Frisian problems (was: New language subtags)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Nov 10 18:45:13 CET 2005

I think this problem is a classic example of the general principle that you 
can't tell what the details of another standard will be until it's 
final..... we did not commit to the integration of 639-2 before it was 
published in final form, and I think we (as IETF participants) need to do 
the same thing with 639-3.

We can always hope that the 639-3 writers will manage to sort out how it 
makes sense to use "macrolanguages" before that.


--On 9. november 2005 21:19 -0700 "John.Cowan" <jcowan at> 

> (Note: redirecting this to ietf-languages only; Peter Constable, please
> take note)
> Doug Ewell scripsit:
>> Note also that "frr" does not currently exist
>> in ISO/DIS 639-3, although it does not conflict with it.
> Where do you get this from?  Both the Ethnologue and the ISO 639-3 site
> show 'frr' as the code for Northern Frisian.
> In looking this up, I spotted two serious problems with Frisian.
> ISO 639-3 treats Frisian (coded as 'fy' in 639-1 and RFC 3066, and as
> 'fry' in 639-2) as a cover term for the three Frisian languages, Western
> Frisian ('fri'), Northern Frisian ('frr'), and Eastern Frisian ('frs').

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