language Code

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Lojban needs a language code !

Constructed languages have language codes: Esperanto eo/epo, Interlingua ia/ina, Interlingue ie/ile.

Extinct languages have language codes: Latin la/lat.

Languages that almost no one can speak have languages codes: Aleut ale, German de, English en ;-)

Lojban needs a language code, too.


Everything I have written might be wrong. Don't count on it! mi'e .iens.


Examples: en for English, de for German, see [1] for further examples

and [2] for current changes.

There are ISO 639-1 and SO 639-2.

The older ISO 639-1 allows 2-letter codes for languages, while the newer ISO 639-2 allows 3-letter codes. There is

ISO 3166-2, which allows other codes, too, but it is quite new. All W3C specifications are based on RFC 1766, which

is based on ISO 639-1. The newer RFC 3066 (based on ISO 639-2) allows 3-letter codes, but no W3C specification

refers to it (not yet).

FAQ for ISO 639: [

Request] form for new language codes: [

To] get a language code for Lojban we have to fullfill several criteria:

Apart] from that I know that several Linux projects use "art-lojban" as a language code. I don't know how this is

related to ISO 639.

mi'e .iens.

I don't think we need an iso 639-1 code. Using lob or jbo seems better than loj to me. mi'e LaNorpan


  • ISO 639-2
    • loj (logji)
    • lob, jbo (lojbo)
  • ISO 639-1
    • lj

I'm betting that ISO won't come looking at the wiki to see what we think the tag ought to be.

You're right, but I don't think that a single person should ask for a language code to be registered.

There has to be at least some kind of discussion. mi'e .iens.

But we won't hold the discussion. If the registration authority decides that Lojban gets a tag, they have nice little committees that do that sort of thing for them.

Why do we need one

Lojban can be parsed, but before you can parse it, you have to recognize, that it is Lojban. Just think

of the lang-attribute in HTML or XML. mi'e .iens.

Why we don't need one

(Don't ask me. mi'e .iens.)


John Cowan arranged for the IANA to register art-lojban : [4] , This tag is what is currently used in the XML with Lojban I've been involved with (mi'e nitcion) . While it's not as official as the ISO registrations, it obviates the 50 publications in Library of Congress requirements, and gives us an unambiguous anchor for XML. It's good enough for me. :-)


Tuesday, 2 Sep 2003: jbo is now the official alpha-3 indentifier. art-lojban will be deprecated. (mi'e .iens.)