Dear @ll,


on September 1st 2011 I worte to the LoC colleagues (as the reply was not accepted by the LISTSERVE:LOC):


Dear Rebecca,

Dear Mr. Zagas,


I appologize for having failed to reply to an earlier mail of Rebecca.

(notebook had been stolen in Paris and I still have to trace many mails ... :-(


First of all many thanks to Rebecca for her great efforts in supporting the activities of the ISO 639/RAs-JAC and all her kind assistance in the past.


I have talked to Prof.Dr. Gerhard Budin of the Center for Translation Studies (University of Vienna) and Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, who has become Convenor of ISO/TC 37/SC 2/WG 1 "Language coding".

He has the human resources as well as a strong professional interest to guide the ISO 639 framework into a new harmonized governance structure with all the implications involved.


He said he would be ready to assume the role of Chairman of the ISO 639/RAs-JAC.


Best regards




Von: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Gérard Lang-Marconnet
Gesendet: Freitag, 10. Februar 2012 15:20
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: List of ISO 639-1 codes


Dear Mr Hjalmarson,

Did you send a message answering to Christian Galinsky and giving the asked specifications ?

In my opinion:

1-There is no good possible solution within an alpha-2 coding scheme like ISO 639-1;

2-But there seems to be a possible solution if you pass to an alpha-3 coding scheme like ISO 639-2, in this case:

a/ "und" is the code element representing "undetermined language (name)"; 

b/ "mul" is the code element representing "multiple languages (names)" ;

c: the list qaa-qtz of code elements reserved for local use could very well be used to represent the list of "machine languages you are wanting to code ( Languages designed exclusively for machine use, such as computer programming languages, are explicitely excluded of the official ISO 639-2 coding scheme  by clause 1-Scope of the standard, so that there could be no intersection between the machine language (names) coded by you inside the list "qaa-qtz" and the official ISO 639-2 "language names" code elements.

Bien cordialement.

Gérard Lang 

Le 18 juil. 2011 à 22:51, Peter Constable a écrit :


Mr. Hjalmarson: It would also be helpful if you could provide a little info about your application scenario. In particular, if you need metadata elements used in public interchange protocols, then that might be significant: some protocols may already specify use of alpha-3 identifiers from ISO 639-2 or ISO 639-3, or may specify derivative conventions such as IETF BCP 47 that reference these other parts of ISO 639.



Peter Constable

From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Christian Galinski
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 9:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: AW: List of ISO 639-1 codes
Importance: High


Dear Mr. Hjalmarson,


I have forwarded your request to colleagues of ISO/TC 37, but I think that it should be properly dealt with by the Joint Advisory Committee of ISO 639 „Codes for the representation of names of languages“.


Could you please specify what you mean under

- “machine language”? (I assume not programming language)

- “multi-language”: in what sense? (several languages in one text, same representation for a semantic unit in several languages?)

- “undefined language”?


In any case there seem to be more needs for language symbols around than we could so far foresee…


Any “individualistic” solution without international coordination will sooner or later lead to incompatibility/interoperability problems.


Best regards




Von: Mikael Hjalmarson [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Gesendet: Freitag, 17. Juni 2011 09:44
An: Dorothée Eichfelder
Cc: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Betreff: RE: List of ISO 639-1 codes




Thanks for the information.


Is there any information that you can provide in guidance on what to use if we want to identify

- manchine language

- multi-language

- undefined language


What would be the recommendation for to identify the above "languages"?

If we are to assign "own codes" for to identify the above "languages" what are we to consider?

- what characters are not to be used

- how many characters 


Best regards,

Mikael Hjalmarson


From: Dorothée Eichfelder [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: den 16 juni 2011 18:47
To: Mikael Hjalmarson
Cc: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Subject: List of ISO 639-1 codes

Dear Mr. Hjalmarson,


You will find the requested list of ISO 639-1 codes together with the list of ISO 639-2 codes at:


Please don’t hesitate to contact us, if you need further information.

Best regards

Dorothée Eichfelder




International Information Centre for Terminology

Gymnasiumstrasse 50, 1190 Vienna, Austria

Tel.: +43 1 4277-58026  –  Fax: +43 1 4277-58027


A non-profit international association according

to Austrian Law, registered under ZVR 353674734


Founded by UNESCO in 1971 to promote and coordinate

international cooperation in the field of terminology





Von: Mikael Hjalmarson [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Gesendet: Freitag, 11. 
Juni 2011 07:59
An: Infopoint
Betreff: List of ISO 639-1 codes


As appointee RA I wonder if there is a place where the Alpha-2 code are available?

ISO 639-1:2002
Codes for the representation of names of languages -- Part 1: Alpha-2 code

Registration Authority

c/o Austrian Standards Institute/
Österreichisches Normungsinstitut
Heinestrasse 38
A-1020 Wien

Tel:  +43 1 213 00 613
Fax: +43 1 213 00 609
[log in to unmask]


Best regards,

Mikael Hjalmarson



MIKAEL HJALMARSON Standards Management 
Corporate Basic Standards

Ericsson AB
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