Summary: de-DE-1996 is better than de-1996-DE

Håvard Hjulstad
Wed, 1 May 2002 09:06:26 +0200

Michael Everson wrote:

> > Please give a clear and unambiguous "I prefer X" and indicate whether
> > you can live with the other or not.

I am NOT going to be clear ...

In the context of what we are thinking about concerning extension of
language coding mechanisms in ISO 639, we will probably make it possible to
assign "attributes" to language identifiers. There should probably not be
any hierarchy of attributes; all attributes relate to "de", not to "de-DE"

I should think that ISO 639 will specify that the order of the attributes in
any representation is irrelevant.

But none of this relates to IETF language tags ...

"Attributes" like "-1996" relate to written language only, while "-DE"
relates mostly to vocabulary (written and spoken). Other attributes will
relate to other "parts" of language; phonology, morphology, orthography,
vocabulary, syntax. There is no obvious GENERAL order that should be applied
to all languages. One logic would be to place that attribute first that
represents the "largest" linguistic difference; but then there is no obvious
way to measure linguistic difference.

Yes, I think that "I prefer X" ...