The language codes are based on ISO 639-1, 639-2, or 639-3 codes. When a 2 digit 639-1 code is available, this is the preferred code. Codes beginning with “Q” are not represented in the ISO Standard, but are named using the 639-2 methodology for additional languages. “LAS”, representing Latin American Spanish, is a special case in that LAS represents Lama (spoken in Togo) in the 639-3 codes. Due to the widespread use of “LAS” as Latin American Spanish in Film Distribution, however, we have chosen to keep it as Latin American Spanish for purposes of this convention. If you have an older DCP with a language code that isn’t listed in the table below, it may be an out-of-date code.

Language codes are complex. Please review ISDCF Doc 7 for more information including the use of RFC-4647 and IANA Subtag Registry for codes and sub-codes.


  • In DCNC, language codes are (mostly) based on ISO 639, whereas Composition Playlists use IETF BCP 47. Although in many cases the mapping is straightforward, BCP 47 allows for a wider range of possibilities (e.g. UN M.49 regions), some of which may be a better fit to the geographic region(s) where the content is to be distributed.
  • By convention, ISO 639 language codes should appear in lower case (as opposed to country codes, which are capitalized).
  • Subtitles are either generated in the theatre by the Digital Cinema projector, or are burned into the image. If the Language Code is in UPPER CASE, the subtitles are generated in real time by the projection system. If the Language Code is lower case, the subtitles are burned into the image.

Single spoken and single subtitle language example

EN-FR
(English Audio with French Subtitles
The first language code (EN) represents the audio language. The second language code (FR) represents the subtitle language.

The audio language is listed at //Reel//MainSound[1]/Language:

<MainSound>
  …
  <Language>en</Language>
  …
</MainSound>

The primary subtitle language is listed at ///Reel//MainSubtitle[1]/Language:

<MainSubtitle>
  …
  <Language>fr</Language>
  …
</MainSubtitle>

AND, as the first element of //Reel[1]//CompositionMetadataAsset/MainSubtitleLanguageList:

<CompositionMetadataAsset xmlns=”http://www.smpte-ra.org/schemas/429-16/2014/CPL-Metadata”>
  …
  <MainSubtitleLanguageList>fr</MainSubtitleLanguageList>
  …
</CompositionMetadataAsset>

Single spoken and two (or more) subtitle languages example

GSW-FR-IT
(Swiss German audio with French and Italian subtitles.)
The first language code (GSW) represents the audio language. The rest of the language codes (FR, IT) represents the subtitle languages.

The audio language is listed at //Reel//MainSound[1]/Language:

<MainSound>
  …
  <Language>gsw</Language>
  …
</MainSound>

The primary subtitle language is listed at ///Reel//MainSubtitle[1]/Language:

<MainSubtitle>
  …
  <Language>fr</Language>
  …
</MainSubtitle>

AND all the languages are listed in order in the element //Reel[1]//CompositionMetadataAsset/MainSubtitleLanguageList:

<CompositionMetadataAsset xmlns=”http://www.smpte-ra.org/schemas/429-16/2014/CPL-Metadata”>
  …
  <MainSubtitleLanguageList>fr it</MainSubtitleLanguageList>
  …
</CompositionMetadataAsset>

Special Exception Note: For CTTs where there are No Spoken Languages or No Subtitles, the proper DCNC code is XX. This code is only for usage within the CTT. The absence of the <Language> element where optional shall denote there is no spoken or written language.

CLDR Language RFC 5646 Tag
(For DCP Metadata)
DCNC Code
(For CTT)
DCNC Language Obsoleted DCNC Code(s)
(Not for use, only listed for historical purposes)
Usage Notes
Afrikaans af AF Afrikaans

audio

text

Armenian hy HY Armenian

audio

text

Albanian sq SQ Albanian ALB, SQI

audio

text

Arabic ar AR Arabic ARA

audio

text

Bosnian bs BS Bosnian BOS

audio

text

Bulgarian bg BG Bulgarian BUL

audio

text

Catalan ca CA Catalan CAT

audio

text

Cantonese yue YUE Chinese - Cantonese

audio

text

Chinese cmn CMN Chinese - Mandarin PRC

audio

Simplified Chinese cmn-Hans QMS Chinese - Mandarin Simplified

text

(Subtitles only)
Traditional Chinese cmn-Hant QMT Chinese - Mandarin Traditional

text

(Subtitles only)
Min Nan Chinese nan NAN Chinese - Taiwanese

audio

Chinese (Taiwan) cmn-TW QTM Chinese - Taiwanese Mandarin

audio

Croatian hr HR Croatian HRV, SCR

audio

text

Czech cs CS Czech CES, CZE

audio

text

Danish da DA Danish DAN

audio

text

Dutch nl NL Dutch DUT, NLD

audio

text

English en EN English ENG

audio

text

Estonian et ET Estonian EST

audio

text

Basque eu EU Euskara

audio

text

Finnish fi FI Finnish FIN

audio

text

Flemish nl-BE VLS Flemish

audio

text

French fr FR French FRA, FRE

audio

text

Galician gl GL Galician

audio

text

Canadian French fr-CA QFC French - Canadian

audio

text

German de DE German DEU, GER

audio

text

Swiss German gsw GSW German - Swiss

audio

text

Greek el EL Greek ELL, GRE

audio

text

Hebrew he HE Hebrew HEB

audio

text

Hindi hi HI Hindi HIN

audio

text

Hungarian hu HU Hungarian HUN

audio

text

Icelandic is IS Icelandic ICE, ISL

audio

text

Indonesian id IND Indonesian Bahasa

audio

text

Italian it IT Italian ITA

audio

text

Japanese ja JA Japanese JPN

audio

text

Kazakh kk KK Kazakh

audio

text

Khmer km KM Khmer

audio

text

Korean ko KO Korean KOR

audio

text

Kyrgyz ky KG Kyrgyz

audio

text

Latvian lv LV Latvian LAV

audio

text

Lithuanian lt LT Lithuanian LIT

audio

text

Macedonian mk MK Macedonian

audio

text

Malay ms MSA Malay Bahasa

audio

text

Marathi mr MR Marathi

audio

text

Mongolian mn MN Mongolian

audio

text

Navajo nv n/a Navajo

audio

text

Norwegian Bokmål no NO Norwegian NOR

audio

text

Polish pl PL Polish POL

audio

text

Brazilian Portuguese pt-BR QBP Portuguese - Brazilian

audio

text

Portuguese pt PT Portuguese - European SPA

audio

text

Romanian ro RO Romanian ROM, RUM

audio

text

Russian ru RU Russian RUS

audio

text

Serbian sr SR Serbian SCC, SRP

audio

text

Slovak sk SK Slovak SLK, SLO

audio

text

Slovenian sl SL Slovenian SLV

audio

text

Spanish (Argentina) es-AR QSA Spanish - Argentina

audio

text

Spanish es ES Spanish - Castilian POR

audio

text

Latin American Spanish es-419 LAS Spanish - Latin America

audio

text

Mexican Spanish es-MX QSM Spanish - Mexican

audio

text

Swedish sv SV Swedish SWE

audio

text

Tamil ta TA Tamil TAM

audio

text

Telugu te TE Telugu TEL

audio

text

Thai th TH Thai THA

audio

text

Turkish tr TR Turkish TUR

audio

text

Ukrainian uk UK Ukranian UKR

audio

text

Urdu ur UR Urdu

audio

text

Vietnamese vi VI Vietnamese VIE

audio

text

Welsh cy WEL Welsh

audio

text

Xhosa xh XH Xhosa

audio

text