List of Common Languages

Posted by SteveHardie | On: Oct 01 2009

As part of a project I am working on, I need to request a user to specify their primary language. Rather than allow the user to enter this information in a free-text mode, it is preferable to have the user select the language from a dropdown list.

Since the definition of a single language is to some extent arbitrary, there are lierally thousands of languages or dialects spoken around the world. It would be inpractical to list them all.

So, in collating this list of languages, I have decided to use the list of languages that Microsoft use, and double check it against Wikipedia’s list of most commonly used languages.

Secondly, I would like the database to store the information based on the ISO 639 code for languages (2 letters)

Here is the list i have come up with. There are 72 entries

Language Code
Afrikaans AF
Albanian SQ
Arabic AR
Armenian HY
Basque EU
Bengali BN
Bulgarian BG
Catalan CA
Cambodian KM
Chinese (Mandarin) ZH
Croatian HR
Czech CS
Danish DA
Dutch NL
English EN
Estonian ET
Fiji FJ
Finnish FI
French FR
Georgian KA
German DE
Greek EL
Gujarati GU
Hebrew HE
Hindi HI
Hungarian HU
Icelandic IS
Indonesian ID
Irish GA
Italian IT
Japanese JA
Javanese JW
Korean KO
Latin LA
Latvian LV
Lithuanian LT
Macedonian MK
Malay MS
Malayalam ML
Maltese MT
Maori MI
Marathi MR
Mongolian MN
Nepali NE
Norwegian NO
Persian FA
Polish PL
Portuguese PT
Punjabi PA
Quechua QU
Romanian RO
Russian RU
Samoan SM
Serbian SR
Slovak SK
Slovenian SL
Spanish ES
Swahili SW
Swedish  SV
Tamil TA
Tatar TT
Telugu TE
Thai TH
Tibetan BO
Tonga TO
Turkish TR
Ukrainian UK
Urdu UR
Uzbek UZ
Vietnamese VI
Welsh CY
Xhosa XH

Download XLS, CSV


  1. Felix says:

    Hey, thanks a lot for this list. However, note that the download links are broken (they seem to be using some internal hostname).

  2. SteveHardie says:

    Thanks, well spotted. I have updated the links.

  3. Tricia says:

    Thanks! And some typos

  4. SteveHardie says:

    Well spotted. I have updated the post.

  5. Si says:

    You are wicked awesome. Thanks for compiling this list.

  6. Gavin says:

    This is amazing. Thank you so much for putting this out there for everybody!

  7. Gavin says:

    I combined these into a PHP associative array if anybody needs it: http://pastebin.com/Lfqe15vJ

  8. Andy says:

    Thanks for this. However both Fiji and Tonga should say “Fijian” and “Tongan”. Cheers.

  9. Thanks for your work on this! Saves me a ton of time. You are a gentleman and scholar!

  10. Ross Parker says:

    Thanks so much for this very useful list. Going to use it in https://gibbonedu.org, which is an open source platform for education. Thanks!

  11. Brian says:

    2015 and this list is still amazing!
    Thanks you!

  12. Cassian says:

    Afrikaans is spelled incorrectly in the linked XLS file! Just so you know. 🙂

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