From: Mark Davis (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2007 - 12:42:39 CST
The goal for CLDR is to use the most customary, recognizable terms for
whatever the language in question. You can file a bug on the CLDR site
presenting evidence that CE and BCE are more commonly used and understood
than AD and BC.
That does not, of course, prevent a spirited discussion on this list or
(perhaps more appropriately, firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Dec 19, 2007 9:12 AM, Ed Trager <email@example.com> wrote:
> Also, I am very interested in seeing what people on this list consider
> as appropriate translations and corresponding abbreviations for
> "Common Era" and "Before Common Era" for various languages ...
> On Dec 19, 2007 12:01 PM, Ed Trager <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Hi, everyone,
> > For the Gregorian calendar in CLDR, two --and as far as I am aware
> > only two-- era terms are defined:
> > BC - "Before Christ"
> > AD - Anno Domini (="year of the lord")
> > Is it really the case that these are the only two era terms available in
> > While these two era terms quite naturally arose from the fact that the
> > Gregorian calendar was promulgated by the Christian church, many
> > --myself included-- will now argue that these two terms should be
> > supplanted by the completely secular terms, "CE - Common Era" and "BCE
> > - Before Common Era".
> > While there are many grounds on which one can argue in favor of "CE"
> > and "BCE" over the traditional "AD" and "BC", perhaps the simplest and
> > least divisive is the simple fact that the two terms "BC" and "AD" are
> > not accurate, since most religious historians now believe that Jesus
> > of Nazareth was born sometime between 7 and 4 BCE.
> > Given the now world-wide use of the Gregorian Calendar as a secular
> > standard for measuring dates in every realm of endeavor beyond the
> > Church, it seems uncharacteristically anachronistic that the CLDR
> > defines only these two era terms:
> > => At the very least, these two terms need to be supplanted by the
> > modern, secular terms, "CE - Common Era" and "BCE - Before Common Era"
> > This should be done immediately.
> > => In the very best case, the anachronistic terms "BC" and "AD"
> > could be removed from CLDR altogether.
> > However, I --and I am sure many of you also-- realize that it may be
> > too much to ask for the outright removal of the anachronistic terms
> > "BC" and "AD". So rather than argue about removal of "BC" and "AD",
> > can we at least all agree that "CE" and "BCE" need to be added to CLDR
> > as soon as possible?
> > Note that in some locales, use of "Common Era" and "Before Common Era"
> > is already well established. For example, the Chinese already use the
> > term "公元" which means "common era" and "公元前" which means "before
> > common era". So, for the "zh" Chinese locales, we may conclude that
> > the "values" are already correct, but the "keys" are wrong. However,
> > in many other locales, translations of --or customary equivalents
> > for-- "BC" and "AD" naturally enough continue to reference the birth
> > of Jesus of Nazareth.
> > The addition of "CE" and "BCE" to CLDR will greatly facilitate the
> > efforts of localization specialists who wish to produce localized
> > software and electronic services for the widest possible audiences
> > without having to worry about offending anyone whose religious beliefs
> > and preferences may differ from those which have been traditionally
> > dominant in the Western world.
> > Best - Ed
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