All I wanted to know was approximately how many entries are expected--
to compare it to the other ISO 639 standards. But perhaps that is
impossible at this point.


>>> Håvard Hjulstad <[log in to unmask]> 1/5/2010 7:13 AM >>>
Dear all,

I agree that the Linguasphere Registry still is an important source for
language information. I also find the document that Mr Lang circulated
quite interesting indeed.

However, the ISO 639-6 site is That
is the only official source for ISO 639-6 data. (Hopefully, also this
repository will be merged with the rest of ISO 639 into the ISO Concept
Database in due course.) If you enter through the Geolang home page
( and select "ISO 639-6" you will get the page, which is a different page. I am
sure the ISO 639-6 Registration Authority will fix this.

I don't see any way to find out how many entries there are in the

Best regards,

Håvard Hjulstad
  (prosjektleder / Project Manager)
  Standard Norge / Standards Norway
  [log in to unmask] 

-----Opprinnelig melding-----
Fra: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] På vegne
av Lang Gérard
Sendt: 5. januar 2010 09:09
Til: [log in to unmask] 
Emne: Re: ISO 639-6 is available

Dear Rebecca,
Let me wish you a happy new year.
In fact, the written available version of ISO 639-6, First edition,
200-12-01, contains strictly no official list of alpha-4 ISO 639-6 code
Only Annex A (informative)  "Example data"  gives a Table
A.1-Nilo-Saharan (part) Saharan (part-exemple data only) containing 56
alpha-4 code elements, each given with an alpha-4 "parent identifier"
and a "Language reference name".
The standard also writes that "at the time of the present publication
of this part of ISO 639, the ISO 639-6 Registration Authority (ISO
639-6/RA) is held by:
Geolang Ltd,
 the URL of the website is".
ISO 639-6's clause 8 "Administration of code assignments" writes that
"the allocation of alpha-4 identifiers shall be administered by the ISO
639-6 Registration Authority".
It is nowhere explicitely written inside this standard, but it is
natural to think that the web site for the ISO 639-6/RA is where the  current ISO 639-6 code
list is to be found.
But, in fact, the only available information I found on this site is
"Currently ISO FDIS 639-6 is being prepared for FDIS vote."
So that the best available source" for comprehensive coverage of
language variants" remains the principal source of ISO 639-6:
"Linguaspere Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities:
hebron (Wales) Linguasphere Press 200. 2 vol. ISBN 0-9532919-1-X, ISBN
Whose author, David DALBY, was the initiator and first conceptor of ISO
639-6 as presented at the 15th plenary meeting of ISO/TC 37 in PARIS in
August 2004, when the corresponding New Work Item was adopted, after a
first presentation  by "The Linguaspere Observatory" of the british
standard BS 8639 - Identification and Classification of the World's
Languages and Communities including CLIP (Community and Language
Identification Protocol) at the week meeting of ISO/TC 37 in Oslo in
August 2003.
David DALBY is still developping his work, that remùains by far the
more interesting system in this domain.
You will find attached with this message, my note 55.2009.doc, written
in french language, that could nevertheless have some interest for you.
Bien cordialement.
Gérard LANG
-----Message d'origine-----
De : ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] De la
part de Rebecca S Guenther Envoyé : lundi 4 janvier 2010 22:07 À :
[log in to unmask] Objet : Re: ISO 639-6 is available

Could you tell me how many codes there are in this list (although I
understand that it will be growing)? I am giving a presentation on the
ISO 639 standards to the Linguistics Society of America on Friday and
would like to have this information. (I suppose it is available on the
ISO members site, but couldn't remember my login information.)


>>> Lang Gérard <[log in to unmask]> 12/3/2009 2:36 AM >>>
Dear All,

The first edition of ISO 639-6 (Codes pour la représentation des noms
de langues-Partie 6: Code alpha-4 pour un traitement exhaustif des
variantes linguistiques // Codes for the representation of names of
languages-Part 6: Alpha-4 code for comprehensive coverage of language
variants) has now been published by ISO, effective from 2009-12-01 on.
Gérard LANG