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RE: 3-Letter Language Code

From: Robert Vanraamsdonk <Robert_Vanraamsdonk@lionbridge.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 12:23:32 -0500
Message-ID: <B722B7B2DB66D311A48900902798CCEFC1BE8D@exc.lionbridge.com>
To: "'Shailendra Musale'" <shailendra.musale@f-secure.com>, www-international@w3.org
Cc: "Bert Esselink (E-mail)" <bert_esselink@lionbridge.com>, Cathleen Adams <cathleen_adams@lionbridge.com>, Celene Abramson <Celene_Abramson@lionbridge.com>, Franco Zearo <Franco_Zearo@lionbridge.com>, "Roxanne Malik (E-mail)" <roxanne_malik@lionbridge.com>
Hi Saleindra,

I would advise you to: 

1) NOT use country identifiers in the filename extensions. You might run
into filename extension conflicts when you port to different platforms, plus
all translation vendors (and translation memory tools for that matter) will
expect RC files to be named with the *.rc extension, as this very common
resource file type is usually processed natively. Also, changing the
extension prevents persons handling the file from meaningful interpretation
of the nature and format of the file.

2) Introduce the notion of LOCALE into your file naming convention. The
locale identifier is a widely accepted standard in software development and
i18n for denoting specific region + language combinations. The format for
locales is a lowercase two-letter country code (use ISO 639-1 for this),
followed by and underscore '_' and an uppercase two letter language code
(use ISO 3166-1). For your *.RC files, your filename would look something
like  'xxxx_fr_FR.rc' for French in France, 'xxxx_fr_CA.rc' for French in
Canada. French is a good example written and spoken French has some
seriously different rules for spelling, punctuation and more, depending
whether you are in France or Canada. There are many more examples (such as
'en_US' for US English versus 'en_UK' for UK English), and would also neatly
solve your Chinese naming issue.

Introducing the notion of locale throughout your code and file structure
eliminates all ambiguity, and makes it immediately compatible with
industry-wide practice. Please feel free to give me a call if you have
further questions.

Kind regards,

Robert VanRaamsdonk
Global Engagement Consultant
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.
492 Old Connecticut Path
Framingham, MA 01701
phone: +1 (508) 960 2363
eFax: +1 (815) 327-3745

-----Original Message-----
From: Shailendra Musale [mailto:shailendra.musale@f-secure.com]
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 7:59 PM
To: www-international@w3.org
Subject: 3-Letter Language Code

Hello all,

We name the localized (RC) files as "filename.xxx",
where xxx is 3-letter language code.

For example, a Japanese localized file will have a name as "filename.jpn"

For these 3-letter codes, we are currently using
the country-code list available on following site:

We can't use language codes provided at
because they are 2-letter codes.

My questions regarding this are as follows:

1) Is there any International-Standard
     List of 3-letter language codes - codes which
     can be used for all popular operating systems?

2) If we choose to use Microsoft-provided (or Windows-specific)
     3-letter language codes and later if we come-up with UNIX-version
     of the software, then for UNIX platform, we have to modify some of the
     language codes, right? will there be any problems due to
     conflicts in language-codes?

3) Which codes should we use for Simplified Chinese
     and Traditional Chinese?
     Is it CHS and CHT respectively?
     or CHN and TWN respectively?

Please advise.


22 December, 2000
Shailendra Musale
Received on Tuesday, 26 December 2000 12:24:21 UTC

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