I wonder if the identifier were [xyz] instead of [rum] or [ron] would 
there be less objection? (The same would be true for Catalan and 
Valencian, and others.) I am as aware as all of you that the identifier is 
not intended to be an abbreviation, and I am not suggesting changing the 
identifier, so please don't jump on that. I am looking for a way to 
communicate to the Moldovan community that "Moldovan" is not a secondary 
or lesser name or variety of the language.


Rebecca S Guenther <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent by: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
2008-11-18 10:24 AM
Please respond to
ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>

[log in to unmask]

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:

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 
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.