Tex Texin tex@i18nguy.com
Wed, 04 Sep 2002 01:20:18 -0400


I think there is value in such a tag, not as a language tag, but as an
indication of the intended market(s) or class of users.
These are two very different things.
It is correct to disapprove of es-americas, as there is no such
language, and no guidelines for spell or grammar checkers or other
language-specific processors, as to what is correct or incorrect should
such a LANGUAGE be identified.

Picking one country to represent all does not reflect the trend in the
localization industry. The trend is to choose terms that are acceptable
in the majority if not all markets. Using one language for all is a
solution, but an improved solution can be had by making some additional
careful choices (or by avoiding certain terms which self-identify their
origin). This can make the product look local to all the markets, and
not so obviously a product from a particular market.

Having a nomenclature for such an artificial language used for a target
market makes sense but shouldn't be confused with nomenclature for
natural languages. (There is also a need for tools such as spell,
grammar checkers for these artificial languages.)

Nomenclature for locales, which is what is being sought, should be
derived from another source, so we are not forced to pollute language
labels with arbitrary marketing-derived tags.

Just my 2 cents.

Peter_Constable@sil.org wrote:
> 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
> times I've heard people in the localisation sector express a need for
> something like it), but the requester has not persevered in pursuing it
> and has not made changes to the request to clarify what is intended, as I
> 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,
> 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
> lowest-common-denominator variety -- that is useful not because it
> identifies the speech of some particular sub-community, but because it's
> useful in cataloguing / retrieval of localised resources in a way that
> permits efficiency in localisation -- you create a resource that you
> 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
> >Andalucía 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.
> All that misses the point, I think. If you need to localise some
> linguistic resource -- a single text string, perhaps -- and came up with a
> translation that was usable throughout the Americas but not necessarily
> elsewhere, it would be helpful to have a way to tag it to indicate as
> 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
> inadequate (if, indeed, there is any reason it might be considered
> inadequate).
> - 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>
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Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
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