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Re: 2 many language tags for Norwegian

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 01:36:47 -0400
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <20080425053647.GA22676@mercury.ccil.org>

Leif Halvard Silli scripsit:

> The current scheme, with 3 codes, even if poeple do not invent their own 
> codes, has lead to an arms race about the right to use the code "no". 
> The outcome of this race often looks like this: "NO" is used for Bokmål.. 
> "NN" is used for Nynorsk.

Well, most documents tagged "no" are in fact in nb, probably as a simple
consequence of the fact that most Norwegian documents overall are in nb.

> Is this how it was meant? Hardly. When a web site/resource exist in both 
> tongues, then "nn" should be used on the Nynorsk and "nb" on the Bokmål.. 

Indeed.

> The BCP 47 needs 2 new regions: A Norwegian Bokmål region. And a 
> Norwegian Nynorsk region. Both regions covers the entire Norway. Having 
> those regions, one could treat Norwegian the same as English, German 
> etc: You denote a variant of the language by adding another subcode.

Unfortunately, it cannot be done.  There is simply no way that the
U.N. Statistics Division, the ultimate source of BCP 47 region codes,
will decide to treat Norway as two different places.

And since they will not (and should not), ISO 3166/MA cannot, and
therefore ietf-languages cannot either.

> PS: BCP 47 has two "grandfathered" codes which I actually like quite 
> well: no-nyn and no-bok. These codes are much more simple to understand, 
> and much more in line with what users/authors would expect - and what I 
> outline here-  than the current, special, confusing 3 code solution for 
> Norwegian. Unfortunatly, their status as "grandfathered" is that they 
> are "on the way out".

In fact not: those codes are permanent.  They will always be valid in
BCP 47 contexts like xml:lang, HTTP Language: headers, and so on.

-- 
John Cowan   cowan@ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths
led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen.  I am the clue-finder,
the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.  --Bilbo
Received on Friday, 25 April 2008 05:37:22 GMT

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