Language system tags

Language system tags identify the language systems supported in a OpenType Layout font. What is meant by a “language system” in this context is a set of typographic conventions for how text in a given script should be presented. Such conventions may be associated with particular languages, with particular genres of usage, with different publications, and other such factors. For example, particular glyph variants for certain characters may be required for particular languages, or for phonetic transcription or mathematical notation.

In principle, a given set of conventions may be shared across multiple scenarios. For instance, two different languages (perhaps unrelated) may happen to follow the same conventions. Language system tags can be registered on a perceived-need basis, however; as a result, there is no guarantee that each tag represents a distinct and unique set of conventions. Tags can, however, be registered with the intent of representing conventions that apply to multiple languages. In such cases, the documented description for the tag should reflect that intent.

It should also be noted that there may be more than one set of typographic conventions that apply to a given language.

Therefore, in several respects, language system tags do not correspond in a one-to-one manner with languages. Even so, many registered tags are intended to represent typographic conventions for a particular language. For cases in which a correlation exists between a tag and one or more languages, the language identities are documented here by reference to ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-3.*

If information is available to an application declaring the language of text content, then the application may make use of that to select a default language system tag to be applied when displaying that text. It is preferable, however, to give users control over the choice of language system tag to be used. (Depending on the application scenario, such control may be given to content authors, to content readers, or to both.)

*ISO 639-2 provides identifiers for individual languages as well as for certain collections of languages. ISO 639-3 provides identifiers for a far more comprehensive set of individual languages, though not for collections. Entities in ISO 639 that are referenced here may include any of the individual languages covered in ISO 639-2 or ISO 639-3, or to any of the collections covered in ISO 639-2.

All tags are 4-byte character strings composed of a limited set of ASCII characters in the 0x20-0x7E range. If a language system tag consists of three or less letters, the letters are followed by the requisite number of spaces (0x20), each consisting of a single byte.

