Distinguishing Greek and Greek

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin jefsey at jefsey.com
Thu Mar 17 18:53:37 CET 2005

Dear Peter and Doug,
I respond here because this obviously has to do with the way this list 
conducts its registration review. But I think it would be better suited to 
the WG? I do not copy it there because you are the authors.

At 17:26 17/03/2005, Doug Ewell wrote:
>Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:
>He's talking about 5 "descriptors," which I guess are supposed to map to
>the 5 elements of the language tagging mechanism he envisions.

Correct. But they are/this is more related to the 5 levels/points 
underlaying a multilingual internet (I am not sure they are layers, they 
just are necessary)

- identification of the language (ISO 693 or the like) -> interrelation 
between people - we can talk

- internationalization (what discusses RFC 3066 - ISO 15924) -> 
interoperation between machines - we can write

- multinationalization (taking into account ISO 3166 or other geopolitical 
attribute) -> interculturization between communities - we can share same 
cultural references, the same meanings (for example, what may be missing in 

- multilingualization (semantic, grammar, dictionary, syntax, etc.) -> 
interintelligibility -> we can understand each other

- vernacularization (procedures, styles, tools, etc.) -> interusability -> 
we can do something together

>I didn't think any Microsoft product dealt with "style" or "authority"
>attributes, nor in script except to the extent that is covered by
>registered RFC 3066 tags.

Name the reference/authority, etc. the way you want. Authoritative in its 
domain is an usual concept in the Internet culture. You can certainly find 
other words. This is what says a computer that when I write in French this 
is not Greek, or what make you sure that when I write in Provencal it is 
not Berrichon.

I gave in my response to Peer how and where the Word system does that.
- tools - languages : language, script, country  (you can qualify even if 
you do not understand).
- tools - options (preferences?) : dictionary, style (you need them to 
understand and write).
Which system do you use? Does it support the same descriptors?

This being said, I understand your remark about what I name the 
multilingualization level. You say English is not defined. I belong to a 
culture where definition is known and supported for 4 centuries. This makes 
me more aware of this point. Actually English, in a way is more defined 
than French. When we introduce a computer in a culture, we do in a few 
months, a few years, what Richelieu and France did a long ago and matured 
over centuries: we create an "Académie de cette Langue". What I object is 
that this Académie may belong to anyone else than to the people sharing 
that culture. And naming is already a way to own. As long as it is to 
qualify the culture it is OK because there is a need. When it comes to 
enter in its definition this is - IMHO - an intrusion. And I refuse to 
share in that kind of intrusion.  To the contrary my approach is to say we 
are here to serve, help, educate so they can first share in this process, 
comment it and eventually conduct it for themselves.

I note that three days ago this list had 2 Greeks. Now 3 and probably 4. 
Because Greek persons stepped in and documented _their_ own languages. This 
is the way it should happen for every language, the request should come 
from each Internet community. This is the spirit of the text of RFC 3066. I 
fully understand that people who want to sell to that communities would 
like to speed up the process. I do not think it is commercially advisable 
to by-pass their future customers in this process (as the reactions to the 
Google's annoucement show it). To the contrary they should help empowering 
the language and help their cultural, linguistic, political authorities 
through the registration process.

For example, I fully agree with you that the name of the langtag registrant 
is not necessary. But I would suggest to remove it only when the 
registration is by an outsider.


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