I think it would be a good idea if we were to establish a system for the
updating of codes within ISO 639 that would include a time period where the
ISO 639 JAC publish its intentions for public comment prior to the change
being further discussed/balloted/adopted.

As I think Christian has alluded to many times, we need to be much more
systematic about these things.

Best regards


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rebecca S Guenther
> Sent: 18 November 2008 16:25
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: I hope we didn't make a mistake
> Dear ISO 639 JAC:
> I have someone coming to meet with me tomorrow from the
> Moldovan embassy. He mentioned that the issue has been in the
> press (and Michael forwarded something from the Romanian
> newspaper which I couldn't read-- it has also been in the
> Moldovan newspaper). Of course the whole thing was taken out
> of context and apparently the article in the Moldovan paper
> said that because we made this change that the US government
> supports combining Romanian and Moldovan-- and maybe even in
> their dispute over whether they should be one country (that
> was the implication-- I'm not sure exactly what was said).
> This of course is silly, but shows how important these people
> consider their languages having separate identities.
> I will report after my meeting with him, but I did go back
> and look at some old messages (which I wish I had looked at
> before we made this decision a few weeks ago) and found these:
> 3&X=2D31756EB75127516D&P=265
> 3&X=63517500CB774164C0&P=1117
> The whole conversation took place in July 2005; you can see
> in the archives at:
> I am sort of sorry we didn't consult more widely, but I guess
> it is too late now.
> I will point out to him that retired code elements do not
> mean that they are not in records. However, we have now
> removed "mo/mol" from our documentation.
> Are there any other options as to how to document this?
> Of course, we have always taken currently unused codes out,
> so this would be a change in our process and I am not sure
> how it would work with our MARC language code list-- it lists
> the deprecated codes in a separate section and not in the main part.
> Rebecca