Re: New RFC 4645-4647 (language tags)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2006 - 08:56:24 CDT

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    Mark E. Shoulson <mark at kli dot org> wrote:

    > I think the question here (at least the question *I* have here), is
    > that if and when ISO 4646 is made to include ISO 639-3, given that ISO
    > 639-3 and ISO 639-2 both use 3-letter codes, how will it be possible
    > to distinguish whether a 639-2 or a 639-3 code is being used? Unless
    > all of the 639-2 codes are subsumed into 639-3 (i.e. no one code has
    > incompatible meanings under the two standards). And in that case, is
    > 639-2 "deprecated" because 639-3 says everything it says, and more?

    ISO 639-2 and 639-3 share the same code space. Any code element that
    exists in both parts has the same meaning.

    Technically this is a moot point for users, because they will be using
    subtags from the IANA Language Subtag Registry, not code elements from
    ISO standards. The subtags are based on the ISO standards. It is the
    responsibility of the Language Subtag Reviewer and the list to make sure any possible conflicts in the
    standards don't find their way into the Registry.

    Doug Ewell
    Fullerton, California, USA
    RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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