Swiss german, spoken

Karen_Broome at Karen_Broome at
Mon Jun 13 20:48:07 CEST 2005

Sorry if I'm a bit busy today and overwhelmed by the response to my 
language request. I now agree with Michael that Swiss German should not be 
restricted to a  spoken form alone. That distinction was made based on my 
use of the language, but likely doesn't apply on a wider basis as this 
language is sometimes, if rarely, used in written form. If I need to 
resubmit my language request to reflect this change, I'd be happy to do 

However, in Debbie's defense, here's why I need the distinctions between 
spoken and written languages at Sony Pictures. I realize these are 
implementation details, but they may help explain my business need. I am 
classifying film product to a list of predefined language categories. I 
want these categories to be mutually exclusive.  If I'm dubbing a film 
into Chinese, I want to see the values:

Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin)

If I'm subtitling that film, I want my user to see:

Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin Simplified)
Chinese (Mandarin Traditional)

I do not consider traditional Mandarin to be a "spoken language," 
therefore it cannot be used with dubbed product.  If I put three flavors 
of Mandarin on my language list, then a user could potentially classify a 
dubbed film as traditional or simplified Mandarin, which is bad data. 
These classifications must ultimately be passed in standards-compliant XML 
(various standards, depending on use). 

So for data storage here, I will recommend use of a single language table 
associated with proper ISO codes, filtered in a UI via a spoken/written 
Boolean I associate with each language. I have analyzed our use of 
language here and RFC 3066 met my needs except in the case of Swiss German 
and Latin American Spanish, so I applied for those codes. We do not 
subtitle into Swiss German, so I had this noted as a spoken variant in my 
spreadsheet, but my application for the code shouldn't have made this 

Hope this helps explain my request,

Karen Broome

"Debbie Garside" <debbie at>
Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at
06/11/2005 04:19 PM

        To:     "'Michael Everson'" <everson at>, "'IETF Languages Discussion'" 
<ietf-languages at>
        Subject:        RE: Swiss german, spoken

But for archival and retrieval processes we MAY wish to make a 
Remember, there are an awful lot of end users out there using 3066.

Thought of day... Think literally... think laterally... and ye shall have 
fuller picture :-)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Michael Everson
> Sent: 12 June 2005 00:08
> To: 'IETF Languages Discussion'
> Subject: Re: Swiss german, spoken
> At 16:01 -0700 2005-06-11, Randy Presuhn wrote:
> >Hi -
> >
> >>  From: "Debbie Garside" <debbie at>
> >>  To: "'Michael Everson'" <everson at>; "'IETF Languages
> >>Discussion'" <ietf-languages at>
> >>  Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2005 3:47 PM
> >>  Subject: RE: Swiss german, spoken
> >>
> >>IMHO Requests for specifically "Written" tags and "Spoken" tags will
> >>  increase in the future and it may be a wise thing to discuss this
> sooner
> >>  rather than later. This is currently catered for within the proposed
> 639-6;
> >>  if accepted 3066bis (or ter) will (I presume) follow suit.
> >...
> >
> >If you would like to ensure that the language tag registry has 
> >to specifically support this distinction, please take your concern
> >to the ltru at
> >mailing list, preferably with the specific text you'd like to add or
> change.
> >The WG is very close to being ready for WG last call on the registry
> draft,
> >so delay would not be good.
> Oh, I'd really like to say "bollocks" to this notion of "spoken" vs
> "written". A language is a language. EVERY language can be written.
> Representation of dialect forms of written language is not a question
> of written/unwritten.
> --
> Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
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