Scottish English

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Oct 20 20:36:31 CEST 2005


since my curiosity is now thoroughly roused....

would it be possible to find a way to make an audio sample available to the 
readers of this list, so that the people who think that they can tell 
whether spoken dialogue is "sco" or "en-gb-scottish" can say what this one 

The term "scottish" of course has an Ethnologue referent:

BTW, the Ethnologue groups it into a family tree labelled "English".....

--On torsdag, oktober 20, 2005 11:07:43 -0700 Karen_Broome at 

> Beyond the need to describe these languages in the ISO context, I have a
> need to structure these choices in drop-downs used in asset management
> systems in a way that prevents data quality problems. As noted by others,
> there is a lot of potential for confusion with the terms Scots, Gaelic,
> Scottish, etc.
> The Scottish English question originated as we were migrating content
> previously classified as "Scottish" from an recently acquired repository.
> That label, of course, means nothing.
> While "Irish" may be a more common English-language term for Gaelic, and
> is the ISO term for this language, I won't use it. Why? Because I have
> people who will receive content identified only as Gaelic. If someone
> unfamiliar with Gaelic languages looks down a list and see the choices
> Irish and Scots Gaelic, they are likely to classify the film as Scots
> Gaelic whether it is or not. Instead, I use:
> Gaelic (Irish)
> Gaelic (Scots)
> These names then sort together alphabetically and the classifier realizes
> that he or she must know whether the film is Irish Gaelic or Scots
> Gaelic. This is not a revolutionary practice, but I thought it was worth
> noting in the context of this discussion. So far I haven't had to add
> "Scots" to my list. :) It's my understanding that the product I have is
> Scottish English and not Scots.
> - Karen Broome
> "Peter Constable" <petercon at>
> Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at
> 10/20/2005 09:13 AM
>         To:        <ietf-languages at>
>         cc:
>         Subject:        RE: Scottish English
>> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
>> bounces at] On Behalf Of Harald Tveit Alvestrand
>> standard gripe....
>> from the material available from ISO 639, there's no way of telling
> for
>> sure whether "sco" ("Scots") refers to a language related to English
> or a
>> language related to Gaelic.
> Gary Simons and I identified this as an issue for ISO 639 in a paper we
> presented back in 2000. On the one hand, you don't want to make the
> descriptors given for languages a normative part of the standard, but on
> the other hand, an identifier is meant to identify the concept of a
> particular language, and it's important to make clear in some way what
> the intended denotee language is. It's why the Web site for ISO 639-3
> will have links to other sources that document this.
> Peter Constable
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