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Standard language

A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a language variety used by a group of people as a lingua franca and in their public discourse. Alternatively, varieties become standard by undergoing a process of standardization, during which it is organized for description in grammars and dictionaries and encoded in such reference works. Typically, varieties that become standardized are the local dialects spoken in the centers of commerce and government, where a need arises for a variety that will serve more than local needs. A standard language can be either pluricentric (e.g., Arabic, English, German, Persian, Serbo-Croatian, French, Portuguese and Spanish) or monocentric (e.g., Icelandic, Italian,Japanese, and Russian). A standard written language is sometimes termed by the German word Schriftsprache.

The only requirement for a variety to be standard is that it can frequently be used in public places or public discourse. The creation of a prescriptive standard language derives from a desire for national (cultural, political, and social) cohesion, with this considered requiring an agreed-upon, standardized language variety. Standard languages commonly feature:

Language Standard register Regulator Non-standard dialects
Arabic Pluricentric Standard Arabic The Quran; several Arabic language academies spoken Arabic
Albanian Standard Albanian Institute of Albanology of Tirana, Institute of Albanology of Prishtina Gheg Albanian
Afrikaans Standard Afrikaans Die Taalkommissie Dialects of Afrikaans
Basque Standard Basque Euskaltzaindia Basque dialects
Bulgarian Standard Bulgarian Institute for the Bulgarian language Bulgarian dialects
Dutch Standard Dutch Nederlandse Taalunie Dutch dialects
Danish Rigsdansk Dansk Sprognævn Danish dialects
Catalan Standard Catalan, Standard Valencian Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua Catalan dialects
(Spoken language based on Mandarin)
Standard Chinese
(Spoken: Standard Mandarin)
National Language Regulating Committee (PRC), National Languages Committee (ROC/Taiwan), Promote Mandarin Council (Singapore) Varieties of Chinese, Mandarin Chinese (Beijing, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Philippine)
Persian Pluricentric Standard Persian (Standard Iranian Persian (based on Tehrani dialect), Standard Dari (Afghan Persian), and Standard Tajik) Academy of Persian Language and Literature Persian dialects
French Pluricentric Standard French (African Standard French, Belgian Standard French, Cambodian Standard French, Canadian Standard French, Lao Standard French, French Standard French, Swiss Standard French, and Vietnamese Standard French (most Standard French dialects, except Belgian, Canadian, and Swiss, are all based on French Standard French)) Académie française, Office québécois de la langue française, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana Varieties of French
German Pluricentric Standard German (Austrian Standard German, German Standard German and Swiss Standard German) Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung German dialects
Irish An Caighdeán Oifigiúil Foras na Gaeilge Connacht Irish, Munster Irish and Ulster Irish
Italian Standard Italian Accademia della Crusca Regional Italian
Korean Pluricentric Standard Korean (South Korean standard and North Korean standard National Institute of the Korean Language, Language Research Institute of Social Science Korean dialects
Modern Greek Standard Modern Greek official introduction under Constantine Karamanlis in 1976 Varieties of Modern Greek
Hindustani language (Hindi and Urdu) Pluricentric Standard Hindustani (Hindi Standard Hindustani and Urdu Standard Hindustani) Central Hindi Directorate, National Language Authority of Pakistan Hindi language belt
Macedonian Standard Macedonian Institute for Macedonian language "Krste Misirkov" Macedonian dialects
Malay Pluricentric Standard Malay (as a national language in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore; as a regional language in Indonesia), Malaysian language, and Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia) Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (for the Malay language in Malaysia and Brunei), Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa (for the Indonesian language), Majlis Bahasa Brunei–Indonesia–Malaysia Malayan languages
Norwegian Nynorsk, Bokmål Språkrådet Norwegian dialects
Polish Standard Polish Polish Language Council Polish dialects
Portuguese Pluricentric Standard Portuguese (Brazilian Standard Portuguese and European Standard Portuguese) Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras, Academia Brasileira de Letras Portuguese dialects
Romanian Standard (or literary) Romanian Romanian Academy (through its "Iorgu Iordan – Alexandru Rosetti" Institute of Linguistics) in Romania and the Academy of Sciences of Moldova in the Republic of Moldova Romanian dialects
Serbo-Croatian Pluricentric Standard Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian Standard Serbo-Croatian, Croatian Standard Serbo-Croatian, Montenegrin Standard Serbo-Croatian, and Serbian Standard Serbo-Croatian) University of Sarajevo, Zagreb, Podgorica, and Belgrade; Matica hrvatska and Matica srpska South Serbian dialects (Torlakian) and West Croatian dialects (Kajkavian and Čakavian)
Slovenian Standard Slovenian Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts Slovene dialects, Prekmurje Slovene, Resian dialect
Somali Standard Somali Regional Somali Language Academy Somali languages
Spanish Pluricentric Standard Spanish (Pluricentric American Standard Spanish, Canarian Standard Spanish, and European Standard Spanish) Real Academia Española, Association of Spanish Language Academies Spanish dialects and varieties
Swahili Standard Swahili based on the Kiunguja dialect (Zanzibar) Inter-Territorial Language Committee Mombasa dialect, others
Swedish Standard Swedish Swedish Language Council, Svenska språkbyrån Swedish dialects
Turkish Standard Turkish Türk Dil Kurumu Turkish dialects

  • Ammon, Ulrich (1995). Die deutsche Sprache in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz: das Problem der nationalen Varietäten [German Language in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: The Problem of National Varieties] (in German). Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 575. OCLC 33981055. 
  • Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable. 2002. A History of the English Language, fifth ed. (London: Routledge)
  • Blake, N. F. 1996. A History of the English Language (Basingstoke: Palgrave)
  • Clyne, Michael G., ed. (1992). Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations. Contributions to the sociology of language 62. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. p. 481. ISBN . OCLC 24668375. 
  • Joseph, John E. 1987. Eloquence and Power: The Rise of Language Standards and Standard Languages (London: Frances Pinter; New York: Basil Blackwell)
  • Kloss, Heinz (1976). "Abstandsprachen und Ausbausprachen" [Abstand-languages and Ausbau-languages]. In Göschel, Joachim; Nail, Norbert; van der Elst, Gaston. Zur Theorie des Dialekts: Aufsätze aus 100 Jahren Forschung. Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik, Beihefte, n.F., Heft 16. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner. pp. 301–322. OCLC 2598722. 
  • Kordić, Snježana (2010). Jezik i nacionalizam [Language and Nationalism] (PDF). Rotulus Universitas (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: Durieux. p. 430. ISBN . LCCN 2011520778. OCLC 729837512. OL 15270636W. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. 
  • Norman, Jerry (1988). Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN . 
  • Smith, Jeremy. 1996. An Historical Study of English: Function, Form and Change (London: Routledge)
  • Stewart, William A. (1968). "A Sociolinguistic Typology for Describing National Multilingualism". In Fishman, Joshua A. Readings in the Sociology of Language. The Hague, Paris: Mouton. pp. 529–545. doi:10.1515/9783110805376.531. ISBN . OCLC 306499. 


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