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RE: Problem with LANG keyword

From: Reuven Nisser <rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 23:53:11 +0300
To: "Christoph P?per" <christoph.paeper@tu-clausthal.de>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>, "'shaula haitner'" <shaula@shaula.co.il>, "'Yuval Rabinovich'" <yuval@faz.co.il>, "'Gertel Hasson'" <gilagh@netvision.net.il>
Message-ID: <EOEHIKCGOKGNIEEKJHEKKEJDDGAA.rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>

Sorry for the confusion I meant using "LANG=de" for German.

Your question regarding Hebrew or Arabic transcribed with Latin letters is
very interesting. I did not thought about that. I do not know much about
Arabic but I will answer regarding Hebrew.

I've seen usage of such text when the Hebrew characters were not available
like in old TTY or something but almost never since Windows exists. I've
seen some text in chats or emails with Hebrew words written with English
letters but never in something official. However, when Hebrew is used with
English letters, there is no way to show the correct Hebrew letters on a
Braille display and  it is meant to be spoken using the English
pronunciation rules and the writing is done so that it will "sound like" the
Hebrew pronunciation. So, to my opinion you still need to treat it as

On the other hand, English is an official language in Israel. I've seen many
sites with mixed Hebrew and English. See for example the site of my
organization http://www.ofek-liyladenu.org.il/ or popular sites like
http://www.msn.co.il or http://home.netvision.net.il/. In all cases, you
will find English words or sentences mixed with Hebrew text.

So, the question arises why not to allow <HTML LANG="he,en"> so that
complying the standard will be easy?
Even if you disagree with me that Hebrew written with Latin letters should
be treated as English, it can still be written using "LANG=he" and "LANG=en"
which does not allow more choices than one language.

Thank you,
Reuven Nisser
Ofek Liyladenu

-----Original Message-----
From: Christoph Päper [mailto:christoph.paeper@tu-clausthal.de]
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 9:21 PM
To: Reuven Nisser
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Problem with LANG keyword

Reuven Nisser <rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>:
> However, there are times where the change of language is "known" by the
> character set used in the HTML. For example, English is using Ansi 7 bit
> characters but Hebrew & Arabic occupy the upper 128-255. [...]
> In this case, the text language can be derived for the text itself.

Isn't Hebrew (or Arabic) transcribed with Latin letters still Hebrew (or

> However, if inside such a text I would like to switch to German, I will
> to use "LANG=ge".

The two-letter ISO 639 language code for modern German is "de" (for
"deutsch"). Three-letters is either "deu" or "ger", but HTML mandates the
two-letter version if exists one.
Received on Tuesday, 23 September 2003 16:53:17 UTC

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