Request: Language Code "de-DE-1996"

Tue, 23 Apr 2002 21:44:57 -0100

On 23 Apr 2002 at 13:39, wrote:

> >de-1901 would be undifferentiated for country.
> Then the question I have is just what kind of object is this referencing,
> and what use is this ID? 
> Are there orthographic differences between the various countries or not?


The German spoken (and written) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland 
differs not primarily in orthography, but in the words assigned to the concepts. 
Austrian "Obers" is German "Sahne" (for "cream"), e.g.
Of course not all words are different, but enough to require different subtags. And 
yes, there are some orthographical differences as well.

The -1901 and -1996, on the other hand, relate to a forced change in orthography 
*within* each local variant. But this - predominantly orthographical - change does not 
only affect the way words are written, but goes into interpunction and even deeper.

> If there *are* orthographic differences between the various countries, then
> it's fairly clear what kind of object and what specific instance of that
> kind of object something like de-DE-1901 is intended to denote: German as
> spelled in Germany following conventions defined in 1901 (but not as
> spelled in Germany using other conventions, and not as spelled in some
> other country). But it is *not* clear what kind of object de-1901 is, let
> alone the identity of the specific instance. I question the usefulness of
> such ambiguous tags.

If I encountered such a tag without having participated in this discussion, I'd think de-
1901 denotes a pretty generalized variant of German, following conventions defined 
in 1901.

When checking whether a given text should receive this tag, I would a) check for the 
1901 orthography, and b) look for spelling or words that are specific to one of the 
three countries, and not common. If I would encounter such words, I would use the 
specific subtag instead, but if not, I'd leave it at de-1901. de-1901 would, in this 
example, denote that this text can be understood in Germany, Austria and 
Switzerland all the same, without further adaption.

Just my 0.02 euro.

Johannes Wilkes