Language System Language System Tag Corresponding ISO 639 ID (if applicable)
Abaza ABA abq
Abkhazian ABK abk
Adyghe ADY ady
Afrikaans AFK afr
Afar AFR aar
Agaw AGW ahg
Alsatian ALS gsw
Altai ALT atv, alt
Amharic AMH amh
Phonetic transcription—Americanist conventions APPH
Arabic ARA ara
Aari ARI aiw
Arakanese ARK mhv, rmz, rki
Assamese ASM asm
Athapaskan ATH apk, apj, apl, apm, apw, nav, bea, sek, bcr, caf, crx, clc, gwi, haa, chp, dgr, scs, xsl, srs, ing, hoi, koy, hup, ktw, mvb, wlk, coq, ctc, gce, tol, tuu, kkz, tgx, tht, aht, tfn, taa, tau, tcb, kuu, tce, ttm, txc
Avar AVR ava
Awadhi AWA awa
Aymara AYM aym
Azeri AZE aze
Badaga BAD bfq
Baghelkhandi BAG bfy
Balkar BAL krc
Baule BAU bci
Berber BBR
Bench BCH bcq
Bible Cree BCR
Belarussian BEL bel
Bemba BEM bem
Bengali BEN ben
Bulgarian BGR bul
Bhili BHI bhi, bhb
Bhojpuri BHO bho
Bikol BIK bik
Bilen BIL byn
Blackfoot BKF bla
Balochi BLI bal
Balante BLN bjt, ble
Balti BLT bft
Bambara BMB bam
Bamileke BML
Bosnian BOS bos
Breton BRE bre
Brahui BRH brh
Braj Bhasha BRI bra
Burmese BRM mya
Bashkir BSH bak
Beti BTI btb
Catalan CAT cat
Cebuano CEB ceb
Chechen CHE che
Chaha Gurage CHG sgw
Chattisgarhi CHH hne
Chichewa CHI nya
Chukchi CHK ckt
Chipewyan CHP chp
Cherokee CHR chr
Chuvash CHU chv
Comorian CMR swb, wlc, wni, zdj
Coptic COP cop
Corsican COS cos
Cree CRE cre
Carrier CRR crx, caf
Crimean Tatar CRT crh
Church Slavonic CSL chu
Czech CSY ces
Danish DAN dan
Dargwa DAR dar
Woods Cree DCR cwd
German DEU deu
Dogri DGR doi
Dhivehi DHV (deprecated) div
Dhivehi DIV div
Djerma DJR dje
Dangme DNG ada
Dinka DNK din
Dari DRI prs
Dungan DUN dng
Dzongkha DZN dzo
Ebira EBI igb
Eastern Cree ECR crj, crl
Edo EDO bin
Efik EFI efi
Greek ELL ell
English ENG eng
Erzya ERZ myv
Spanish ESP spa
Estonian ETI est
Basque EUQ eus
Evenki EVK evn
Even EVN eve
Ewe EWE ewe
French Antillean FAN acf
Farsi FAR fas
Finnish FIN fin
Fijian FJI fij
Flemish FLE vls
Forest Nenets FNE enf
Fon FON fon
Faroese FOS fao
French FRA fra
Frisian FRI fry
Friulian FRL fur
Futa FTA fuf
Fulani FUL ful
Ga GAD gaa
Gaelic GAE gla
Gagauz GAG gag
Galician GAL glg
Garshuni GAR
Garhwali GAW gbm
Ge'ez GEZ gez
Gilyak GIL niv
Gumuz GMZ guk
Gondi GON gon
Greenlandic GRN kal
Garo GRO grt
Guarani GUA grn
Gujarati GUJ guj
Haitian HAI hat
Halam HAL flm
Harauti HAR hoj
Hausa HAU hau
Hawaiin HAW haw
Hammer-Banna HBN amf
Hiligaynon HIL hil
Hindi HIN hin
High Mari HMA mrj
Hindko HND hno, hnd
Ho HO hoc
Harari HRI har
Croatian HRV hrv
Hungarian HUN hun
Armenian HYE hye
Igbo IBO ibo
Ijo IJO ijc
Ilokano ILO ilo
Indonesian IND ind
Ingush ING inh
Inuktitut INU iku
Phonetic transcription—IPA conventions IPPH
Irish IRI gle
Irish Traditional IRT gle
Icelandic ISL isl
Inari Sami ISM smn
Italian ITA ita
Hebrew IWR heb
Javanese JAV jav
Yiddish JII yid
Japanese JAN jpn
Judezmo JUD lad
Jula JUL dyu
Kabardian KAB kbd
Kachchi KAC kfr
Kalenjin KAL kln
Kannada KAN kan
Karachay KAR krc
Georgian KAT kat
Kazakh KAZ kaz
Kebena KEB ktb
Khutsuri Georgian KGE kat
Khakass KHA kjh
Khanty-Kazim KHK kca
Khmer KHM khm
Khanty-Shurishkar KHS kca
Khanty-Vakhi KHV kca
Khowar KHW khw
Kikuyu KIK kik
Kirghiz KIR kir
Kisii KIS kqs, kss
Kokni KKN kex
Kalmyk KLM xal
Kamba KMB kam
Kumaoni KMN kfy
Komo KMO kmw
Komso KMS kxc
Kanuri KNR kau
Kodagu KOD kfa
Korean Old Hangul KOH okm
Konkani KOK kok
Kikongo KON ktu
Komi-Permyak KOP koi
Korean KOR kor
Komi-Zyrian KOZ kpv
Kpelle KPL kpe
Krio KRI kri
Karakalpak KRK kaa
Karelian KRL krl
Karaim KRM kdr
Karen KRN kar
Koorete KRT kqy
Kashmiri KSH kas
