ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardisation. It deals with international standards in a number of areas including several relevant to localisation and multilingual ICT.

ISO is "A network of national standards institutes from 145 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives. ISO acts as a bridge between public and private sectors." (MultiLingual)

The ISO homepage is or:

ISO has a number of its ICT standards documents available free for public use at . Some other documents are not free and must be purchased.

The ISO site also has a section on resources for developing countries at

Relevant ISO standards

ISO standards that are relevant in one way or another to localisation are listed below (many of these are discussed in the PanAfrican Localisation project Survey Document, as well as in other parts of this website/wiki):

Relevant ISO Technical Committees

Various Technical Committees deal with the management of standards, some with subcommittees. Normally localisers will not have to be concerned with these, and language policy intersects minimally. However this information is supplied in the interests of completeness.


Terminology and other language and content resources/ Terminologie, autres ressources langagières et contenus : Standardization of principles, methods and applications relating to terminology and other language and content resources in the contexts of multilingual communication and cultural diversity / Normalisation des principes, méthodes et applications relatives à la terminologie, autres ressources langagières et contenus dans les contextes de la communication multilingue et de la diversité culturelle

  • Webpages:
  • Subcommittees
    • ISO/TC 37/SC 1 Principles and methods/ Principes et méthodes : Standardization of principles and methods related to terminology, language resources, terminology policies and to knowledge organization in the mono- and multilingual context of the information society / Normalisation des principes et des méthodes relatives à la terminologie, aux ressources langagières, aux politiques terminologiques et à l'organisation de connaissances, dans les contextes unilingue et multilingue de la société de l'information
    • ISO/TC 37/SC 2 Terminographical and lexicographical working methods/ Méthodes de travail terminographiques et lexicographiques : Standardization of terminographical and lexicographical working methods, procedures, coding diversity management, as well as related certification schemes / Normalisation des méthodes de travail terminographiques et lexicographiques, procédures, systèmes travail et gestion de la diversité culturelle ainsi que les démarches de certification associées
    • ISO/TC 37/SC 3 Systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content : Standardization of specifications and modelling principles for systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content with respect to semantic interoperability
    • ISO/TC 37/SC 4 Language resource management/ Gestion des ressources langagières : Standardization of specifications for computer-assisted language resource management / Normalisation des specifications pour la gestion des ressources langagières assistée par ordinateur
    • ISO/TC 37/SC 5 Translation, interpreting and related technology / Traduction, interprétation et technologies apparentées


ISO/IEC JTC 1 is a Joint Technical Committee) of ISO and IEC dealing with Information Technology. It has several subcommittees and its work in general relates to internationalisation of ICT.

Relevant ISO Policy Committee

DEVCO is the ISO policy committee established "specifically to address the needs of developing countries."

Its goals are listed as (from the webpage):

  • To identify the needs and requirements of developing countries in the fields of standardization and related activities (i.e. conformity assessment including accreditation, quality and metrology) and to assist the developing countries, as necessary, in defining these needs and requirements.
  • Having established these needs and requirements, to recommend actions to assist the developing countries in meeting them.
  • To monitor the implementation of the ISO Action Plan for developing countries.
  • To provide a forum for the discussion of all aspects of standardization and related activities, and for the exchange of experience among develped and developing countries.

References and Links

< ISESCO | Organisations (InterAfrican & International) | ISOC >