Re: [OT] Export laws in USA and elsewhere (was RE: Persian or Farsi? (was RE: Decimal separator with more than one character?))

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 11:00:29 EDT

  • Next message: Rick Cameron: "RE: Persian or Farsi? (was RE: Decimal separator with more than o ne c haracter?)"

    > From: "Marco Cimarosti" <>
    > Now obviously France or Germany or TamilNadu can say what they like, and
    > other stakeholders are free to respect or ignore anything they say.
    > Companies that sell software all over the world have to take everyone into
    > account (just like Unicode must).

    Another way to say it is that no government controls what is a language. By definition, a language belongs to the people that speak it and use it to communicate with each other or with other communities (so a language is never bound to some national borders).

    And governments should only regulate what is the most commonly admitted term that can be understood unambiguously by the speakers/writers in their own country, without any need to influence how the language is used elsewhere, only for usage of the language in public/official texts such as laws and contracts, where such strict definitions are needed to avoid abuses or conflicts in specific regulated activities.

    Even academic institutions or national/international standard organisms do not fix a language to a predetermined and permanent terminology, as all modern languages are living and evolving out of their very limited influence. All linguistic standards then evolve to take into account the natural evolution of languages (and ISO may as well rename in the future the Persian language into Farsi, if this term reaches a wider audience and agreement, or list it as a clear prefered synonym).

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