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ISO 639-3

This is the home page for Part 3 of the ISO 639 family of standards, Codes for the representation of names of languages. ISO 639-3 attempts to provide as complete an enumeration of languages as possible, including living, extinct, ancient, and constructed languages, whether major or minor, written or unwritten.

2016 Annual Changes Posted

Here is a summary of requested changes:

Altogether 40 requests were considered, recommending 50 explicit changes in the code set. All but four of them have been decided: 11 have been rejected and 25 have been fully approved. One is waiting for additional information and three are waiting for additional input on criteria before a decision can be made.

The explicit changes can be analyzed as follows:

The history of any change request may be viewed on its documentation page of the pattern:
Likewise, the history of any code element may be viewed on its documentation page of the pattern:

Change Requests for the 2017 cycle are now being accepted. Submit Change Request forms by email to the Registration Authority at .

ISO 639-3 is a code that aims to define three-letter identifiers for all known human languages. At the core of ISO 639-3 are the individual languages already accounted for in ISO 639-2. The large number of living languages in the initial inventory of ISO 639-3 beyond those already included in ISO 639-2 was derived primarily from Ethnologue (15th edition). Additional extinct, ancient, historic, and constructed languages have been obtained from Linguist List.

SIL International has been designated as the ISO 639-3/RA for the purpose of processing requests for alpha-3 language codes comprising the International Standard, Codes for the representation of names of languages - Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages. The ISO 639-3/RA receives and reviews applications for requesting new language codes and for the change of existing ones according to criteria indicated in the standard. It maintains an accurate list of information associated with registered language codes which can be viewed on or downloaded from this website, and processes updates of registered language codes. Notification of pending and adopted updates are also distributed on a regular basis to subscribers and other parties.

This is the official site of the ISO 639-3 Registration Authority and thus is the only one authorized by ISO. If you have questions concerning ISO 639-3 please contact us at:

SIL International
ISO 639-3 Registrar
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd.
Dallas, TX 75236

Phone: +1 972 708 7575