Distinguishing Greek and Greek

Panagiotis Sikas sikas at ics.forth.gr
Wed Mar 16 15:02:11 CET 2005

I'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge to all these ....

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin wrote:
> Dear Panagiotis,
> a few questions for my own general understanding:
> 1. how does this affect the Greek as spoken in various other communities 
> round the world? and the "legal" Greek of Cyprus? If yes what is the 
> European Community position concerning the resolution of such differences?

I'm not sure what you mean with "this"??!!

If you are reffering to the existance of the variants of the Greek
language, then the answer is simple. The variants existed in the past.
The only formal language for Greece is modern Greek.

I assume that since there is no other language (or derivative) in
the catalogue of the official European Languages, the same applies
to Cyprus as well. I don't know if there are more than one official
languages in Cyprus (English or Turkish) but this is another

> 2. what is the status of the IDN Tables as far as Greek characters are 
> concerned if you know this? My question covers the .gr and the .cy TLD 
> but also other ccTLD which could have already included Greek local 
> names? Who could be a good lingusitic authority to translate the 
> existing TLDs in Greek equivalent abreviations as the work is currently 
> underway/accomplished for Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrilic, etc. ? Do 
> you know how Greek will be supported in ".eu".

As for the [.gr] registry (which is us), IDNs are ready to be
accepted for registration.
The scripts accepted (technically) are the unicode tables for
Greek (U+0386-03D4) covering the modern Greek characters in monotonic
and Greek Extended (U+1F00-1FFC) covering the polytonic.
There is a discussion for the moment about this and the range
may change, but I don't think it will be a significant one.

Since the experimental implementation of IDNs, we saw little
demand for polytonic domains.

I can't speak for [.cy] but I can ask them.

On the other hand Polish registry implemented IDN with support
for Greek domains and they have published the accepted character range
which mainly is the modern Greek monotonic (U+0390,03AC-03CE)

The regulatory authority for internet matters is the
National Telecommunications and Post Commission (http://www.eett.gr).
They could do the job, and since we work closely with them
for the [.gr] registry we could be invloved also.

I don't have information (still) for the IDN status in .eu domain.
I assume they will inform the other European registries as well.

> 3. is there an existing icon traditionally used to indicate a page in 
> Greek language other than a Greek or Cyprus flag?

haven't seen anything else used....

> 4. would there be an ISO 3166, ISO 15924 and ISO 693 translation in Greek?

I don't know who is representing ISO in Greece, so ....

> 5. is there from real usage experience any homograph problem between 
> Greek characters and Internet naming system (DNS, Handles, ONS, OID, etc.)?


Homographs are a problem for us also, especially when using capital
letters, but we have adopted measures to prevent most (if not all)
of the problems imposed by homographs in IDNs

> 6. There is an ambiguity we will try to address at the WG-ltru for the 
> IETF and in other places for Gov. positions concerning the scope of the 
> discussed tag to know if it is to qualify or to define the language. 
> "Qualify" means that the reader is informed and must be able to 
> understand the discrepancies and the language extensions/additions 
> (words, grammar, semantic,etc.). "Define" means that the language 
> version is the reference for pages, typsetters, word processors, optical 
> readers, grammatical editors, etc. as specified in RFC 3066 and its 
> proposed revision. A part from the problem created if the reference 
> version does not encapsualte all the language legitimate versions, we 
> have a problem of web service, OPES and interapplication 
> interintelligbility and quality of service.
> Do you think that the different Greek language versions considered in 
> here have a problem if the tag defines rather than qualifies? You 
> understand that as a CRC it makes us a major difference.

There will be no problem to define the language to be el-monoton
as we are referring to modern Greek only.

On the other hand defining just el-polyton is not enough.
If el-polyton is defined as a tag, then there is no indication if
the text is written in "katharevousa" or "dimotiki".
The differences between them are too many, not only orthographycally,
but in grammar, in vocabulary and more....

Engaging a grammatical editor for polytonic Greek without knowing in 
which of the two variants you are working will simply not work.

Kind Regards

> I thank you so much.
> jfc
> =====================================================
> For your convenience:
> Draft:         
> http://www.inter-locale.com/ID/draft-ietf-ltru-registry-00.txt
> Charter:     http://ietf.org/html.charters/ltru-charter.html
> gmane:     http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.ietf.ltru
> If you were Bcced for information and not familliar with the IETF process:
> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2026.txt
> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2418.txt
> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3934.txt
> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3669.txt
> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3160.txt
> http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-hoffman-taobis-02.txt
> =====================================================
> Jon Postel (RFC 1591): "The IANA is not in the business of deciding
> what is and what is not a country. The selection of the ISO 3166 list
>  as a basis for country code top-level domain names was made with
>  the knowledge that ISO has a procedure for determining which
> entities should be and should not be on that list."
> =====================================================
> Brian Carpenter (RFC 1958/3.2): "If there are several ways of doing the
> same thing, choose one. If a previous design, in the Internet context
> or elsewhere, has successfully solved the same problem, choose the
> same solution unless there is a good technical reason not to.
> Duplication of the same protocol functionality should be avoided as far as
> possible, without of course using this argument to reject improvements."
> =====================================================
> It seems that what works for countries and ISO 3166 since 1978 should
> apply to languages and to ISO 693.
> =====================================================


Panagiotis Sikas
Systems Admin. Group

Institute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas
email: sikas at ics.forth.gr
Tel: +30-2810391647
Fax: +30-2810391641

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