Script codes in RFC 3066, 4 issues

Peter_Constable at Peter_Constable at
Thu Apr 10 10:10:19 CEST 2003

John Cowan wrote on 04/09/2003 09:02:13 PM:

> Formally, I conceive, there can be only one kind of conflict, viz. that
> self-same code is used for two different purposes in the Ethnologue and
> in ISO 639-2.  And formally, there can be only two kinds of resolution:
> viz. that the Ethnologue code be changed, and that the ISO code be

We have planned to make changes in the Ethnologue to deal with this kind of
conflict. I.e., where there is an ISO 639-2 category that has the same
denotation as some Ethnologue category, the Ethnologue ID for that category
will be changed to match the ISO 639-2 ID.

There are roughly 700 changes that would we will need to make. This might
seem surprising at first given that there are only around 450 IDs in ISO
639-2. The reason for the larger number is secondary effects. For instance,
for the Afar language, Ethnologue uses AFR while ISO uses aar. So, we'll
change the Ethnologue ID for Afar to AAR. But, Ethnologue already uses AAR
for another language, Aariya, so we'll need to find a new ID for that
language as well. With all the primary and secondary conflicts, it adds up
to around 700 changes that are needed. (My colleague Gary Simons has
reserached that part of it, and I'd have to ask him for the exact number.
Also, that number may need to be updated to account for recent additions to
ISO 639-2, though the ISO 639 JAC has been matching Ethnologue IDs for
recent additions where it has made sense.)

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list