Countries and Currencies According to the ISO Standard
The real world is complicated. Standard bodies such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) attempt to encode all the particularities into a single language, facilitating understanding and interoperability across globally connected systems.
Country Codes: ISO 3166
One might not think that as simple as question as “what are the countries exist?” might be contentious. Well, in some parts of the world, using even the word country itself to refer to a region might be considered too strong of a word (of course, depending on who you're asking).
Nevertheless, for the purposes of information systems, the ISO 3166 is the well-adopted standard which lists all the countries.
It provides two-letter and three-letter codes (in the A-Z 26-letter Latin alphabet -- you can't assume anything) for each listed country, and there are currently 249 such entities.
Here are some examples drawn from the list in no particular order:
Brazil BR BRA United States of America US USA Canada CA CAN United Kingdom GB GBR Mexico MX MEX Germany DE DEU France FR FRA Norway NO NOR Switzerland CH CHE Liechtenstein LI LIE El Salvador SV SLV
Languages: ISO 639
Of course, these countries all talk some language. The ISO body has a two-letter code for every spoken language in the standard ISO 639. Note that we must consider that a single language might be spoken in different countries (and might present localized particularities); and that a single country might have multiple official languages.
Brazil pt Portuguese United States of America en English Canada en English Canada fr French United Kingdom en English Mexico es Spanish Germany de German France fr French Norway no Norwegian Switzerland ge German Switzerland fr French Switzerland it Italian Switzerland rm Romansh Liechtenstein ge German El Salvador es Spanish
Note that a market, for the purposes of product commercialization and customer segmentation, is usually denoted by the combination of the two-letter ISO codes for language and country. For example:
pt-br Portuguese-speaking Brazilians en-us English-speaking Americans en-ca English-speaking Canadians en-fr French-speaking Canadians es-mx Spanish-speaking Mexicans
Currencies: ISO 4217
Finally, all these countries also talk money, and the unit of money is a currency. The ISO body has standardized a set of three-letter codes for each currency in circulation in the ISO 4217.
Once again , a slight, but important, detail: a single country may have multiple official currencies; and a currency might be used by multiple countries (sometimes surprisingly).
Brazil BRL Brazilian real United States of America USD United States dollar Canada CAD Canadian Dollar United Kingdon GBP Pound sterling Mexico MXN Mexican Peso Germany EUR Euro France EUR Euro Norway NOK Norwegian krone Switzerland CHF Swiss franc Liechtenstein CHF Swiss franc El Salvador SVC Salvadoran colón El Salvador USD United States dollar