Proposed Successor to RFC 3066 (language tags)

Debbie Garside debbie at
Wed Nov 26 16:14:03 CET 2003

As an expert in languages and coding systems, I am sorry that you cannot see
the use of the Linguasphere product in globalisation/defence/mobile
technologies/internet applications to mention but a few.  As to the
Linguasphere database being expensive... it has never been offered for sale.
The printed register is available for £100 plus P+P to interested parties.
However, Linguasphere have given many many copies of the register away free
in exchange for updated information from experts such as yourself.  If you
would like a copy of the Register and would like to suggest corrections or
make comments on its content you will find our response most welcoming;
Indeed Linguasphere actively encourages contact with linguists worldwide in
order to correct, add and update the information.

I see that you are based in Dublin, I will have occasion to be in Dublin 4-5
times a year for the next 3 years starting in January (in relation to
another international project with Irish partners based in Dublin) I would
welcome the opportunity to meet with you in order to discuss the methodology
for distinguishing language and dialect and to deliver a copy of the
Linguasphere register at the same time.

Kind regards

Debbie Garside

-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-languages-bounces at
[mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at]On Behalf Of Michael
Sent: 25 November 2003 09:48
To: ietf-languages at
Cc: iso639 at
Subject: RE: Proposed Successor to RFC 3066 (language tags)

At 14:18 +0000 2003-11-24, Debbie Garside wrote:

>Linguasphere ICT are developing ISO 639-6.  In a nutshell, 639-6 will bring
>all the IS0 639 family together.  We will be proposing unique alpha4 codes
>for each individual language/dialect.  Further proposals are scheduled for
>May 2004 with regard to the dating of languages/dialects and a structuring
>code.  Linguasphere ICT has also related each language to its hierachical
>mother via the alpha4 coding system; in excess of 25,000 languages and
>dialects have already been coded in this way.(you might note I am not a
>linguist but am more computer orientated).

I would reject such a standard. In the first place Linguasphere's
database is expensive and unavailable; in the second, what I have
seen of it (the PDF about Irish available on its web site) make me
deeply distrustful of its methodology for distinguishing "language"
and "dialect". It is doubtful that such a level of granularity is
either useful or desirable in an ISO standard.

>As far as I am aware, SIL are on track with 639-3, indeed a draft CD has
>been circulated for comments by end Dec 2003.  I am sure Havard will
>on this with schedules.

I haven't seen it, but it is difficult to follow the workings of that
committee because of the way documents and information are

>We would very much welcome your input on this important extension of the
>639 family.

As an expert in languages and coding, quite honestly, I would say
"don't bother".
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *
Ietf-languages mailing list
Ietf-languages at

Incoming mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.543 / Virus Database: 337 - Release Date: 21/11/03

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.543 / Virus Database: 337 - Release Date: 21/11/03

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list