under
the general title Codes for the representation of names of languages:
Part 1: Alpha-2 code
Part 2: Alpha-3 code
Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive
coverage of languages
Part 4: Implementation guidelines
and general principles for language coding
Part 5: Alpha-3 code for language
families and groups
Part 6: Alpha-4 code for comprehensive
coverage of language variants
ISO 639 provides codes for the identification
of languages, language variants, and language groups. The identifiers
may be used to denote the language used in a text, the language of terms
or words in a dictionary or terminological database, the language used
in a spoken presentation, language capabilities of software, etc.
ISO 639-2 includes some language groups and
language families, but by no means a complete list. The purpose of the
code elements for language groups and language families in ISO 639-2 is to provide a means to register the language of a document even when
the individual language in question is not included in the code table.
This part of ISO 639 supplements the coding of language groups and language families in ISO 639-2. However, the depth and detail of coding in this part of ISO 639 is intended to support the overall language coding of the ISO 639 series of International Standards rather than provide a scientific classification
of the languages of the world.
The list of language families and groups in this part of ISO 639
will be extended and developed continuously through a defined maintenance
ISO 639-1:2002, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 1: Alpha-2 code
ISO 639-3:2007, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages
ISO 639-4: Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 4: Implementation guidelines and general principles for language coding (to be published)
The identifiers listed in this document are continuously
updated. Changes made since the initial publication of ISO 639-5: 2008
are listed in the ISO 639-5 Change Notice, which represents decisions
made by the ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee.