Re: Making orthographies computer-ready

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Jul 30 2002 - 11:54:48 EDT

<Peter_Constable at sil dot org> wrote:

>>> There just aren't
>>> enough 2-letter codes to go around, and ISO 639-2 has restrictive
>>> requirements for doling out 2-letter codes -- it wasn't created for
>>> the benefit of locale implementers, but for the benefit of
>>> terminologists.
>> And bibliographers.
> No! The ISO 639-1 standard was developed by terminologists. The ISO
> 639-2 was due primarily to bibliographers (but the terminologists had
> a finger in the pie).

Sorry, you originally wrote "ISO 639-2 has restrictive requirements for
doling out 2-letter codes," which of course is a typo since 639-1 is
about 2-letter codes and 639-2 is about 3-letter codes. Instead of
reading critically and noticing that you were talking about 2-letter
codes, I picked up on "639-2."

>>> Luiseño and Tongva simply are not candidates.
>> Luiseño does have a 3-letter code (lui),
> But not a 2-letter code, and isn't likely to get a 2-letter code.

Well, it can't now, because of the policy.

>> The requirement that it doesn't meet is that it already has a
>> 3-letter code (haw).
> I can see why you might say that, but the discussions didn't go quite
> like that. Enough said.

I am certainly willing to believe that there were other criteria for
denying Hawaiian a 2-letter code. Nonetheless, now that the policy is
in place, and Hawaiian has a 3-letter code but no 2-letter code, it
cannot subsequently be assigned the latter.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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