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Re: ISO 639-2 3-letter language codes and RFC 1766

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 18:10:32 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <9701241810.ZM23246@grommit.inria.fr>
To: Michael Everson <everson@indigo.ie>, Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Cc: mgunn@ucd.ie (Marion Gunn), iso10646@listproc.hcf.jhu.edu, keld@dkuug.dk (Keld J|rn Simonsen), www-international@www10.w3.org, ietf-languages@uninett.no, ietf-types@uninett.no
On Jan 22,  6:51pm, Michael Everson wrote:

At 18:49 +0100 1997-01-22, Chris Lilley wrote:
> >I dispute that. I have always heard the language referred to as Scots
> >never Scottish Gaelic.

> Marion is right, Chris. In general people call "Gàidhlig" 'Gaelic'. But the
> fullest form of the language's name is "Gàidhlig na h-Alba" 'Gaelic of
> Scotland'

With you so far. Gaelic of <country>.

> or 'Scottish Gaelic'.

Ah. Now you paraphrase G. of <country> to <countries> G.
The inhabitants refer to themselves as the Scots, although
other people refer to them as Scottish or Scotch.

> Compare, please, "Gaeilge na hÉireann"
> 'Gaelic of Ireland' or 'Irish Gaelic' and "Gaelg Vannin" 'Gaelic of Man' or
> 'Manx Gaelic'.

Same problem. The literal translation is fine, but then you paraphrase.

> >I appreciate that there is the potential of confusion with the entirely
> >different language Scots, but there we are.
> While Scottish Gaelic has been called Scots Gaelic in the past, the term
> Scottish Gaelic is more correct,

You do not indicate how it is more correct.

The issue is that the language is being defined by geographical area
or the population therof, ie Scotland and the Scots, respectively.
The fact that on the same land, Scots Gaelic was used at one time and
Scots at a later time is the problem.

> and generally becoming more widespread
> these days. ISO 639 should use this terms, particularly to avoid confusion
> with the Germanic language Scots.

The confusion argument I understand and agree with. On the correctness
argument, I remain unconvinced.

Incidentally, the Concise Scots Dictionary tells me Scots was originaly
called 'Inglisc'. ;-) And of course the language is not purely Germanic,
drawing also from French and from Norse. (Examples, a serving plate is
an ashet and breakfast is a disjune).

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Friday, 24 January 1997 12:14:26 UTC

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