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Tags for Identifying Languages
RFC 5646

Document type: RFC - Best Current Practice (September 2009; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 4646
Also Known As BCP 47
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 5646 (Best Current Practice)
Responsible AD: Alexey Melnikov
Send notices to: ltru-chairs@tools.ietf.org, draft-ietf-ltru-4646bis@tools.ietf.org

Network Working Group                                   A. Phillips, Ed.
Request for Comments: 5646                                        Lab126
BCP: 47                                                    M. Davis, Ed.
Obsoletes: 4646                                                   Google
Category: Best Current Practice                           September 2009

                     Tags for Identifying Languages

Abstract

   This document describes the structure, content, construction, and
   semantics of language tags for use in cases where it is desirable to
   indicate the language used in an information object.  It also
   describes how to register values for use in language tags and the
   creation of user-defined extensions for private interchange.

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents in effect on the date of
   publication of this document (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info).
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Phillips & Davis         Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 5646                     Language Tags                September 2009

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  The Language Tag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1.  Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
       2.1.1.  Formatting of Language Tags  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.2.  Language Subtag Sources and Interpretation . . . . . . . .  8
       2.2.1.  Primary Language Subtag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
       2.2.2.  Extended Language Subtags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       2.2.3.  Script Subtag  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       2.2.4.  Region Subtag  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       2.2.5.  Variant Subtags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       2.2.6.  Extension Subtags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       2.2.7.  Private Use Subtags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       2.2.8.  Grandfathered and Redundant Registrations  . . . . . . 18
       2.2.9.  Classes of Conformance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   3.  Registry Format and Maintenance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     3.1.  Format of the IANA Language Subtag Registry  . . . . . . . 21
       3.1.1.  File Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
       3.1.2.  Record and Field Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
       3.1.3.  Type Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
       3.1.4.  Subtag and Tag Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
       3.1.5.  Description Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
       3.1.6.  Deprecated Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
       3.1.7.  Preferred-Value Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
       3.1.8.  Prefix Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
       3.1.9.  Suppress-Script Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
       3.1.10. Macrolanguage Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
       3.1.11. Scope Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
       3.1.12. Comments Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
     3.2.  Language Subtag Reviewer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
     3.3.  Maintenance of the Registry  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
     3.4.  Stability of IANA Registry Entries . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
     3.5.  Registration Procedure for Subtags . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
     3.6.  Possibilities for Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
     3.7.  Extensions and the Extensions Registry . . . . . . . . . . 49
     3.8.  Update of the Language Subtag Registry . . . . . . . . . . 52

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