Shouldn't this discussion be moved to the whole JAC list now, not just the

I wouldn't mind postponing the inclusion of Walloon until we have a clearer
picture of the whole future language coding system.

There are obviously many types of language variations that are more or less
intelligible for users of other variants of the same language.

Norwegians speak Norwegian and Swedes speak Swedish and Danes speak Danish,
and they may very well do it together, understanding eachother. If someone
described this by saying that "Norwegian" is the Danish that is spoken in
Norway (or even "worse": "Norwegian" is the Swedish that is spoken in
Norway) I would say that this is completely wrong, and then I would think
about the historical and linguistic "facts" and say that this could have
been a correct way to describe the situation. The reason why it isn't
correct has nothing to do with language itself. Napoleon plays a more
important role. Random red lines on the maps created by wars and
international politics have given separate language identifiers to our

Apart from the important (and "impossible") discussion of what is a language
and what is a dialect and what is what kind of language variation I think
that the Walloon issue has two important questions:

(1) What is the usage (and sentiment) among Belgian authorities and
institutions and individuals? (I am sure that this isn't unambiguous.) Do
they speak the "Belgian variant of French called Walloon" or do they speak
the "Belgian language Walloon, which is very closesly related to French"?
Certainly, very few English speakers in the US speak "American". They speak
"English", sometimes called "American English". The users themselves are NOT
signalling to us that they "demand" that a new identifier be assigned for
"American". Aren't users of Walloon sending a different signal?

(2) Based on Christian's argument, is it logically correct to assign an
alpha-3 identifier, but not an alpha-2 identifier? I cannot see that his
arguments can be viewed differently in relation to 639-2. (And I am NOT
saying that Christian's arguments are invalid!)

Just an attempt to add to the confusion ...

Best regards,
Havard Hjulstad    mailto:[log in to unmask]
  Solfallsveien 31
  NO-1430  As, Norway
  tel: +47-64944233  &  +47-64963684
  mob: +47-90145563

-----Original Message-----
From: ISO JAC Voting Member List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
Christian Galinski
Sent: 18. januar 2002 00:13
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [JACVOTE] AW: [JACVOTE] AW: [JACVOTE] Ballot: Walloon

May I reformulate my arguments:

I did not approve inclusion in ISO 639-1 for the following reasons:
If we include Walloon, we also have to include all kinds of variants for
major languages, like
enUS, enAU, enNZ, enUK etc.
deAT, deDE, deCH, etc.
not to mention Chinese, French, etc.

In specialized languages the nature of the communication barrier between
variants of a language is different from those in common language, where
strong dialects or other kinds of variants often makes them mutually
unintelligible. It is accepted by experts from most of the subject fields
that there are different administrative and legal traditions (e.g. between
the different English speaking countries, German Lander etc.) and even
scientific-technical development traditions (e.g. Danube hydroelectricity
technology), but experts would not claim this as being a different language.
I am not sure whether language policies, linguistic nationalism etc. is an
argument. On the other hand, we have cases, like Bosnian, Slowakian, etc. If
I am wrong, please correct me.

I have the strong feeling that, if we do not make our rules clearer also for
such cases, the 639-1 code will be filled up in a very short time and there
will not be many language identifiers left for big language communities with
emerging specialised languages and terminologies  - among others due to the

I think we need to study this issue once again and possibly fine-tune or
redifine the requirements for languages to be included in ISO 639-1.

So I am not strictly opposed against the inclusion of Walloon in principle,
but would like to have the JAC policy made clear for this and similar cases.

Best regards

-----Ursprungliche Nachricht-----
Von: ISO JAC Voting Member List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]Im Auftrag von
Rebecca S. Guenther
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 17. Janner 2002 16:39
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: [JACVOTE] AW: [JACVOTE] Ballot: Walloon

Christian has voted no on adding an alpha-2 code for Walloon. According to
our rules, we have to conduct a second vote. On the second vote we need 5
yes votes for it to pass.

Could we discuss this please before deciding how to vote the second
time? What do others think?

