Language Identifier List up for comments

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Dec 17 23:58:09 CET 2004

Misha Wolf scripsit:

> If we were dealing with spoken material, would we have a way of 
> indicating "Mandarin" as opposed to "Cantonese"?

First, there *are* Cantonese-specific hanzi, so it is possible to find
written documents that are unequivocally in Cantonese.

Second, there exist registered tags zh-guoyu and zh-yue which
unequivocally refer to Mandarin and Cantonese respectively.  It is not
currently possible to qualify these with country codes, but if someone
needed them, they could be registered under RFC 3066.

Third, the RFC 3066 ter regime (already being thought about but
not available in any draft yet) will almost certainly have distinct
language codes for Chinese generally (zh), Mandarin (probably cmn)
and Cantonese (almost certainly yue).  These will be freely qualifiable
with countries and scripts.

Don't be so humble.  You're not that great.             John Cowan
        --Golda Meir                                    jcowan at

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