Dear Rebecca

I hope that you and others - particularly Haavard Hjulstad - on the
ISO 639 JAC will be able to help me with this one. I have just taken
a quick look at the resolutions in detail, and the following stands
out to me:

You wrote:

> Attached to this message is a file containing the resolutions from
> our ISO 639 JAC meeting on 17-18 Feb. 2000... and state:

> 13. Sami Languages/Northern Sami
> 1. Alpha-3 codes: change the definition of smi to Sami (other) and
>    add sme for Northern Sami
> 2. Alpha-2 codes: change se (already in ISO 639-1) to be Northern
>    Sami : Approved without the accent on Sami.

It appears that there is a rationale for doing exactly the same for
both existing codes (see the rationale below, which I quote from
Haavard Hjulstad) but not for doing one thing for ISO 639-1, and the
opposite for ISO 639-2.

In my own meeting notes, I have exactly the opposite listed,
particularly for ISO 639-2: if my record is wrong, please correct me,
but if it stands as it is,
the existing code in ISO 639-1 will represent _only_ Northern Sami, and
the existing code in ISO 639-2 will represent _everything_except_
Northern Sami.

My meeting notes say:

> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Request         Language        ISO 639-1       ISO 639-2
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> se & smi        Northern Sami   Name change *   Name change *
> ?? & sme        Sami (other)    New code        New code
> * Previously used (in LC) for "Lapp", and previously (in ISO 639 and
>   ISO 639-2) for "Sami languages."
> * Rationale: between 50% and 90% of all Sami publications are for
>   Northern Sami. The previous situation was ambiguous, and the
>   proposed name change for the existing codes was the solution which
>   caused least need for changing earlier code allocations.

I look forward to clarification on this

Best regards

John Clews

John Clews, SESAME Computer Projects, 8 Avenue Rd, Harrogate, HG2 7PG
tel: 0171 412 7826 (day); 0171 272 8397 (evening); 01423 888 432 (w/e)
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 CEN/TC304: Information and Communications
 Technologies: European Localization Requirements
Committee Member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages;
Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC2: Coded Character Sets