This page documents the Registry of Dialects (ROD) of the Harvest Information Standards (HIS).

The Editor and Steward of the Registry of Dialects is Allan Starling, GRN.


The function of the Registry of Dialects (ROD) is to

Identify specific varieties of given languages (defined by ISO 639-3) that research has determined to require distinct presentations (such as audio, video or print) in order to overcome barriers of understanding or acceptance. Determining factors may include differences in vocabulary, grammatical construction, idioms, and marked accents, as well as religious or social barriers.

Provide unique, standardized codes for these dialects.

Contents of the Registry of Dialects

The ROD contains a set of dialects of living languages that have been determined to require distinct media presentations. A code in this set represents a unique dialect of a language.

By definition the scope of a dialect code is always a smaller group of speakers than the group represented by the assigned language as a whole.

Each code is a standardized five-digit code (including leading zeros, when necessary) for uniquely referring to a particular dialect. Using a code from this set not only uniquely identifies the dialect, but also identifies the language of which it is a part, through its corresponding ISO 639-3 language code.

Information on the dialect is available in the Global Recordings Network website. Users have full access to those descriptions as follows:

For any ROD dialect code ddddd, the following URL lists available information:

For example: will show information for ASMAT: Waganu (ROD dialect “04231”) including links to GRN material and other sites.

For any ISO language code xxx the following URL lists information on related dialects:

For example: will show information about dialects of the ASMAT language (ISO language code “asc”).

Changes in the Registry of Dialects

For a speech variety to be considered a dialect it has to meet certain criteria. There are three main reasons that a speech variety is added to or drops off the list.

Changes in ISO codes. Each year GRN receives a list of changes in ISO codes. Some codes are dropped, some codes are divided into two different codes, sometimes codes are merged, and new codes are created. Each of these has an effect on the languages and dialects associated with them, and the changes cause a ripple effect in the ROD.

One of the criteria for being on the ROD is that an organization such as Seed Company, Jesus Film or others produce a different media presentation of the gospel in that speech variety. On a regular basis GRN receives updated lists of new products. Some of those are in already known dialects, but many are in speech varieties not considered dialects previously.

GRN recordists and other field workers correct and verify data from field research and report their findings to the Language Tracking Department of GRN. These changes cause modifications in the ROD.


The ROD consists of three lists:

1. Code List

Download the Code List in Tab-delimited or JSON format.

2. Alternate Name List

Download the Alternate Name List in Tab-delimited or JSON format.

3. Changes List

Download the Changes List in Tab-delimited or JSON format.


If you have identified dialects that are not in the registry, please ask to add them using the Request ROD Codes document.

ROD Documents