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Re: Language environments

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Language environments
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 15:27:11 -0800 (PST)

> From: Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 03:38:30 -0700 (MST)

> The example of the newspaper that changes scripts from page to page
> is interesting--I suspect it does this to make a political point
> about language and the nationalists.

Good guess.  The newspaper is Oslobodjene in Sarajevo (with mostly a
Muslim readership), and the alternating pages symbolizes its
ecumenical stance.  They go so far as to start each day with a
different orthography.  My source for this is E. A. Hammel's

> It is true Croatia uses an extended Latin script while Serbia uses the
> Cyrillic script.

Actually, Serbia uses both orthographies; Cyrillic and Latinic both
have some official status in Serbia, and both are commonly used in
practice and are mixed up so often that my impression is that readers
often don't notice the difference.  Cyrillic is used in official
government publications, though; it is considered more "orthodox".

> Emacs needs to support the two scripts more or less separately, but we
> should not call them "Serbian" and "Croatian" as if those were two
> different languages.  That would support the nationalists' fiction.

Yes, but we should take care in this stance so as to not cause
unwanted friction.  My impression is that most Serbians say that
there's one language, whereas many Croatians say that there are
multiple languages.  From a linguist's point of view, those Serbians
are more "correct", but I'd rather that we avoid that dispute as much
as possible.

>From Emacs's point of view I suggest handling all four ISO 639
abbreviations (Serbo-Croatian (sh), Serbian (sr), Croatian (hr), and
Bosnian (bs)) with a single Emacs language environment that supports
both Cyrillic and Latinic well.  Other orthographies for that language
are not in common use any more, but they can be added later as needed.

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