Language Identifier List up for comments

John Burger john at
Tue Dec 14 17:10:45 CET 2004

Elizabeth J. Pyatt wrote:

> As a linguist, I would want a taxonomy to describe all spoken 
> languages/dialects. For instance, there is no :"language code" for the 
> different spoken Chinese  forms (e.g. Cantonese, Hakka, etc) and using 
> a country code would not be adequate to distinguish them.

I dithered and finally removed the following from my earlier message, 
but damn the torpedos, I'll just say it:  In general, I've always been 
disappointed at what I perceive to be a bias in the language codes 
toward text.  The inability to distinguish Cantonese and Mandarin 
without pretending they are dialectal variants, is one example, and the 
way all sign languages are lumped together is another.

- John D. Burger

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