Re: Official ISO 3166 country codes online

From: Harald Tveit Alvestrand (
Date: Tue Nov 30 1999 - 08:03:06 EST

At 20:56 28.11.99 +0900, Masataka Ohta wrote:

>It is a known error of RFC1766 of IETF language tag that it unnecessarily
>relate language and ISO 3166.

It is a known fact that Ohta-san and I disagree a lot of the time.

>Through the discussion on IETF language tag, I repeatedly pointed it out
>that IETF language tag should have nothing to do with ISO 3166. But,
>Harald insisted to keep his original proposal.
>The obvious solution is to correct RFC1766.

If Ohta-san had been able to convince at least one other member of the
discussion of his viewpoint, I might have been more receptive.

The relationship between language and country code was copied almost
verbatim from ISO 639, which specifies the use of language code and country
code together for "language as spoken in a specific country"; if this is an
error, it is an error that did not originate with me.

The fact that codes of this form exist does not prevent anyone from using
the language code alone, or using the ISO 639 language code with subtags
that are not country codes.

[Note: Recipient list not trimmed. I recommend that anyone who wants to
discuss RFC 1766 language tags subscribe to
(by sending mail to and address
further correspondence there only.]

                       Harald T. Alvestrand

Harald Tveit Alvestrand, EDB Maxware, Norway

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