[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: supporting obscure languages

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: supporting obscure languages
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2009 10:28:57 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9

John Cowan wrote:
> Is there any reason why ISO 639-3 identifiers cannot be used for
> appropriate languages?  639-3 is much more comprehensive than 639-2, and
> the identifiers correspond (that is, since 'haw' is Hawaiian in 639-2,
> it has the same meaning in 639-3).

ISO 639-2 has stronger rules about stability: Codes in ISO 639-2/B will not
be changed, and the other ISO 639-2 can be changed, but an old code will not
be reused for another language for 5 years. Whereas in ISO 639-3 there are
large changes every year [1].

> In short, unless there is some technical barrier to using 639-3 code
> elements, it is more appropriate to code this language as "zam" rather
> than as "address@hidden".

From the linguistic point of view, you may be right.

From the point of stability of the code, if you choose "zam", you have to
consider the possibility that the code be changed at some point in the
future. This is not impossible to do - we had a change from 'address@hidden' to
'nn' a couple of years ago - but it causes trouble to the users of that
language for some years.


[1] http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/changes.asp

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]