Valencian and Catalan.
In response to the emails Re: A question about a language, I'd like
to note the following.
Prior to the Washington meeting of the ISO 639 Joint Advisory
Committee, I received several letters from vice-rectors of
universities, and language boards in Spain, etc., stating that no way
did they wish to have Valencian as a separate code.
So I think Rebecca's assessment is quite correct: no separate code.
The good news is that JAC members all agree what the different
language entities are, for Valencian and Catalan, and on their
The question is, how will this affect ISO 639-2?
I agree with Håvard that an "also includes" note might be useful,
I also agree with Rebecca about the practical difficulties in making
such changes to ISO 639-2. That would add yet another type of
Xyz languages (Other) and
Xyz - also includes (as a note).
A change of that nature would only add to existing difficulties, and
not solve something, especially when some people would point to
different language forms of the same language having different codes
(for example Norwegian, Bokmål and Nynorsk). This is not getting at
Norwegian, just illustrating the difficulties (e.g. Norwegian
approach vs. the Catalan approach). NB: Ethnologue only codes Catalan.
I think that the only solution would be to let ISO 639-3 handle that
(as ISO 639-3 could handle Valencian via additional index entries).
This also points to distinct roles for both ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-3.
It would also enable Rebecca to be able to send a reply to the
enquirer stating that Valencian would be handled in ISO 639-3, still
under development, but that at present it would not be included in
ISO 639-2, or a similar straightforward reply.
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Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization
Committee Member of CEN/ISSS/Cultural Diversity Steering Group
Committee Member of ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1: Language Codes