Peter_Constable@sil.org Peter_Constable@sil.org
Tue, 3 Sep 2002 23:40:13 -0500

On 08/31/2002 05:14:43 AM Michael Everson wrote:

>I have not approved es-americas....

I still suspect there may be some value in this tag (given the number of=20
times I've heard people in the localisation sector express a need for=20
something like it), but the requester has not persevered in pursuing it=20
and has not made changes to the request to clarify what is intended, as I=20
suggested, so I'm not going to push for it.

> It does not seem to me that jumbling
>es-AR, es-BO, es-CL, es-CO, es-CR, es-CU, es-DO, es-EC, es-FK, es-GT,
>es-HN, es-MX, es-NI, es-PA, es-PE, es-PR, es-PY, es-SV, es-UY, es-VE
>all into one identifies a single variety of Spanish any more
>precisely than "es" by itself does,=20

I don't think that's quite what's intended, at least not in the sense that =

it would identify a variety of Spanish that is commonly used. Rather, it's =

an artificially constrained form of Spanish -- kind of a pan-American=20
lowest-common-denominator variety -- that is useful not because it=20
identifies the speech of some particular sub-community, but because it's=20
useful in cataloguing / retrieval of localised resources in a way that=20
permits efficiency in localisation -- you create a resource that you=20
believe can be useful for several disparate sub-communities.

>even within the varieties of
>Spanish dialects in Spain itself. Indeed even taking some of the
>salient phonetic features of "New World Spanish", one finds them in
>Andaluc=EDa anyway. Features of both vocabulary and grammar differ from
>country to country in the Americas, and they differ from each other
>as much as they differ from Spain.=20

All that misses the point, I think. If you need to localise some=20
linguistic resource -- a single text string, perhaps -- and came up with a =

translation that was usable throughout the Americas but not necessarily=20
elsewhere, it would be helpful to have a way to tag it to indicate as=20
much. That's what this request is intended for.

>For software development where a distinction between es-ES and
>*es-americas is desired, I think the simplest thing to do is to
>choose one of the American countries, whichever one has the most
>features of the variety of Spanish you are identifying as
>*es-americas, and use that.

I'd like to hear from advocates why they might consider this suggestion=20
inadequate (if, indeed, there is any reason it might be considered=20

- 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=5Fconstable@sil.org>