Using - or _ in language tags and/or locales

Keld Jørn Simonsen
Fri, 15 Feb 2002 18:25:27 +0100

On Fri, Feb 15, 2002 at 09:25:07AM +0000, John Clews wrote:
> Using - or _ in language tags and/or locales
> [was Re: xx-XX-nnnn vs. xx-nnnn in Chinese and German]
> In message <p05101001b890a2063ec2@[]> Michael Everson wrote:
> > The spelling of January in date formats is a locale issue not a 
> > language tagging issue. You can already use de_AT and de_DE for that, 
> > and indeed that is recommended. Are there other differences common 
> > enough to warrant a language tag?

> > de-AT and de-DE are legal according to the RFC anyway, as are en-GB 
> > and en-US and en-IE.
> Using _ in "locale tags" and using - in language tags provides a very
> simple visual distinction between "locale tags" and language tags.
> However, from memory (and perhaps Keld can clear this up) I recall
> that some specification being developed under the auspices of
> JTC1/SC22/WG20 (was it ISO/IEC DTR 14652? I can't remember) proposed
> that "locale tags" could use - as an alternative to using _ in locales.

Yes it was proposed for the current draft of ISO 15897 that
- and _ be considered the same. 

> To me this blurs the distinction between locales and language tags
> (two different things, though with byte strings in common).

a language does suggest a specific culture, so there is a clear
relation. In practice on POSIX systems this tends to be the same,
and I gather it is the same for other systems..

Kind regards