Codes ISO 3166-1 are an internationally recognised way to describe countries.
(ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardization. Yes, I know, I know. But it just does, okay?).
There are three ISO 3166-1 systems, a two-letter, a three-letter and a three-number one.
The two-letter codes are most widely used (nearly always for internet domain names, for instance), but the three letter code has the advantage of giving people more of a clue which country the code represents (ALB is easier to guess than just AL, for instance. Yes, it's Albania). The three-number code, used by the United Nations Statistical Organisation, is useful because numbers are recognisable even in places which don't use the Roman alphabet.
Here are ten two-letter country codes. Which country do they represent?
Answers ** below.
And if you got any of those right, you can preen yourself.
Word To Consider Today: Algeria. Other forms of the name are: in Arabic الجزائر, or al-Jazāʾir; in Algerian Arabic الدزاير or al-dzāyīr (and there's the DZ of the country code). There are also a few different names in Berber languages, of which ⵍⴻⵣⴰⵢⴻⵔ is in an interesting alphabet. In French, Algeria is called Algérie.
The name Algeria comes from the city of Algiers, which comes from the Arabic al-Jazāʾir which means The Islands.
**Algeria, American Samoa, Benin, Chad, Croatia, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Switzerland, Ukraine, Micronesia, respectively.