Khasi KSI kha
Kildin Sami KSM sjd
Kui KUI kxu
Kulvi KUL kfx
Kumyk KUM kum
Kurdish KUR kur
Kurukh KUU kru
Kuy KUY kdt
Koryak KYK kpy
Ladin LAD lld
Lahuli LAH bfu
Lak LAK lbe
Lambani LAM lmn
Lao LAO lao
Latin LAT lat
Laz LAZ lzz
L-Cree LCR crm
Ladakhi LDK lbj
Lezgi LEZ lez
Lingala LIN lin
Low Mari LMA mhr
Limbu LMB lif
Lomwe LMW ngl
Lower Sorbian LSB dsb
Lule Sami LSM smj
Lithuanian LTH lit
Luxembourgish LTZ ltz
Luba LUB lua, lub
Luganda LUG lug
Luhya LUH luy
Luo LUO luo
Latvian LVI lav
Majang MAJ mpe
Makua MAK vmw
Malayalam Traditional MAL mal
Mansi MAN mns
Mapudungun MAP arn
Marathi MAR mar
Marwari MAW mwr
Mbundu MBN kmb
Manchu MCH mnc
Moose Cree MCR crm
Mende MDE men
Me'en MEN mym
Mizo MIZ lus
Macedonian MKD mkd
Male MLE mdy
Malagasy MLG mlg
Malinke MLN mlq
Malayalam Reformed MLR mal
Malay MLY msa
Mandinka MND mnk
Mongolian MNG mon
Manipuri MNI mni
Maninka MNK man
Manx Gaelic MNX glv
Mohawk MOH moh
Moksha MOK mdf
Moldavian MOL mol
Mon MON mnw
Moroccan MOR
Maori MRI mri
Maithili MTH mai
Maltese MTS mlt
Mundari MUN unr
Naga-Assamese NAG nag
Nanai NAN gld
Naskapi NAS nsk
N-Cree NCR csw
Ndebele NDB nbl, nde
Ndonga NDG ndo
Nepali NEP nep
Newari NEW new
Nagari NGR
Norway House Cree NHC csw
Nisi NIS dap
Niuean NIU niu
Nkole NKL nyn
N'Ko NKO nqo
Dutch NLD nld
Nogai NOG nog
Norwegian NOR nob
Northern Sami NSM sme
Northern Tai NTA nod
Esperanto NTO epo
Nynorsk NYN nno
Occitan OCI oci
Oji-Cree OCR ojs
Ojibway OJB oji
Odia (formerly Oriya) ORI ori
Oromo ORO orm
Ossetian OSS oss
Palestinian Aramaic PAA sam
Pali PAL pli
Punjabi PAN pan
Palpa PAP plp
Pashto PAS pus
Polytonic Greek PGR ell
Filipino PIL fil
Palaung PLG pce, rbb, pll
Polish PLK pol
Provencal PRO pro
Portuguese PTG por
Chin QIN bgr, cnh, cnw, czt, sez, tcp, csy, ctd, flm, pck, tcz, zom, cmr, dao, hlt, cka, cnk, mrh, mwg, cbl, cnb, csh
Rajasthani RAJ raj
R-Cree RCR atj
Russian Buriat RBU bxr
Riang RIA ria
Rhaeto-Romanic RMS roh
Romanian ROM ron
Romany ROY rom
Rusyn RSY rue
Ruanda RUA kin
Russian RUS rus
Sadri SAD sck
Sanskrit SAN san
Santali SAT sat
Sayisi SAY chp
Sekota SEK xan
Selkup SEL sel
Sango SGO sag
Shan SHN shn
Sibe SIB sjo
Sidamo SID sid
Silte Gurage SIG xst
Skolt Sami SKS sms
Slovak SKY slk
Slavey SLA scs
Slovenian SLV slv
Somali SML som
Samoan SMO smo
Sena SNA she
Sindhi SND snd
Sinhalese SNH sin
Soninke SNK snk
Sodo Gurage SOG gru
Sotho SOT nso, sot
Albanian SQI sqi
Serbian SRB srp
Saraiki SRK skr
Serer SRR srr
South Slavey SSL xsl
Southern Sami SSM sma
Suri SUR suq
Svan SVA sva
Swedish SVE swe
Swadaya Aramaic SWA aii
Swahili SWK swa
Swazi SWZ ssw
Sutu SXT ngo
Syriac SYR syr
Tabasaran TAB tab
Tajiki TAJ tgk
Tamil TAM tam
Tatar TAT tat
TH-Cree TCR cwd
Telugu TEL tel
Tongan TGN ton
Tigre TGR tig
Tigrinya TGY tir
Thai THA tha
Tahitian THT tah
Tibetan TIB bod
Turkmen TKM tuk
Temne TMN tem
Tswana TNA tsn
Tundra Nenets TNE enh
Tonga TNG toi
Todo TOD xal
Turkish TRK tur
Tsonga TSG tso
Turoyo Aramaic TUA tru
Tulu TUL tcy
Tuvin TUV tyv
Twi TWI aka
Udmurt UDM udm
Ukrainian UKR ukr
Urdu URD urd
Upper Sorbian USB hsb
Uyghur UYG uig
Uzbek UZB uzb
Venda VEN ven
Vietnamese VIT vie
Wa WA wbm
Wagdi WAG wbr
West-Cree WCR crk
Welsh WEL cym
Wolof WLF wol
Tai Lue XBD khb
Xhosa XHS xho
Sakha YAK sah
Yoruba YBA yor
Y-Cree YCR
Yi Classic YIC
Yi Modern YIM iii
Chinese, Hong Kong SAR ZHH zho
Chinese Phonetic ZHP zho
Chinese Simplified ZHS zho
Chinese Traditional ZHT zho
Zande ZND zne
Zulu ZUL zul

This page was last updated 3 October 2011.

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