Language information - identification sheet and typological properties - is accessible in different ways.
In each case, the database will return the name of the language (in English) with its SIL code for confirmation (accessible via the name or the SIL code). In case of ambiguity the database will return a choice of languages (accessible via the name or the SIL code).
1. Access via the name
The name of the language can be chosen from a short-list (standard 639-2), an extended list (standard ISO) or can be typed directly. When typing directly the search can either be for an exact match (in capitals or lower-case) or more generally. In this final case the search will return all languages whose entries contain the name typed (recommended method). For example, typing the name "albanais/albanian", "chinois/chinese" or "norvégien/norwegian" will give no result as there is no SIL code that corresponds directly to the names of these languages. A general search will return a list of languages with this name.
Choice of language from a short-list (around 400 languages)
Choice of language from an extended list (around 7000 languages)
Type the language name
2. Access by SIL code (Ethnologue, SIL International)
Typing the SIL code is the most direct method to access the information of the database .
3. Access by an ISO code
Typing an ISO 639-1 code (two letter code) or an ISO 639-2 code (three letter code) will , in most cases, result in a choice of languages. For ISO 639-2 codes, the bibliographical or the terminological code may be used. The terminological code is for certain languages only. Changes brought in since 2000 (modifications and additions of new codes) are not taken into account in the database at the moment. Details of updates to the standard 639-2 are given here.
ISO 639-1 Code:
ISO 639-2 Code: