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Codes for the
Representation of Names
of Languages-Part 2:
Alpha-3 Code

Annex A

Procedures for the Registration Authority and
Registration Authorities Advisory Committee ISO 639

A.1 Registration Authority ISO 639-2/RA

The Library of Congress (LC) has been designated the Registration Authority for this part of ISO 639(ISO 639-2/RA). It is responsible for registering alpha-3 language codes according to these procedures.

A.2 Responsibilities of the Registration Authority

A.2.1 Application for the registration of new and for the change of existing language codes.

ISO 639-2/RA shall receive and review application for the registration of new language codes and for the change of existing ones. It shall suggest an assignment of a code when the relevant criteria are met according to the rules given in A.3.3 and A.3.4, and inform the applicant of the result of ISO 639-2/RA actions. Such criteria shall include a request by one agency with 50 documents in the language or a request by five agencies with a total of 50 documents among them in the language.

A.2.2 Maintenance of list

The ISO 639-2/RA shall maintain an accurate list of information associated with registered language codes. If necessary, it shall safeguard any confidential information. It shall process updates of registered language codes and distribute them on a regular basis to subscribers and other parties.

A.2.3 Other general responsibilities

ISO 639-2/RA shall do the following:
  • Handle all aspects of the registration process in accordance with good business practice.
  • Indicate in operations that it has been designated as ISO 639-2/RA by ISO.
  • Provide an annual summary report on activity to the ISO/TC37 and ISO/TC46 Secretariats.
  • Provide advice on implementation and use of this part of ISO 639, as needed.

A.3 Joint Advisory Committee ISO 639/RA-JAC

A Joint Advisory Committee ISO 639/RA-JAC is established to advise both the ISO 639-1/RA Registration Authority and the ISO 639-2/RA Registration Authority. It shall guide the application of the coding rules as laid down in ISO 639-1 and this part of ISO 639, respectively.

A.3.1 Composition

ISO 639/RA-JAC is composed of:
  • One representative of the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm; representing ISO 639-1/RA)
  • One representative of Library of Congress (LC; representing ISO 639-2/RA)
  • Three representatives of ISO/TC37 (nominated by ISO/TC37)
  • Three representatives of ISO/TC46 (nominated by ISO/TC46)
Both ISO/TCs may nominate substitute representatives.

A.3.1.1 Membership

Both TCs may nominate substitute representatives. The representatives of INFOTERM and the Library of Congress will hold the chair on a 2-year rotating basis. Up to five technical experts may be asked to participate as non-voting observers. The observers will be entitled to receive documents sent to the RA-JAC membership and expected to provide comments in return.

A.3.2 Working procedures within ISO 639/RA-JAC

ISO 639/RA-JAC will work primarily by correspondence and exceptionally by meeting. If a meeting is necessary, it shall preferably be held in conjunction with plenary meetings of ISO/TC 37 and ISO/TC 37/SC 2 or ISO/TC 46 and ISO/TC 46/SC 4.

A.3.3 Additions and deletions to the list of entities, changes of codes

Requests for additions, deletions, and changes of codes shall be supported by a justification. When ISO 639-2/RA consults ISO 639/RA-JAC about the proposed inclusion, deletion or change, and suggests a code, ISO 639/RA-JAC is obliged to respond within one month. Simultaneously ISO 639-1/RA will be informed and asked for comments.

A.3.4 Reservation of codes

When a request for inclusion of a new entity has been rejected, ISO 639-2/RA may reserve the requested code for the use of the applicant and other possible users. ISO 639-2/RA will keep a record of such reservations and will inform the ISO 639-1/RA of such.

A.3.5 Creation of language codes

The creation of language codes is subject to the rules described in ISO 639-1: -*), 4.1 and 4.1 of this part of ISO 639.

A.3.6 Voting procedures

Each member of ISO 639/RA-JAC has one vote (voting is obligatory). Voting is conducted by writing (letter, telex, telefax) or in a meeting. Voting by telephone must be confirmed by writing. Failure to reply is considered as an abstention.

A vote must be unanimous for it to pass. If an unanimous vote cannot be reached, a second vote will be conducted. The letter ballot is to be accompanied by all comments received. At least five positive votes are required to pass.

It is necessary for any amendments to this part of ISO 639 to be approved following the voting rules before revisions are published.

*)To be published.

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June 2, 2006