Reordering of items... [was RE: LANGUAGE TAG REGISTRATION FORM]

Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at
Thu Apr 10 16:15:32 CEST 2003

I would prefer that the script ID be attached to the language tag (despite
pointing out the possible compatibility problems in an earlier email). Then
the guidelines on interpreting locale/resource-selection is much more
meaningful. That is, you can consider "zh-Hant" to be an atomic unit for
mapping to language resources. IOW it finally distinguishes Simplified from
Traditional in the resource hierarchy. So the order is:

  "zh","HK"  // indeterminate if Trad or Simpl


   "zh","Hant", "HK"

I think that script is intimately tied to how we interpret the language from
a software perspective. Orthographic, terminological, and cultural
distinctions are on a secondary plane, making the country less important
than the script. You could almost make the case that from a software
perspective "az-Latn" and "az-Cyrl" (for example) are different languages.
They are certainly distinct on a resource level.

On the other hand, for compatibility purposes, we could as easily say that
the script should be affixed to the language when considering the
resource/locale problem, that is:

   "zh-HK-Hant" is interpreted to be the same as "(traditional-zh)-HK" with
the latter being used for actual resource resolution.

Best Regards,


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at]On Behalf Of
> Peter_Constable at
> Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:57 AM
> To: Mark Davis
> Cc: ietf-languages at; ietf-languages-request at;
> Ietf-languages; ietf-languages-bounces at
> My only reservation would be with those proposed tags that have both
> country and script elements: I don't think we ever reached consensus
> regarding which order they should go in.
> I can't recall now if Peter Edberg might have suggested this, but I'm
> wondering about having country ID after a script ID only when the country
> ID is specifically there to distinguish between spelling
> conventions. Thus,
> if the "AZ" in "az-Latn-AZ" were specifically intended to distinguish
> spelling used in Azerbaijan vs. spelling used elsewhere, that would be OK.
> But, if the distinction is not spelling but only vocab (or other such
> sub-language differences), then use "az-AZ-Latn". If we approach it that
> way, then I'm guessing we'd have "zh-HK-Hans"|"zh-HK-Hant" rather than
> "zh-Hans-HK"|"zh-Hant-HK".
> Thoughts?
> - Peter
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> Peter Constable
> Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
> 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
> Tel: +1 972 708 7485
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list