Dear Keola Donaghy,

Thank you very much for this clarification. The Joint Advisory Committee
shall finalize the issue shortly.

Hawaiian already has, as you know, an alpha-3 identifier in ISO 639. There
is a very strong principle in the committee to avoid changing the set of
language identifiers that has been assigned to a language. Not least for the
internet community data consistency is of great importance. For that reason
it is very difficult indeed to recommend to add a new alpha-2 identifier to
a language that already has an alpha-3 identifier.

Your feedback has been recorded, and it will be useful to us even if the
committee should decide against adding an alpha-2 identifier for Hawaiian at
this time.

Best regards,
Håvard Hjulstad

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Keola Donaghy [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 10. mai 2002 22:00
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Submission for alpha-2 identifier for Hawaiian

[log in to unmask] writes:
>I am the acting chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee to ISO 639. Your
>submission for an alpha-2 identifier for Hawaiian has been forwarded to
>and I am sending it out for discussion and ballot according to the
>appropriate procedures. I am not in a position to say anything about the
>result at this time, but I shall get back to you as soon as the committee
>has made a decision.
>Your submission is very complete. We have one small question, and an

Aloha again Havard. My apologies for the delay in replying, my recovery
from surgery took longer than anticipated and I have just returned to work
>(1) The indigenous name is given as 'olelo Hawai'i. We want indigenous
>to be recorded as correctly as possibel, including all diacritics, etc.
>(Non-Latin-script languages also in their own script.) The question in
>whether there are any "funny things" with the indigenous name. The two '
>ordinary apostrophes? No diacritics?

There are diacritics, but because of my fear of them getting distorted
going through email. I've attached a small graphic that shows the name for
Hawaiian as we write it. Our own email and conferencing system handles the
diacritics properly, but we often find they get lost on mail sent out
through the Internet. I do have a page on our website that displays the
proper Unicode characters for all of our diacritics:

What I wrote as appostrophes in my submission are out glottal, represented
by a single, open, curly quote. The first "o" in 'olelo has a macron over
it. This orthography was standardized for Hawaiian and most other
Polynesian languages in the 1940s.
>(2) The last sentence of your submission is interesting: "We have hired
>programmers to assist us, and they have found it problematic to get
>for our language with the lack of the alpha 2 code." What kind of
>Is this because the alpha-3 identifiers aren't as well known as the
>identifiers? Or have you experienced different "status" for the alpha-3
>set? Are the problems on a practical level or on a more "philsophical"
>level? We are very much interested in feedback on this issue to be able to
>evaluate what kind of actions we need to do. From the point of view of the
>committee, both tables have equal status. Any further comments would be of

It seemed to me that the issue seemed to be a lack of knowledge of the
alpha-3 or a philosphical issue. In one instance, I had contacted the
developer of an Intranet software regarding support for our language, and
to allow us to translate the software into Hawaiian. The reply that came
back was "Hawaiian does not have an alpha-2 code, therefore it isn't
really a language." I cannot tell you how enfuriating that was. I don't
believe they intended to insult us, and perhaps intended it to be
humorous. I do not know if they were unaware of the alpha-3 codes or they
preferred to use the alpha-2.

We have solicited and gained support from Apple Computer, they will be
building in Hawaiian language support (keyboard, Unicode characters,
sorting routines and date formatting) into the next version of OS X. We
would like to next approach Microsoft to do the same. Even if the addition
of an alpha-2 does nothing more than make the language more visible and
elevate it's 'perceived' status in official circles, it would be a great
help to us in garnering support for our programs. We've fought to bring
our language back from the brink of extinction, and appreciate your
consideration and support.

Mahalo (thank you) for your consideration.


Keola Donaghy
Hawaiian Language Curriculum and Technology Coordinator
Native Hawaiian Serving Institution Program
University of Hawai'i at Hilo

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