Re: transforms and language identifiers (was Re: Dozenal chars in music)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sun May 24 2009 - 15:57:11 CDT

  • Next message: Julian Bradfield: "transforms and language identifiers (was Re: Dozenal chars in music)"

    Julian Bradfield <jcb plus unicode at inf dot ed dot ac dot uk> wrote:

    >> I don't believe the Ethnologue does so. If it did, it would disagree
    >> with ISO and IETF BCP 47, in which en means any English; en-US,
    >> en-UK, ...
    > It seems rather silly to say you don't believe something which you can
    > trivially check.
    > Yes, it does encompass other dialects such as US Englishes, but
    > they're listed under "also spoken in", not in the head definition.

    That doesn't mean Ethnologue considers "en" to refer only to the British
    dialect. Ethnologue identifies each language with a "home" country, as
    a matter of protocol, but doesn't generally discriminate between "good"
    and "bad" or "proper" and "improper" dialects.

    > However, that doesn't really matter - all that matters is that en is
    > not identical to en-US, and your transformation varies between types
    > of en.

    "en" is an umbrella term that covers "en-US", "en-GB", and any other
    regional dialect of English you can name, right up to the point where it
    stops being a dialect and starts being truly a different language (like

    To claim that American English is not "English" is to claim they are
    different languages. While a clever and often-used rhetorical device,
    used by the great authors and speakers of both dialects, this simply
    doesn't turn out to be true.

    Mark Davis replied:

    > It is fine to root for the home team (or English variant),

    Considering we are talking about British vs. American English, I found
    this use of "root" amusing.

    > The code en-UK is not uniform in denotation...

    Please, everybody. It's not "en-UK", it's "en-GB". BCP 47 uses the ISO
    3166 code elements (and according to the CLDR pages, so does CLDR), and
    the ISO 3166 code element for the United Kingdom is GB.

    Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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