Language attributes- what are they?

Keld Jørn Simonsen keld at
Fri Dec 31 10:22:38 CET 2004

On Thu, Dec 30, 2004 at 09:17:41PM -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> Tex Texin scripsit:
> > I am surprised that sort order would not be considered part of language. I
> > thought the ordering of the characters to be an important and distinguishing
> > aspect of languages (At least some languages. Those with large character sets
> > perhaps not.)
> The point, as I understand it, is that when you sort something like a list
> of names, you need to sort them according to the reader's expectation, not
> according to the rules used in the language to which the names belong.
> Thus an anglophone looking at a Swedish phone directory wants to see
> å, ä, ??????)B??? interfiled with a, a, o respectively, whereas a suedophone wants
> to see them after z in the given order.

The thing is that you need to distinguish between an input locale, and
an output locale, and you need to have both to do the job proberly.

The data (eg html page) needs to be marked up with info on which locale
it is written with respect to, and different items could be written with
different locales, and then you need to parse that into an internal
form, that then should be presented according to the output locale, that
is, the preferences of the user.

Best regards

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