Re: Same language, two locales (RE: Locale string for Norwegian -

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Fri Sep 01 2000 - 05:00:25 EDT wrote:
> "Cascading" language selection is a great thing, and we are probably moving
> in that direction.
> But it is probably pointless to standardize the hierarchy of languages,
> because it is too much bound to the culture and preferences of each
> individual.
> E.g. you cannot assume that Italian is the preferred language for all
> Italians and, if not available, English is always the next best choice. The
> mother tongue of many Italian citizens is German (or French, or Catalan, or
> Albanian) and, although English is the most widespread foreign language,
> many Italians are more fluent in French, German, Spanish, Russian...

Similarly, I had a strange experience a month ago.
My browser is configured with two "accept-languages", "ca" (Catalan) then
"fr" (French), as we presently miss Valencian. Normaly, with the few
multilingual sites, it works without problems (i.e. I get the French
page when there is no Catalan ones).

But recently, on a major on-line selling site, I noticed that on my computer,
I got the English page (which is a *very* frequent case), but my collegues
(which for most part have "fr" as first language) do instead receive the
French one.
After some tryings, it showed that the site was only taking in account the
_first_ accept-language, and when it cannot serve it, it defaulted to

Not very i18n-friendly, IMHO. And it is not going to be better with
Norwegian peoples: I assume that it will last quite some time before
"nn" comes into wide use, so the pages will still be tagged "no" for
a while; imagine the ISO-aware interneters (like Keld?) that had set
"nn" as his primary language (then "nb" then "no" then "da"), to got
the English page while the server have the Norwegian and the Danish
page available...

> So, probably, the hierarchical list of language preferences should be a
> customizable part of the locale, as it is in fact in some environments.

This still leads to problem.
Neither you nor I would accept that our national language are tagged,
respectively, la-ital and la-fran... ;-)
Similarly, I believe Norwegians and Danes will not accept to have their
present 2-letter codes replaced with cascaded ones in the form
"Norse"-n? or "Norse"-da (replace "Norse" with the adequate code for
the common root language of both language). And again and again.

Also, what is the root language of Urdu? Is it Sanskrit, or Arabic, or Persian?

Can of worms, can of worms...


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