Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at webmethods.com
Thu May 1 15:39:31 CEST 2003

Both Serbs I asked have been ex-pats for quite awhile. They expressed that
Serbian can be written in both, but they felt that Cyrillic was now
predominate or becoming so---that one would write Serbian in Cyrillic.
Neither was adamant about excluding Latin script and both volunteered that
you can write Serbian perfectly well in Latin. One has been writing email in
Latin--the other had me help him some months ago install Cyrillic support
and show him how to fake out Hotmail... so I guess my sample is 50/50, eh?

The Croat I asked was much more adamant than either about the script

I'm not in a position to judge relative merits of any of their opinions,
except to note that a Croat probably doesn't know. Someone on the ground is
more likely to give a useful interpretation. One of the problems here is
that it is hard to tell if the script distinctions are transitional,
permanent, and how they're evolving. Logically, countries like Bosnia, with
diverse speaker populations, are likelier to exhibit cross-script behavior,
but again I really don't know that. For all I know Serbia itself maintains
different writing traditions.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Davis [mailto:mark.davis at jtcsv.com]
> Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 1:48 PM
> To: Addison Phillips [wM]; Martin Duerst; John Cowan; Michael Everson
> Cc: ietf-languages at iana.org
> That is different from what I have heard. Vladimir Weinstein, who
> works here, is Serbian, and says that Serbian is written in both
> Cyrillic and Latin script.
> Märk Davis
> ________
> mark.davis at jtcsv.com
> IBM, MS 50-2/B11, 5600 Cottle Rd, SJ CA 95193
> (408) 256-3148
> fax: (408) 256-0799
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Addison Phillips [wM]" <aphillips at webmethods.com>
> To: "Martin Duerst" <duerst at w3.org>; "John Cowan"
> <cowan at mercury.ccil.org>; "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
> Cc: <ietf-languages at iana.org>
> Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 13:42
> > >
> > > It would be my understanding that Serbian is overwhelmingly
> > > written in Cyrillic, but that there is no overwhelming script
> > > for the other languages. But I might be wrong, having numbers
> > > would definitely be good.
> > >
> > Okay, that's the received wisdom I think most of us had, but just to
> be
> > sure... It turns out that we have a fair collection of Serbs and
> Croats here
> > at webMethods (alas, no Bosnians, Herzegovinians, or Montenegrins to
> ask,
> > which is where I suspect any script crossover would exist). Their
> opinion,
> > for what it matters, confirms the received wisdom and is that:
> >
> > a) Croat is written in Latin and Serbian is written in Cyrillic.
> Neither
> > language is ever or rarely ever written in the other script any
> more, in
> > part as a reaction to...
> >
> > b) Serbo-Croatian was an artificial merger that was written in both
> and
> > forceably maintained by the Communist regime. The two languages are
> not the
> > same and are rapidly returning to their historical roots and hence
> the base
> > writing traditions of both.
> >
> > I suspect that the reason separate tags were proposed is that
> Microsoft, in
> > their infinite wisdom, has instantiated both "Serbian-Latin" and
> > "Serbian-Cyrillic" as language options in .NET and IE, although both
> flavors
> > are resolved in Accept-Language to "sh". It might be most useful if
> someone
> > from Microsoft could be contacted or de-lurk and explain why they
> chose to
> > make the distinction. That data would help with this process.
> Otherwise it
> > seems that Michael is correct that Serbian is really a Cyrillic
> scripted
> > language by default (at least if you ask a Serb or Croat).
> >
> > And I guess I have a question here: there are *nine* proposals on
> the table.
> > Have some of these "passed over the bar"? If so, which ones and why?
> If
> > none, why not?
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Addison
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Ietf-languages mailing list
> > Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> > http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages
> >

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