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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.


Announcement: 2016 series Change Requests Comment Period

The 2016 series change requests have been processed and are posted for review. The comment period will last from now until December 15, 2016. You are invited to submit a comment on any change request, either in support of or in opposition to its proposed changes (as a whole or as individual changes). Please email any comments about the proposed changes to the Registration Authority at .

Click here to view proposed changes for 2016.

New change requests can be submitted to the ISO 639-3 Registration Authority for inclusion in the 2017 series requests. Click here to find the forms for submitting a change for 2017.


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

E-mail:
Phone: +1 972 708 7575