I think we all know the basics on the linguistic side of the story. There is
clearly also a political side to this story, which isn't at all clear to me
in all detail.
The important point in my opinion is that we don't for 639-1 or 639-2 have a
very clear policy on how to "weigh" linguistic vs political issues, nor how
to "weigh" the different linguistic issues (relating to written and spoken
language). Actually even geography comes into this. "Valencian isn't a
variant of Catalonian, because Valencia isn't a part of Catalonia". Had
there happened to be a "Catalencian" region the story might have been
The basis for raising the issue at this time was interesting: There may be a
need to localize software to Valencian as opposed to Catalonian; on the
other hand most libraries throughout the world will not have a need to
distinguish. Different users have different needs. The "ISO 639 family"
needs to be developed into something that is flexible enough and precice
enough to satisfy different needs.
Håvard Hjulstad mailto:[log in to unmask]
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Everson
> Sent: 18. september 2003 10:29
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Valencian vs. Catalan (fwd)
> At 23:03 +0000 2003-09-17, John Clews wrote:
> >In message <[log in to unmask]>
> >Rebecca Guenther wrote via [log in to unmask]:
> >> ISO 639 JAC members:
> >> I had a phone call yesterday from this person from a software
> >> company in Spain asking about Valencian. You may all recall the
> >> discussion we had about this topic a few months ago. We
> are planning
> >> to add Valencian as a caption with Catalan...
> >Shock, horror!
> >Don't you remember that when the the ISO 639 Joint Advisory
> >met in Washington in February 2000, I passed on details of a lot of
> >high-level high-level (governmental and university) within Spain.
> Are you saying that Valencian and Catalan are not the same language?
> Variants can be encoded with RFC 3166: ca-valencian
> Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com