3.10 Language Tags

A language tag identifies a natural language spoken, written, or otherwise conveyed by human beings for communication of information to other human beings. Computer languages are explicitly excluded. HTTP uses language tags within the Accept-Language and Content- Language fields.

The syntax and registry of HTTP language tags is the same as that defined by RFC 1766 [1]. In summary, a language tag is composed of 1 or more parts: A primary language tag and a possibly empty series of subtags:


= primary-tag *( "-" subtag )


= 1*8ALPHA


= 1*8ALP

White space is not allowed within the tag and all tags are case- insensitive. The name space of language tags is administered by the IANA. Example tags include: en, en-US, en-cockney, i-cherokee, x-pig-latin where any two-letter primary-tag is an ISO-639 language abbreviation and any two-letter initial subtag is an ISO-3166 country code. (The last three tags above are not registered tags; all but the last are examples of tags which could be registered in future.)