Two-letter language codes, commonly based on the ISO 639-1 international standard, provide a concise way to represent languages. Each language is assigned a unique two-letter code, which is universally recognized in computing and digital systems. For example, English is represented by 'en', Spanish by 'es', French by 'fr', and so on.
These codes are not only useful for representing languages but also serve as the basis for locale identifiers, which include more detailed information about regional or dialectal variation. For example, the locale
en-US stands for English as used in the United States, while
en-GB represents English as used in the United Kingdom.
Why Are They Important?
Two-letter language codes are instrumental in allowing digital systems to be tailored to individual users' language preferences, promoting inclusivity and accessibility. Websites, software applications, and more can automatically adapt their language based on the user's locale setting.
Moreover, they are essential in internationalization and localization processes, where software is adapted for use in different regions, accounting for differences not only in language but also in culture-specific content and conventions.
Understanding and correctly using two-letter language codes is essential in our increasingly digital and globalized world. Whether you're a software developer aiming to make your application accessible to a worldwide audience, a business looking to expand internationally, or a user trying to improve your digital experience, these simple yet powerful codes are an indispensable tool.
Here is a list of language codes currently used by Google Translate:
fy Western Frisian
gd Scottish Gaelic
st Southern Sotho