Swiss german, spoken

Doug Ewell dewell at
Sat Jun 11 19:19:50 CEST 2005

It looks to me as though Karen *has* read RFC 3066 and 3066bis, and/or
the discussion lists, and has requested "gsw" on the basis that it will
be compatible with 3066ter, and "es-419" on the basis that it will be
compatible with 3066bis.  This is actually more foresight than a lot of
previous proposals have shown.

I don't see any reason not to approve "es-419" if there is currently a
need for it.  It will be classified as "redundant" under 3066bis, but
one more redundant tag won't hurt anything.  We just approved several of
them for Chinese.

The request for "gsw" is another story.  Unlike 3066bis, which is
nearing completion, there is no set schedule (or even good estimate) for
the release of 3066ter.  It will depend not only on the release of ISO
639-3, but also on the Working Group process that will be needed to
create and approve 3066ter itself.  This has proven to be slow and
painful in the case of 3066bis; we don't know if it will be any better
next time.

Unfortunately, as many have already said, 3066 doesn't allow 3-letter
tags like "gsw" to be registered unless they already exist in ISO 639-2.
Addison and John have a good idea: write to the ISO 639-2 Registration
Authority and request that they add this code.  They've responded to
individual requests in the past; I think that's how "fil" for Filipino
got added.  They will require proof of at least 50 "documents" in at
most 5 locations, as John said.

Failing that, I actually think the best short-term solution for
Schwyzerdütsch would be to register "i-gsw" under 3066, and have it be
grandfathered under 3066bis (which offers no alternative coding for this
language).  Under 3066ter, it would presumably be deprecated in favor of
"gsw", but I have no particular confidence that that document will be
ready for use "in a couple of months" if our experience with 3066bis is
any indication.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California

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