I agree with the proposal of a mechanism to collect data for a 'waiting
list' or for the sake of more completeness (again I would like to refer to
my comments regarding the need for rules for the selection of names of
languages among a variety of names and their order in the code entries), but
I would consider the suggestion of a four letter code as problematic for
It would almost certainly cause confusion - some would use it as
If we lay down the rules for 'coding' dialects etc. and leave the concrete
handling of that to national registration agencies (NOT Maintenance Agency
nor Registration Authority in the ISO meaning) this could be (possibly with
the exception of problematic geographical areas where ethnic communities are
split or struggling for independance) a practical solution to an array of
problems, where a 'central' JAC might always run into conflict.
We might then have to modify the rules for using country identifiers in
combination with language identifiers as standardized now - which should
not be a major problem, since it would clarify matters.
Von: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]]Im Auftrag
von Håvard Hjulstad
Gesendet am: 06 September 2000 14:07
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: "Part 3" of 639
At the ISO/TC37/SC2 meeting in London in August it was decided to include in
the Work Programme of TC37/SC2 a Preliminary Work Item on language coding.
It has been referred to as "639-3", but it must be underlined that it has
not been decided to publish anything as a Standard, let alone that this
would be suitable for a Part 3 of 639.
I was asked by the meeting to make concrete proposals before the next
meeting of TC37/SC2. This is intended to be a first tossing-around of ideas
I think that there should be two separate exercises:
(1) Adding to the current 639-1 and 639-2 database information about
additional languages, as well as (even more) alternative names for the items
that are currently included. We might device "ad hoc" four-letter
identifiers with little or no formalities. These items could serve both as a
"waiting-list" for consideration by the JAC for inclusion in 639-2 (and
possibly 639-1), and as a general source of linguistic information that
might be useful in many respects, within TC37 and beyond. The data collected
would NOT be published as standard.
(2) Developing (hopefully as an International Standard) a mechanism for
additional coding of languages, including geographical variants, historical
variants, etc. I do not expect that we would standardize, e.g. identifiers
for German dialects, but rather establish mechanisms for such
identification. We already have country identifiers as possible additional
language coding, but actually how to use 3166 is not well defined, and there
are so many problems involved.
I would be grateful for feedback on this general outline.
Håvard Hjulstad mailto:[log in to unmask]
Rådet for teknisk terminologi
(Norwegian Council for Technical Terminology)
Postboks 41 Blindern
NO-0313 Oslo, Norway
(besøksadresse/visiting address: Forskningsveien 3 B)
tel: +47-23198040 faks: +47-23198041