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Re: declaring language in html/xhtml

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:01:54 +0900
Message-Id: <6.0.0.20.2.20041213135045.08b2da00@localhost>
To: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>, Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Cc: www-international@w3.org

I agree mostly with Jon. Living in Japan and speaking and
reading Japanese, "ja-jp" looks totally redundant. Just adding
a country designation to a language tag because you somehow
think you need one, and you know a related country, doesn't make
sense. Adding a country (or any other subtag) only makes sense
if you know two things:

1) that the subtag in question reasonably identifies a particular
    subvariant of the language
2) that the text in question indeed distinuishes itself from other
    texts in the primary language by reasonably beloning to the
    subvariant identified by the subtag

So just because a text originated in Japan does not justify adding
"-jp" to it.

Tex, if you are starting a list, I suggest you make a list of those
subtag combinations that make sense, such as en-gb, en-us, en-ie,...,
it will contain a lot more information. Just listing languages that
don't really take country subtags won't show what country subtags
are reasonable for what languages.

Also, please make sure you talk about written language (HTML is
always written) rather than about spoken language.

Regards,    Martin. 
Received on Monday, 13 December 2004 05:12:05 GMT

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