> Submitter: see below
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ^^  Rebecca S. Guenther                                   ^^
> ^^  Chair, ISO 639/Joint Advisory Committee               ^^
> ^^  Network Development and MARC Standards Office         ^^
> ^^  1st and Independence Ave. SE                          ^^
> ^^  Library of Congress                                   ^^
> ^^  Washington, DC 20540-4402                             ^^
> ^^  (202) 707-5092 (voice)    (202) 707-0115 (FAX)        ^^
> ^^  [log in to unmask]                                          ^^
> ^^                                                        ^^
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Earlier message and original request:
> Date:         Tue, 11 Dec 2001 09:40:09 -0500
>  Reply-To:     ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
>  Sender:       ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
>  From:         "Rebecca S. Guenther" <[log in to unmask]>
>  Subject:      Walloon
>  Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
>  Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=X-UNKNOWN
>  See attached request for Walloon. I have had numerous email conversations
>  with the requestors about this over the last several months. It was
>  initially not clear that Walloon might be considered a separate language
>  rather than a dialect of French. Now further consideration, especially by
>  the editors of Ethnologue, indicate that it could be given a language
>  code. From the various conversations and the evidence presented below,
>  there are plenty of documents to meet the criteria for establishing it.
>  Note that the request is for both a 639-1 and 639-2 code. The code chosen
>  for 639-2 is "wln", since "wal" is already taken (for Walamo). I will
> send out a ballot shortly.
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>  ^^  Rebecca S. Guenther                                   ^^
>  ^^  Chair, ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee               ^^
>  ^^  Senior Networking and Standards Specialist            ^^
>  ^^  Library of Congress                                   ^^
>  ^^  Washington, DC 20540-4402                             ^^
>  ^^  (202) 707-5092 (voice)    (202) 707-0115 (FAX)        ^^
>  ^^  [log in to unmask]                                          ^^
>  ^^                                                        ^^
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>  Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 16:07:26 -0500
>  From: WWW generic account <[log in to unmask]>
>  To: [log in to unmask]
>  Subject: New ISO 639-2 code
>  This data was submitted on: Friday, December 7, 2001 at 16:07:26
>  lang_in_eng = Walloon
>  lang_in_fre = wallon
>  ref_where_found_1 =
>  lang_in_vern = walon
>  ref_where_found_2 =
>  trans_lit =
>  evidence = Conseil des Langues rigionales endoghnes: 44, Bd Liopold II,
> 1080 Bruxelles
>  Union culturelle wallonne: 71, rue du giniral De Gaulle; B-4000 Lndje
> (Lihge) (
>  Sociiti de langue et de littirature wallonnes
> (
>  Lhs Rhlns Namurwhs (
>  Li Ranteule,  165 ruwe di Lonziye, 5030 Djiblou
> (Gembloux) (
>  Other web sites in Walloon
>  -------------------
>  - Translation of the Declaration of Human
> Rights:
>  - Unix software localization (in
> Walloon) pages: and
>  - Monolingual dictionary:
>  - Online walloon grammar (in
> Walloon):
>  - Web site about all things Walloon:
>  - Union culturelle wallonne - section of
> Namur:
>  - Walloon satyrical magazine
> "Rabulets":
>  - Walloon writer Josi
> Schoovaerts:
>  - Walloon writer
> G. Puissant:
>  - Page on language standardization:
>  addinfo = - Official status: +Langue rigionale endoghne; in a decree
> voted in 1999 by the Parliament of the Communauti frangaise de Belgique
> (one of the  federal entities of the State of Belgium)
>  - Estimated number of speakers: 1,000,000 (see Lorint
> Hendschel: "Quelques indices pour se faire une idie de la vitaliti du
> wallon" in "Qui walon po dmwin", Quorum, 1999 (ISBN 2-87399-072-4)
>  - Where spoken: Wallonia (southern region of the Belgian federal state).
>  request_addition = ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-2
>  2_code_suggestion = wa
>  3_code_suggestion = wln
>  submit_name = Lorint HENDSCHEL
>  submit_email = [log in to unmask]
>  submit_status = Speaker.
>  Writer.
>  Teacher (night school for adults).
>  Linguist (doctorate in linguistics in progress at the Universiti
> catholique de Louvain, Wallonia, Belgium)