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 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.