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Re: ISO 639-2 3-letter language codes and RFC 1766

From: Alain LaBont/e'/ <alb@sct.gouv.qc.ca>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 18:06:15 -0500
Message-Id: <9701202306.AA03499@socrate.riq.qc.ca>
To: ietf-languages@uninett.no
Cc: ietf-types@uninett.no, www-international@www10.w3.org, iso10646@listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
At 08:44 1997-1-20 -0500, Harald.T.Alvestrand@uninett.no wrote:
>(NOTE: This is being sent to 4 lists, in order to inform interested parties.
>Reply set to ietf-languages@uninett.no. Please respect it!
>This is a majordomo-maintained list; send to majordomo@uninett.no with
>SUBSCRIBE ietf-languages in the BODY to join)
>In my role as author and responsible maintainer for RFC 1766,
>I have now reviewed the ISO proposal for 3-letter language codes.
>The most interesting parts are:
>- It has 2 sets of codes for its 460-odd languages, which differ
>  in 25 places (details below)
>- The sets are called "bibliographic" and "terminology" codes, and
>  the "bibliographic" is mostly English-based codes, seemingly
>  retained for backwards compatibility with installed applications
>- There are codes for groups of languages, like "Finno-ugric (Other)"
>- There are the special codes "mul" and "unk" for multiple and
>  unknown languages, respectively
>- Spanish is treated specially: The doc gives "spa" in both columns,
>  but a note that "esp" may be used for the terminology code after
>  a period of 5 years. No explanation given, but an old tag for
>  esperanto may be suspected.
>- It has been balloted in ISO/TC37/SC2 and ISO/TC46/SC4
>  France voted against in TC46/SC4.
>  Germany voted against in TC37/SC2, but did not vote in TC46/SC4.
>  Ireland voted against in TC46/SC4.
>  USA voted against in TC37/SC2, but in favour in TC46/SC4.
>- There's a meeting in July of 1997 to resolve the comments
>  (ISOspeak for revising the draft in light of ballot comments)
>My opinion is that we should not revise RFC 1766, "Tags for the identification
>of languages", the basis for the Content-language: header, to refer to this 
>work until the final resolution of comments is done, and the document is 
>published as an ISO standard.
>And then, if there are still 2 columns, RFC 1766 should refer to only
>ONE of them.
>                    Harald A
>APPENDIX: List of codes that differ in the 2 codespaces
>*Albanian           alb           sqi
>*Armenian           arm           hye
>*Basque             baq           eus
>*Burmese            bur           mya
>*Chinese            chi           zho
>*Croatian           scr           hrv
>*Czech              cze           ces
>*Dutch              dut           nld
>*French             fre           fra
>*Gaelic (Scots)     gae           gdh
>*Georgian           geo           kat
>*German             ger           deu
>*Greek, Modern (1453-)gre           ell
>*Icelandic          ice           isl
>*Irish              iri           gai
>*Javanese           jav           jaw
>*Macedonian         mac           mkd
>*Malay              may           msa
>*Maori              mao           mri
>*Persian            per           fas
>*Romanian           rum           ron
>*Serbian            scc           srp
>*Slovak             slo           slk
>*Tibetan            tib           bod
>*Welsh              wel           cym


If you have to choose 1 column, and I certainly support this idea, please
use the second one. I would not like my Internet surname and trademark since
almost a decade (alb) to be interpreted as "Albanian" (just joking, but I
don't have to be explicit about the true reason behind my choice, you know
my opinion about this already, it is internationally notorious since tens of
centuries (: ).

Alain LaBonté, alias alb
in multilingual, equatorial-green and ultramodern Singapore
(official languages: msa, zho, eng, +[tamoul/tamil, code tam?])
Received on Monday, 20 January 1997 18:04:23 UTC

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