[whatwg] accessibility management for timed media elements, proposal

On Jun 9, 2007, at 5:26 PM, Dave Singer wrote:

> I have to confess I saw the BBC story about sign-language soon  
> after sending this round internally.  But I need to do some study  
> on the naming of sign languages and whether they have ISO codes.   
> Is it true that if I say that the human language is ISO 639-2 code  
> XXX, and that it's signed, there is only one choice for what the  
> sign language is (I don't think so -- isn't american sign language  
> different from british)?  Alternatively, are there ISO or IETF  
> codes for sign languages themselves?

Almost no sign languages are related to the spoken language in the  
same region any more than any two spoken languages are related to  
each other. Sign languages are full-fledged languages in their own  
right, not signed transliterations of spoken language (though they do  
frequently have an alphabet system for signing words and names from  
spoken languages). So, American Sign Language is not actually related  
to English any more than other languages spoken in America are (like  
Cherokee or Spanish).

The situation with the ISO 639-2 codes is unfortunate, because there  
is only a single code for all sign languages, sgn. It appears that  
the solution is to add extensions specifying the actual language,  
such as sgn-US or sgn-UK. There's more information available here:  

Received on Saturday, 9 June 2007 21:02:35 UTC