Language Tags and Character Sets

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 5 09:38:11 CEST 2003

--On tirsdag, juni 03, 2003 08:10:38 -0700 Doug Ewell <dewell at> 

> Marion Gunn <mgunn at egt dot ie> wrote:
>>> Then English in each area can be correctly labelled: "en-IE" is
>>> general English as spoken in the whole Ireland.
>>> ...
>> That is what I would like to use for Hiberno-English, if it has not
>> already been registered.
> You can use it right away.  Tags that consist of an ISO 639-1 or -2
> language code followed by a hyphen and an ISO 3166-1 country code don't
> have to be registered.  You can just tack them together.
> So, it's en-IE.  Good, I'm glad we worked that out.

actually this (whether the meaning of en-IE could be documented with IANA) 
came up in the discussions leading up to RFC 3066, which led to the 
somewhat cryptic text in section 2:

   Tags constructed wholly from the codes that are assigned
   interpretations by this chapter do not need to be registered with
   IANA before use.

And in section 3:

   This procedure MAY also be used to register information with the IANA
   about a tag defined by this document, for instance if one wishes to
   make publicly available a reference to the definition for a language
   such as sgn-US (American Sign Language).

so if you've just published the definitive compilation of Singlish 
vocabulary, and wish to celebrate this by making the book the reference for 
en-SG, it's not unthinkable to register en-SG with IANA............


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