xx-XX-nnnn vs. xx-nnnn in Chinese and German

Peter_Constable@sil.org Peter_Constable@sil.org
Tue, 12 Feb 2002 03:10:01 -0600

On 02/11/2002 03:24:19 PM ietf-languages-admin wrote:

>I take your point, Peter. However, that Chinese character
>simplification reform was pushed forward in one country (CN) even
>though also adopted in (SG) as well, I think, and naturally in (MO)
>and (HK) too, as they are now part of (CN) though currently not much
>used in (TW).

The problem is that simplified characters can potentially be used in any 
of these countries, as can traditional characters. I have heard mention of 
both traditional and simplified characters being used in in CN. If that's 
the case, what can we take zh-CN to mean? And if we take it to mean 
"Chinese" language written with simplified characters, then what of texts 
from that country written in traditional characters? And what do people do 
with data sets that use simplified characters but with content that 
relates specifically to some other context? Tags "zh-CN" and "zh-TW" are 
already creating problems for people, i.e. users in industry are saying, 
"That doesn't work for me." I'm not surprised that a muddled construct 
creates problems.

>So my question is: are you saying that there should be legitimately
>        zh-1962 (if that was the date) as well as or instead of
>        zh-cn-1962?

I haven't suggested that, nor am I about to. Personally, I support the 
suggestion of having ISO 15924 tags to distinguish traditional from 
simplified Chinese characters, as I mentioned earlier.

>Taking that further, we have proposals
> for
>        de-DE-1996
>        de-AT-1996
>        de-CH-1996
>Should we also have a proposal for
>        de-1996?
>If so, how would that differ from
>        de-DE-1996
>        de-AT-1996
>        de-CH-1996
>already proposed?

Good question? How would it differ? What kind of entity is de-1996 
supposed to denote? *That* is the problem. What kind of category is it 
supposed to denote? We don't have any answer for that. But that is the 
kind of approach we have taken to now: assigning tags when we think we 
need some kind of distinction without any thought to what kind of entities 
it is that we are trying to distinguish. I for not would not support a 
registration of de-1996 until such questions are answered.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <peter_constable@sil.org>