The role of country codes.

Peter Edberg pedberg at
Thu May 29 14:37:57 CEST 2003

At 11:08 AM +0100 5/29/03, Jon Hanna wrote:
>In current usage the country codes identify both the orthographic and other
>differences, and it works well because they are pretty much where both of
>these differences should be with respect to the primary subtag. With the
>introduction of script information into language codes the double-duty of
>the country codes no longer works well. The obvious priority is to place the
>differences in vocabulary and syntax before the script information and the
>orthographic differences after, I don't think this translates well to any
>suggested encoding.

Sure it does. A country code can be used twice, once for each purpose:

"en-GB-Latn-US" means GB for vocabulary & syntax, US for spelling. Since Latn can be inferred from "en", this can reduce to "en-GB-US".

"en-GB-Latn" implies "en-GB-Latn-GB", but also reduces to just "en-GB" by application of inference rules.

It can be designed so the inference works in either direction:

"en-Latn-GB" implies British vocabulary and spelling; use, e.g. "en-US-Latn-GB" or just "en-US-GB" is you want US vocabulary, British spelling.

-Peter (E)
Peter Edberg  .  .  .  .  Apple Computer, Inc.
Mac OS Engineering: International & Text Group
Tel: +1 (408) 974-4275, Fax: +1 (408) 862-4566

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