Pending business

Lang Gérard gerard.lang at
Wed Sep 17 08:31:36 CEST 2008

En français "mettre la charrue avant les bœufs !", it is about ox ,not horses, but the image is the same: something has to be in front and somthing has to be behind !
But, in fact, I did not directly write about language tags, but about a correct possible interpretation of  language name code elements "related" to "AQ".
Because, as I am writing from the beginning and as is also written in ISO 639 and ISO 3166, combinations of ISO 63166 code elements for country names and of ISO 639 code elements for language names have been documented many times, and "language tags" are not by far the only known or possible application.
My message was an answer to Addison Phillips's one, that did not practically think of any possible sense with the use of "AQ" in a language tag, so I proposed a possible use of "AQ" in combination with language name code elements.
Bien cordialement.
Gérard LANG

-----Message d'origine-----
De : ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] De la part de Doug Ewell
Envoyé : mercredi 17 septembre 2008 06:05
À : ietf-languages at
Objet : Re: Pending business

Lang Gérard <gerard dot lang at insee dot fr> wrote:

> Concerning "AQ",  and with consideration to the internationaly 
> recognized definition of this territory, a correct interpretation 
> could be that the related languages are the four languages (english, 
> french, russian, spanish) that give an official linguistic version of 
> the Treaty on Antarctic (Washington, 1st december 1959) and of all 
> subsequent international acts on Antarctica..

I think this is putting the cart before the horse (sorry, I don't know the corresponding French idiom).  Region subtags in BCP 47 don't define a set of languages, official or otherwise.  Rather, they identify language varieties that are commonly associated with the region.

A common example is French (fr): sometimes it is useful to distinguish French as spoken in France (fr-FR) from French as spoken in Canada (fr-CA).  It would not be appropriate -- at least not within BCP 47 -- to go the other way and associate 'CA' with a set of languages including English, French, Inuktitut, and several others.

The "correct interpretation" of the region subtag 'AQ' would simply be a variety of some language that is commonly associated with Antarctica. 
It's highly unlikely that any language varieties fall into that category -- the 1959 treaty notwithstanding -- but all of the officially ISO 3166-1 code elements are available to serve as region subtags.  We don't pick some and discard others -- the same as our policy with language and script codes.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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