Consolidated List of Language Codes
As part of a larger project, we have compiled a list of language codes.
The USMARC list of three letter codes is not currently in use in Germany,
and not known very much either. Therefore, we combined the USMARC list
with the German standard list of two-letter codes to show where they
overlap and which codes are missing in one of the lists.
The consolidated list contains:
- all languages in the USMARC list and, in addition
- all of those in the German lists (more than one version is in use)
- those languages that are official in some part of the world
- those that are spoken by more than a million people.
For the latter two criteria, the list is most probably not 100% reliable,
but that would be hard to achieve.
Below, you see the first 20 lines of this new list. The complete list can be
obtained by FTP (see below). It contains all diacritics.
The list is arranged in 4 columns:
USMARC language code (3 letters, those languages found on the German
lists only have been given a provisional 4 letter code)
German code: 2 letters, those with a + are provisional and used in
the Pica system only, not by the Deutsche Bibliothek
Many USMARC codes have no match here.
Millions of people speaking the language (not in all entries)
(A 0 means there are definitely fewer than 1 Million, in some
cases only a few hundred.)
Name of the language (= German name) <Original name> [Area]
References are contained of other names used in the
literature, and the vernacular names. The main entry is
under the name used in the LC/USMARC list.
Abaluhyia, Abaluyia --> Luhya
abkh ab Abkhasian (= Abchasisch) [North Caucasus]
ace 3 Achinese (= Aceh-Sprache) [Indonesia]
ach 2 Acoli (= Acholi) [Uganda]
ada Adangme (= Adanme) [Ghana]
afar aa 1 Afar [Ethiopia]
afh Afrihili (Artificial language)
afr af 10 Afrikaans [*South Africa]
afa Afro-Asiatic (Other) (= Hamitosemititsche Sprachen)
Agikuyu --> Kikuyu
ainu ai+ 0 Ainu (= Ainu-Sprache) [Kamtschatka, Japan]
aka 6 Akan (= Akan-Sprache) [Ghana]
Akikuyu --> Kikuyu
akk Akkadian (= Akkadisch) [Mesopotamia]
Akkra --> G~a
alb sq 5 Albanian (= Albanisch) <Shqip; Tosk; Geg> [*Albania, Balkan Europe]
ale Aleut (= Aleutisch)
alg al+ Algonquian languages (= Algonkin-Sprachen) [North America]
ajm Aljamia (= Aljamia) [Spain (Spanish in arab. Script)]
alta tu+ Altaic (= Altaisch) <Altaj> [Altai mountains]
The whole list is 790 lines long and contains 430 languages, the additional
lines are references. The list was very carefully researched and contains
many reference forms, in addition to the German names which were copied
from the Subject Headings authorities of the Deutsche Bibliothek.
This is how you get the complete list:
<your e-mail address>
Copy LANGUAGE.EXE to any directory on your PC, then start it. After it
has unwrapped itself, say "lang". Now you see the list and how to
use it (F1 for help).
The README file that comes with the package is in German. It contains
a few references as to the sources used to compile the list.
Comments and suggestions welcome.