FAQs


How do I request a change to a language identifier (code) in ISO 639-3?

​Submit a Change Request Form. For information, read the guidelines here.

How long does it take to make a change I request to ISO 639-3?

​Changes are made on an annual cycle. All changes are reviewed in December and posted in January. For more information on the cycle, go here.

What kind of evidence do I need that my change to ISO 639-3 is needed?

​The best evidence is documented in published sources, such as a book, survey report or article. In particular, evidence for splitting an established code should be well documented. Sometimes there is a request to change a name, particularly from the name used by outsiders for a language, to that used by language community members themselves. In this case documentation of a meeting of community leaders where a decision was made on the requested name is acceptable evidence.

What kinds of languages can receive a code under ISO 639-3?

​Languages in use by a group of people for human communication, and that have been in use for a period of time are eligible for a code. For further information see the guidelines.

Is there a way for me to participate in the decisions being made about language code changes?

​Comments are welcome on any change listed as "Current" in the Change Request Index. Submit your comments to iso639-3@sil.org. Please include the change request number in your subject line.

How can I get information about changes being considered for codes in my region of the world or language family of specialization?

​Send a request to the registrar at iso639-3@sil.org. Include "Request notification" in the subject line, and your region of the world or language family interest in the body of the email. For more information, read here.