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Re: Language Identifier List up for comments

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 16:59:43 -0500
Message-Id: <p06100500bde50f2d9db7@[]>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis@jtcsv.com>
Cc: "Tex Texin" <tex@xencraft.com>, "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, <www-international@w3.org>

>I think Richard was making a very different point. In particular, I share
>his concerns as given in [4].
>I don't know what this list is intended for, nor how it would be used (or
>misused), nor precisely what it is supposed to measure, nor the criteria for
>being on or off the list. Do the authors thinkg that someone supposed to
>reject a language tag containing a region that is not on the list? Or that
>localizations be limited to the list? Or include all of the list?

I agree 100%. I would add that a language list 
needed  for  most i18n purposes  (mostly written 
standards) would probably be different from a 
language list needed by dialect or minority 
language specialists.

For instance, if you are a company wanting to 
create documents for a global market, it might 
make sense to make sure you have a separate 
translation for Brazillian Portuguese and 
European Portuguese since these two forms appear 
to have significant grammatical differences, even 
in the written language.

But a Japanese company marketing in the U.S., 
they would not worry about grammatical 
differences between New York and Los Angeles - 
only the U.S. vs. Britain, Canada, etc. 
Dialectologists would worry about the regional 
differences, but they also realize that each city 
may have several dialects. For intance:


My impression is that the more general list is 
the one that is being created, although I could 
be wrong. If it's the specific spoken form list, 
then I would suggest that there is a long road 

>  Even for a language like Japanese
>you'd have to verify that the Japanese immigrant community in the US,
>Brazil, etc. spoke and wrote identically to their counterparts in Japan.
>(More useful would be the size of given sub-populations, either heads or by
various economic measures.)
>A. A set of language subtags for which there is no difference in written or
>spoken form based on region. This, however, would be rather difficult to
>determine. I suspect the only qualifying ones would be those that were
>essentially limited to a single region.

If there is a large enough community and it has 
been in a region long enough there will no doubt 
be differences. A Japanese American community 
might have more English borrowings than standard 
Japanese would. A Japanese community in Lima 
might be using more Spanish.

In addition, I understand there are signficant 
linguistic differences in regional varieties of 
spoken Japanese not reflected in the written 

Elizabeth Pyatt

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Tuesday, 14 December 2004 22:08:17 UTC

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