Script codes in RFC 3066

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Wed Apr 9 10:54:10 CEST 2003

1. Apologies: should have been:

language_code := language_subtags ("-" iso15924_code)?  ("-" iso3166_code)?
language_code := private_use_and_grandfathered_stuff

iso3166_code := a 2-letter iso 3166 code if available, otherwise a 3-letter

2. Your original text had:

"To a language tag in one of the above forms may be appended a script
code representing the writing system, or a country code representing the
orthography, or both in that order."

so the order is as above (which I agree with).

3. You say "So the main issue is when a language without a specific ISO
639-2 code gets
one, e.g. cpf-hat (Haitian Creole French) might get hcf (-2) or hcf/hc

Right, the 2 vs. 3 letter ISO language codes are covered. But the problem is
where (using x for ISO codes (2 or three letter) and Y for Ethnologue

a. x-Y exists in 3066bis, and later ISO introduces a 3 letter language code
X' that means the same thing.
b. x exists in 3066bis, and SIL introduces (or has now!) a code Y where x-Y
means the same as x.

(مرقص بن داود)
mark.davis at
IBM, MS 50-2/B11, 5600 Cottle Rd, SJ CA 95193
(408) 256-3148
fax: (408) 256-0799

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <jcowan at>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis at>
Cc: "Marion Gunn" <mgunn at>; <ietf-languages at>
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 07:58
Subject: Re: Script codes in RFC 3066

> Mark Davis scripsit:
> > These comments are not clear to me. Are you referring to the language
> > subtags or to the whole 3066bis structure?
> I took the remark to be about the language portion proper.
> > language_code := language_subtags ("-" iso15924_code)?  ("-"
>                                                                   ^^^^^
>                                                                   3166_1
> --
> John Cowan  jcowan at
> "In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side
> with the giants on whose shoulders we stand."
>         --Gerald Holton

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