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RE: Clarification about language tag

From: <Misha.Wolf@thomsonreuters.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:34:32 +0000
To: <chiarcos@informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>, <mvalle@cscs.ch>
CC: <christian.chiarcos@web.de>, <semantic-web@w3.org>, <ietf-languages@iana.org>
Message-ID: <CA374BE94E438444B40F4142D0E5E9CC98123715@C111XDQLMBX03.ERF.thomson.com>
+ ietf-languages@iana.org

Whether you work with modern-day languages or any other languages, you 
must follow BCP47.

And, in following BCP-47, you must be prepared to use whatever language 
tag length is required, not assume that all language tags will have the 
same length.

Consider, for example, these longer language tags:
-  sr-Cyrl = Serbian (Cyrillic)
-  sr-Latn = Serbian (Latin)
-  uz-Cyrl = Uzbek (Cyrillic)
-  uz-Latn = Uzbek (Latin)


-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Chiarcos [mailto:chiarcos@informatik.uni-frankfurt.de] 
Sent: 20 December 2016 17:19
To: semantic-web@w3.org Web; Mario Valle
Cc: christian.chiarcos@web.de
Subject: Re: Clarification about language tag

Dear Mario,

> In Turtle syntax the @lang tag syntax refers to BCP47 that states:
> language      = 2*3ALPHA            ; shortest ISO 639 code
> That is, the language code (I ignore all the variants here) should be 2  
> or 3 characters.

This means you should use the two-letter code for a language that has one  
(@en) even if it does have a three-letter code (@eng). Not every language  
does have a two-letter code.

> Indeed ISO 639 (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.loc.gov_standards_iso639-2D2_php_code-5Flist.php&d=CwIFbA&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLm9hvvvzvGv0FLoWSRuCSs5Q&r=VsO6ShdzLK20Tv5zCK2CUVP_oB340q3grZz3gJtouLE&m=SnuMGpH9aJBpJG4G8i3x6v1GSkDNibOUkGqj0zyTv_o&s=TEzQYtkmHF-FAqtk-AbmPZIVKuLy0UGpXXfHOfCIwQ0&e= )  
> lists both 2 and 3 chars codes (e.g., English: 'en' and 'eng').
> But in all Turtle examples I have found the language code has 2 chars.  
> Is it a requirement or is simply a tradition? This means, could I write  
> "Pancake"@eng?
> The question arises because WordNet contains 3 chars codes, so to  
> transform into triples, should/shouldn't I convert it to 2 characters?

The reason is that the 2-character codes are insufficient from the  
perspective of multilingual NLP or linguistics where ISO 639-3 is much  
more established (and somewhat better defined) than ISO 639-1 2-letter  
codes. Therefore, people developing language resources (like WordNet)  
sometimes tend to neglect ISO 639-1 codes altogether. I also went that way  
at times. In terms of BCP47, however, this is a mistake and should be  
fixed. As long as you work with modern-day major languages only and you  
don't see issues with the 2-letter codes for your task/resource, you  
should definitely follow BCP47 and use 2-letter codes wherever possible.


> Thanks for your patience
> 				mario

Prof. Dr. Christian Chiarcos
Applied Computational Linguistics
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitšt Frankfurt a. M.
60054 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 17:35:26 UTC

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