Frisian problems (was: New language subtags)

Michael Everson everson at
Thu Nov 10 10:29:15 CET 2005

At 21:19 -0700 2005-11-09, John.Cowan wrote:

>Problem #1:  We now have a 639-2 code for Frisian in general, and one for
>Northern Frisian specifically, but none for Western Frisian specifically,
>even though the latter is some 70 times larger than the former and has
>far more literature.  This should be rectified by adding 'fri' to the
>639-2 code set.
>Problem #2:  According to the original macrolanguage documentation, 'fry'
>in 639-3 was intended to represent a family of related languages, the
>Frisian languages.  As of the 14th edition of the Ethnologue, the three
>languages were indeed named "Western Frisian", "Northern Frisian", and
>"Eastern Frisian".  With the 15th edition, however, the last language was
>renamed "Saterfriesisch" and coded 'stg'.  The term "Eastern Frisian"
>is now applied to the Frisian-influenced Low German language of the
>region of Germany called Ostfriesen.

There is very little usefulness in a tag for a Frisian macrolanguage.

>Therefore, Eastern Frisian ('frs') should be removed from the 'fy'/'fry'
>macrolanguage and replaced by 'stg'.

I agree.
Michael Everson *

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list