Language code

Language code

Language codes are standardized, shorthand codes that represent languages using 2-letter or 3-letter identifiers. The codes are based on the ISO 639 standard, guidelines set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that represent hundreds of living, ancient, and extinct languages, as well as different dialects.

For example, French has “fr” as its 2-letter language code and uses “fre” as its 3-letter code to differentiate it from Canadian French, which uses “fra.” Similarly, English has “en” and “eng” as its 2- and 3-letter codes.

While some languages use only 2-letter codes, others may require a combination for greater specificity. American English and British English use a combination of 2-letter codes to indicate the language and the country, resulting in the 4-letter codes “en-US” and “en-GB,” respectively. 

ISO assigns each language a unique set of shorthand numbers or letters. You can leverage these codes to arrange data entries, library collections, linguistics, and other language-related applications and systems. 

Plus, setting the language code on your website allows visitors to view content in their native language and helps those who rely on assistive technology, such as captions and text-to-speech.

Visit Webflow University and learn how to set codes for multilingual websites and any supported language online.

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