Language code

Language code

A language code is a code that assigns letters or numbers as identifiers for languages. These codes are often used to organize library collections, to choose the correct localizations and translations in computing, and as a shorthand designation for forms.

Difficulties of classification

Language code schemes attempt to classify within the complex world of human languages, dialects, and variants. Most schemes make some compromises between being general enough to be useful and complete enough to support specific dialects.

For example, most people in Central America and South America speak Spanish. Spanish spoken in Mexico will be slightly different from Spanish spoken in Peru. Different regions of Mexico will have slightly different dialects and accents of Spanish. A language code scheme might group these all as "Spanish" for choosing a keyboard layout, most as "Spanish" for general usage, or separate each dialect to allow region-specific idioms.

Common schemes

Some common language code schemes include:

See also

* HTML Accept-Language header.
* ISO 639
* Ethnologue (SIL code)
* Linguasphere language code
* IETF language tag
* Country code

External links

* [ Language Tags in HTML and XML]
* [ Language Identifiers in the Markup Context]
* RFC 4646


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