Thanks, Glenn, for this clarification. Whatever any differences may
be, it doesn't look as if any changes are worthwhile in ISO 639-2.
In passing, I note that SIL calls it "Swahili, Zaire" or similar,
though I suspect that differences betweeen Kingwana and Swahili in
East Africa may well be greater than for some of the other languages
for which separate codes exist in ISO 639-2.
Thanks again, and also to Milicent Wewerka for her reponse.
Forwarded message follows:
> Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 09:44:30 -0500
> Reply-To: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
> Sender: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
> From: "Patton,Glenn" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Kingwana
> To: [log in to unmask]
> John, I can make a comment from OCLC's perspective. I did a quick search
> for notes containing the language name "Kingwana." That produced 9 results
> as compared with a total of 4371 coded 'swa'. Seven of the nine are various
> translations of portions of the Bible into Kingwana and published by the
> British and Foreign Bible Society. One is a sound recording of songs sung in
> Kingwana cataloged by the Library of Congress. All of those are coded as
> 'swa' in accord with the MARC 21 code list.
> The other item is a "Manuel de Kingwana" written in the 1920s by a couple of
> missionaries. It contains, according to the summary note, French and
> English grammar notes, conversations in French, English and Kingwana, and
> French/English/Kingwana, French/Kingwana, and English/Kingwana vocabularies.
> This record was incorrectly coded as 'nic' (Niger-Kordofanian (Other)) but
> I've fixed it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Clews [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 9:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ISOJAC] Kingwana
> Dear Milicent (via the JAC list)
> As you deal with laguage codes on a day to day basis in LC, could you
> give your impressions, and also any others in the Africa section at
> the Library of Congress, about the following?
> Kingwana is described in some sources as a dialect of Swahili, and is an
> official language in Democratic Congo (formerly Zaire), in colonial
> times under Belgian administration. Swahili is an official language
> in various countries in the former British East Africa.
> Given the large areas involved, and the probable lack of contact
> between the Belgian Congo/Zaire/Democratic Congo and the former
> British East Africa, do you think it is likely that the degree of
> mutual incomprehensibility is quite high?
> Obvious comparisons are Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and
> Malay/Indonesian, which probably have greater mutual intelligibility
> than do Kingwana in Democratic Congo and Swahili in East Africa.
> In particular
> (a) do cataloguers at LC (and elsewhere) use the code for Swahili
> when cataloguing any materials in Kingwana?
> (b) do you and they think it would be useful for a separate code for
> Kingwana to be added to the MARC 21 codes, and to ISO 639-2?
> (c) What do you think are the implications for libraries of either
> (i) adding a separate code, or
> (ii) not adding a separate code?
> Obviously the normal criteria (50 documents etc) would need to be a
> hurdle to overcome in following the normal channels, but I'm just
> raising the question and seeking comments before taking any further
> I look forward to hearing from you and any other JAC members, and any
> LC staff, on this issue.
> Best regards
> John Clews
John Clews, SESAME Computer Projects, 8 Avenue Rd, Harrogate, HG2 7PG
tel: +44 1423 888 432; fax: + 44 1423 889061;
Email: [log in to unmask]
Committee Chair of ISO/TC46/SC2: Conversion of Written Languages;
Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization;
Committee Member of ISO/TC37: Terminology