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

Torsten Bronger bronger@physik.rwth-aachen.de
Thu, 14 Feb 2002 02:56:12 +0100

Am Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2002 00:24 schrieben Sie:
> On 02/13/2002 03:53:22 PM Torsten Bronger wrote:
> >The Duden, the normative guide in all countries with German population,
> >clearly and explicitly distinguishes between Austrian or FR German
> >variants
> >of words, or words that appear only in one variant.  This is what
> >"Subform"
> >refers to.
> Is this referring, then, to orthographic differences between the two
> countries?

To be honest I don't know (never been in Austria long enough) ... 
I don't think so.  At least I've never read an example.  But different 
*words*.  In Germany, they say 'A', and in Austria the same entity is
called 'B'.  Or words that are special to one language:  The Austrian
"heuer" (I even don't know the spelling :-) means "in this season".
It is unknown in Germany and there is no (simple) counterpart.

However, there is no color<-->colour or center<-->centre thing in the 
Duden, as far as I know.  

But nevertheless, hyphenation patterns and word lists are different. 
(Although LaTeX doesn't make use of that.) And I think the difference 
for generated text is also an issue.  (Look at the top of my message, 
there it says '... schrieben Sie:'. A thing that is solved by 
interpreting language codes.)

> I'm trying to think in terms of categories of general applicability in IT
> applications; "language" and "orthography" can be well defined and are
> relevant for IT purposes, but "sub-form" (in the absense of any further
> definition) is vague. If the term is referring to orthographic variants,
> though, then the entities so denoted are of the category type
> "orthography", which would make things acceptably clear.

No, I'm afraid we have here the case of two distinct but awfully similar 
languages.  Actually like en-US and en-UK with "truck and lorry" or
things like that.