RE: Error on Language Codes page.

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Feb 01 2009 - 00:02:05 CST

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    > [] De la part de Doug Ewell
    > Envoyé : samedi 31 janvier 2009 18:48
    > À : Unicode Mailing List
    > Objet : Re: Error on Language Codes page.
    > Christopher Fynn <cfynn at gmx dot net> wrote:
    > > There is an error in the table of language codes page at
    > > <>
    > > "Language Codes: ISO 639, Microsoft and Macintosh"
    > That page continues to trouble me, because of its
    > recommendation to use ISO 639-1 codes for Hebrew, Indonesian,
    > and Yiddish that were withdrawn from that standard 20 years ago.

    These three casesv are not a problem: did you note the asterisk after these
    codes: they are also present in ISO 639, and mean deprecated codes. The HTML
    page above correctly gives the current recommanded codes (the other codes
    with the asterisk are non recommended coded, that are still implicitly
    aliases that may be supported as they have still not be reassigned to other
    languages; anyway, there will probably be no more alpha-2 code assigned in
    any part of ISO 639, so even if thoise aliases are not recommended, they are
    still usable by applications that still use them for legacy reasons: Java
    for example still supports "iw" internally).

    The problem with "Bhutani vs. Dzongkha" is more serious: effectively "dz"
    designates dzongkha only, one of the languages used in Bhutan. But Dzonhgkha
    is often incorrectly refered to as "Buthani" in some references. Given that
    the term "Bhutani" only occurs on this HTML page in the "Language" column
    which is n,ot referencing any standard but indicates the name defined and
    displayed by Unicode itself (but without being a standard name, because
    Unicode does not standardize the languages!), I think that the simple
    correction to this page is to change "Buthani" into "Dzongkha", and not
    change the rest of the line (codes used in ISO 639 standards and
    system-specific UI codes on Windows or Mac platforms...)

    You may add a separate line for "Buthani" (ISO 639-2/3: "bcc"), if it is
    supported in Windows or Mac to exhibit their specific UI codes on these
    platforms. However I don't think that this page has been updated since long.
    There are many more language UI codes at least on the Windows platforms,
    that are not in this page (it is missing many that exist at least since
    Windows 2000, or some additional service packs or newly supported MUI, as
    well as almost all those that were added in XP, Server 2003, and now in
    Seven Beta. (Many UI codes have been added since 2002 by Microsoft or Apple,
    as well as in the ISO 639 standard itself for general use language codes
    that are distinct from language UI codes, that do not directly encode
    languages but locales for these platforms...)

    The actual reference for these UI codes should be the reference pages from
    Microsoft (Dr Internationaln now part of MSDN) and Apple (Developer
    resources), or downloadable system resource kits for developers on these
    systems. Idon't think it's not the role of Unicode to standardize and
    support those system-specific codes, for the same reason that it does not
    standardize as well the ISO 639 language codes (and their listed names).
    This page can only be a unsupported technical note, for information only but
    not usable as a reference.

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