Question on ISO-639:1988

Debbie Garside debbie at
Wed Jun 2 11:57:07 CEST 2004

>You wrote:

> LS 639
>LS 639 part what?

There is no part to LS 639 it is the system as devised by Linguasphere and
will form BS 8639 - which is being proposed as ISO 639-6 in Paris in Aug

> (proposed as ISO 639-6 - Aug 2004)

Sorry... my shorthand should read "to be proposed as ISO 639-6 in Paris in
Aug 04"

>but it's now only June 2004. How has it been proposed already?
>What is the specific URL?


[Full text - you wrote to Addison ...]
> LS 639 (proposed as ISO 639-6 - Aug 2004) deals very well with language
> varieties - written and spoken (signed, audio and visual to be included).
> Anyone interested in the development of this new standard may like to read
> the paper/workshop presented at LREC in Lisbon in order to see exactly
> what is being proposed.  Visit - all comments and
> critisism most welcome at this stage of development.  Please feel free to
> sign up for the forum - although it has only just been created.
> Debbie
>   -----Original Message-----
>   From: ietf-languages-bounces at
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at]On Behalf Of Addison
> Phillips [wM]
>   Sent: 21 May 2004 20:55
>   To: Mark E. Shoulson
>   Cc: havard at; 'Anthony Hoang'; ietf-languages at
>   Subject: RE: Question on ISO-639:1988
>   Mark,
>   Read the quoted sentence carefully. I did not use an absolute on
> purpose.
>   ISO 639 is good at identifying languages, but there are many cases in
> which it is not sufficient enough to identify content narrowly. This is
> why we have RFC 3066 and why RFC 3066 is used prevalently in XML formats
> to indicate content language and to select content.
>   The canonical example is 'zh', which identifies Chinese. Chinese comes
> in two written varieties, Simplified and Traditional, which are (even if
> you consider them to be mutually intelligible), not suitable for mixing
> and which should not be swapped one-for-the-other. The tags 'zh-Hant'
> and 'zh-Hans' identify this directly and the tags 'zh-TW' and 'zh-CN'
> have been used historically to to imply the separation.
>   There are other variations that require regional or other separation,
> such as the various German or Spanish variations, etc., in which RFC
> 3066 makes a better choice.
>   Addison
>   Addison P. Phillips
>   Director, Globalization Architecture
>   webMethods | Delivering Global Business Visibility
>   Chair, W3C Internationalization (I18N) Working Group
>   Chair, W3C-I18N-WG, Web Services Task Force
>   Internationalization is an architecture.
>   It is not a feature.
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: Mark E. Shoulson [mailto:mark at]
>     Sent: 2004年5月21日 11:47
>     To: aphillips at
>     Cc: havard at; 'Anthony Hoang'; ietf-languages at
>     Subject: Re: Question on ISO-639:1988
>     Addison Phillips [wM] wrote:
>       Dear Anthony,
>       Not to intrude, but ISO639 may not provide the best mechanism for
> tagging content language, especially in XML.
>     If ISO639 isn't a good way to tag content language, then why is it
> there at all?  What else does it tag?
>     ~mark
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at

Ietf-languages mailing list
Ietf-languages at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list