I can confirm that the correct French name should be "cri" . Thanks for noticing this. 
I have sent an inquiry to confirm the status of "Inuvialuktun" but have not heard back yet. 
Margaret Stewart 
Manager, Standards / Gestionnaire, Normes 
Strategic Initiatives and Standards  / Initiatives stratégiques et Normes 
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada  
550, boul. de la Cité, Gatineau QC 
Canada K1A ON4 
Téléphone /Telephone :  819 994-6900 
Télécopieur Facsimile : 819 934-4388 
e-mail/courriel: [log in to unmask] 
Government of Canada  / Gouvernement du Canada <>  


From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Håvard Hjulstad
Sent: January 7, 2009 4:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Names of some Canadian languages

Dear JAC members,


Please take a look at the exchange below. I got an official confirmation that “Slavey = esclave”. So that part should be in order.


But: The “Official Languages Act” of the Northwest Territories (albeit as old as from 1988) states in § 4:


4. Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich’in,

Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey,

South Slavey and Tåîchô are the Official Languages of

the Northwest Territories. R.S.N.W.T. 1988,

c.56(Supp.),s.4; S.N.W.T. 2003,c.23,s.5.


4. L’anglais, le chipewyan, le cri, l’esclave du Nord,

l’esclave du Sud, le français, le gwich’in, l’inuinnaqtun,

l’inuktitut, l’inuvialuktun et le tåîchô sont les langues

officielles des Territoires du Nord-Ouest. L.R.T.N.-O.

1988, ch. 56 (Suppl.), art. 4; L.T.N.-O. 2003, ch. 23, art.



Also copied in as picture, since one of the names use characters beyond the fantasy of my computer:




So we learn that what we currently have as “cr | cre | Cree | cree” should have French name cri. Comments?


And the items Inuinnaqtun and Inuvialuktun are (as far as I can see) totally missing in ISO 639. Am I right?


And the item Tłı̧cho̧ I can hardly write (and it probably gets corrupted before it reaches most of you); and don’t find. Help?


Any comments would be helpful.


Best regards,




Håvard Hjulstad

  Standard Norge / Standards Norway

  [log in to unmask] <blocked::mailto:[log in to unmask]> 



Fra: Simon-E Lamoureux [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sendt: 6. januar 2009 22:02
Til: Håvard Hjulstad
Kopi: Benoit Boutin; Shannon Gullberg
Emne: FW: The French name of Slavey


Hello Sir, “esclave” is indeed the proper term used in French to describe the languages North Slavey and South Slavey in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The term is official and used in the NWT Official Languages Act ( 


Hope this helps.





Simon-E. Lamoureux, trad. a./c. tr.

Réviseur, Coordonnateur des traductions/Reviser, Translation Coordinator 

Division des langues officielles/Official Languages Division

Gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest/Government of the Northwest Territories

Téléphone/Phone : 867-920-6171 
Télécopieur/Fax : 867-873-0185 



From: Benoit Boutin 
Sent: 6 janvier 2009 13:04
To: Simon-E Lamoureux
Subject: FW: The French name of Slavey


Peux-tu m’aider avec cette demande. Si tu veux, tu peux faire parvenir ta réponse à la Commissaire aux langues.




Benoît Boutin 
Senior Advisor / Conseiller principal 
French Language Services / services en français 

Education, Culture and Employment / Education, culture et formation 
Government of the Northwest Territories / Gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest
Phone / Tél: 867-920-6252 
Fax/ Téléc: 867-873-0185 


From: Shannon Gullberg 
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:57 AM
To: Benoit Boutin
Subject: FW: The French name of Slavey


Hi, Benoit.

Happy New Year.

Can you help at all with this request?

Please let me know.



From: Håvard Hjulstad [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 2:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Subject: The French name of Slavey


Dear Sirs,


I am secretary for the international standardization committee that develops the ISO 639 series of International Standards for the identification of languages, mostly for use in software and on the internet. For each entry in the table (now consisting of more than 7000 items) we wish to include an identifier (consisting of three letters, e.g. “eng” for English) and the name(s) of the language in English and French (being the official languages of the International Organization for Standardization), as well as (whenever possible) in the language itself.


The identifier den is associated with the “macro-language” Slavey, and scs and xsl with the individual languages North Slavey and South Slavey respectively.


The French name, however, causes a bit of a “problem”. Many sources use “esclave”, “esclave du Nord”, and “esclave du Sud” respectively. Since that name may be seen as being derived from the word for “slave” (as in “slavery”, or possibly as in “Slavic” (Russian, etc.)), some experts have suggested to use “slavey” in French as well. However, that has little basis in French linguistic literature.


So our question is simple: Which name form(s) should we recommend in French (and in English for that matter, in case Slavey isn’t the only acceptable form)?


Best regards,

Håvard Hjulstad



Håvard Hjulstad

  Standard Norge / Standards Norway
  Postboks 242, NO-1326 Lysaker
  besøksadresse / visiting address: Strandveien 18
  tel: (+47) 67838600  |  faks / fax: (+47) 67838601
  direkte tel / direct tel: (+47) 67838645
  mobil / mobile (+47) 90145563
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