I think much of this discussion is dealing with terminology differences
that are so narrow that one is discussing "the number of angels who
can dance on the head of a pin". (In other words we are debating
theology, not practice.) In reality, specifications are worded as
carefully as possible, but interpretation is open to the reader's most
common definition/redefinition/translation of the exact
terminology. -- So rather than debate what the "exact
meaning" of a word/phrase is in each of these languages, maybe we
should take a looser interpretation of what is written and then clarify
My reading of the ISO spec is that "und/undetermined" means
"I don't know (or care, or am unwilling to state) what the language
is (and have no closer alternative language identifier given the
available options)". From a practical viewpoint, "und"
indicates I can't assume any specific/preferred linguistic definitions
for words in the content, nor can I assume any specific/preferred
pronunciation-, spelling-, hyphenation-, and/or grammar-rules on the
content; though I am allowed to attempt my own linguistic analysis to
guess at the language. (Whereas zxx says I 'may not' apply any of those
language-based services because it is not a 'natural' language and should
not attempt any linguistic analysis to guess at the language.) I can't
see any practical difference between "und" and ""
(except that "" is disallowed in some processing environments)
so why can't the documents simply say that 'a missing specification' or
'xml:lang=""' (should either occur), will be interpreted as
It has been a while since I considered myself fluent in Swedish (and I
intentionally ignored the lack of the dieresis in the original text as an
indication that the translations were "lossy"). I just thought
that some comment would force the necessary clarification of the
At 2007.04.13-01:26(+0200), Kent Karlsson wrote:
I thought "obestamt" was
literally means "undetermined". "Unstated" would be
"osagt", "outtalat", or "ej angett"
("not given", closer to the current German translation).
would agree that xml:lang="" is closer to "unstated"
than "undetermined". I'm not sure
that that nit-picking leads anywhere in this case. But
"unstated" is not the same as "undetermined";
it may well be determined, but just not stated... So maybe there is a
difference worth bothering about.