In this first week of November, working groups of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) dedicated to the coding of languages met in Iceland for the first time. Language codes are probably by far the most often used ISO standard – For all digital content or device interfaces where languages can be selected, these are identified by a two or three-letter ISO code, like “is” or “isl” for Icelandic. The rules for these codes are being established and refined by the working groups of ISO’s Technical Committee 37 that now meet in Veröld – hús Vigdísar, hosted by the Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding.
In the future, people will communicate increasingly with machines. For this reason, it will become more important to identify not only languages, but also language varieties (dialects, sociolects, registers, etc.). Sebastian Drude, director of the Centre, is leading a working group that establishes a framework for this.
In this context it may be relevant to know that the Centre is also member of the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm), which was, like the Centre itself, established with the support of UNESCO.