Re: Question about new locale language tags

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Dec 22 2006 - 04:15:22 CST

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    From: "Doug Ewell" <>
    > Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:
    >>> I note that Wikipedia currently uses "zh-min-nan" for Minnan
    >>> (independantly of the script used or the geographic region), not
    >>> "zh-nan" ; are there other "Min" variants?
    >> Given that "min" is the ISO 639 ID for a Philippine language,
    >> Minangkabau, which is quite unrelated to Chinese, "zh-min-nan..."
    >> would be a bit of a non-sequitor.

    If this is a Philipine language unrelated to Chinese, there isabsolutely no risk that "zh-min" using the "min" extlang subtag in the "zh" primary language context will conflict. Do extlang subtags have to have the same meaning between various primary lang subtags? My opinion is that extlang subtags have a meaning only in the context of the previous lang and extlang subtags.

    So the "zh-min" and "min" full language tags will be unrelated; this means that extlang will need to be registered contextually within the primary lang tags in which they are valid and defined.

    A basic "universal" registration of "min" as a extlang from ISO639-3 will not work as expexted, and I wonder if this is a good idea to force future extlang subtags to have universal meaning, and which benefit we will have with such universal meaning! For me the syntax proposed in RFC4646 for extlang subtags is already perfect like this and does not force such constraint, so why adding it in the view of a draft RFC4646bis?

    For me it's more important that RFC4646bis allows ISO639-3 languages to be specified as registrable primary language tags (which can be used without a ISO 639-1 or ISO639-2 prefix), and to define a policy for the registration of ISO 639-3 codes either as primary lang subtags or secondary extlang subtags, and how to resolve possible equivalence of tags to a "canonical" tag.

    Merry christmas to all readers...

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