From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Dec 27 2004 - 02:55:29 CST
According to many sources, Filipino is the official language of the
Philippins, which has been standardized years after ISO639 had standardized
its 2-letter and 3-letter codes for Filipino, Pilipino, and Tagalog.
The problem is that Filipino should be considered distinct from Pilipino and
- Tagalog is the historic language, which was written historically with its
own script before the Spanish era, and that has been romanized to the Latin
script since long. It survives today as a minority language in a minority
area, and excludes any use of european phonetics and vocabulary. This is
what should correspond to the "tl" (and "tlg") ISO639-1 (and -2/B or -2/T)
- Pilipino is the modern transformation of Tagalog during the Spanish
invasion, up to the period of American administration which intriduced lots
of English terms. It corresponds to the Tagalog language but with minor
phonetic transformations coming from the Latin-based litteracy when reading
texts, but it still does not incorporate the whole vocabulary and phonetics
of Spanish and English. It has always been written in the Latin script only,
using the 26 base letters (minus the F letter) plus Spanish digraphs ch, rr,
ll, ñ, and ng from English, considered as single letters. Its phonetic
mostly ressembles to the Tagalog language, so the few imported words from
English and Spanish are often transformed a lot to adapt to the Tagalog
phonology, and the orthography is simplified using the same rules as those
used to write Tagalog words.
Pilipino is then a natural evolution of Tagalog and should be considered the
same language, keeping its purity at the price of being well understood only
by a minority, but not by native Europeans or by other important native
speakers of other dialects, notably Cebuano. Since 1998 (I am not sure of
this date), Pilipino is no longer the official language, so the ISO639 codes
"tl" and "tlg" attached to it should no more be used, except when refering
to this regional dialect.
- Filipino is the successor of Pilipino, and is given the 3-letters code
"fil" in ISO-639-2. This is a mix of Pilipino, English, Spanish, Cebuano,
and other regional dialects from other important minorities of the region
like Malay and Chinese. It has many difference with Pilipino, but
unfortunately, ISO-639-2 has mixed the two languages in the same code. (My
opinion is that the "Pilipino" defined in ISO-639-2 is incorrect, and it
should be listed under the "tl" and "tlg" code row as an alias of Tagalog).
For today applications, we need to make the distinction between modern
Tagalog or Pilipino (code "tl" or "tlg") and Filipino (code "fil"). I have
seen several applications that want a two-letter codes reuse the "tl" code
incorrectly for Filipino:
- using the country code or variant code in a locale code to create a locale
identifier for Filipino: "tl-PH",
- and a region or variant subcode to designate the "pure" Tagalog language:
Other applications are trying to use the 2-letter codes of the Philippins
for its official Filipino language "ph", because "ph" is still unassigned
(reserved) in ISO-639.
The problem is that this is informal, and non standard. If ISO639 is
amended, it would be good to add the 639-1 2-letter code "ph" for "Filipino"
(already coded "fil" in ISO-639-2/B or -2T), and to change the mapping of
"Pilipino" as an alias of Tagalog (rather than an alias of Filipino.)
Now comes the problem of tagging localized resources for the Philipines: can
we use "ph" today? or must we use only "fil" or "fil-PH"?
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