Registration of el-Latn language tag

Tex Texin tex at
Wed Sep 28 13:19:18 CEST 2005

It's a good reason not to Register generative tags.

So when someone requests a tag now, what is the reviewer to look at?

We used to identify a few representative books, which I always thought meant
we were identifying a particular set of rules around the language (spelling,

The registration for el-Latn more or less stipulates the need for
transliteration, mentions that they exist, with  a link to a site that
collects transliteration systems. (Which btw, I think is a really bad idea
in the event the site goes away or completely changes its list of reference
materials.) But it doesn't really nail down what it is. (It mentions a
standard, but doesn't say the tag is referring to that particular standard.

So we are no longer identifying a reference or a particular language, but
just the concept that there seems to be something like a language of this
persuasion. I guess we were asking for this with es-419. (Which I was also a
proponent of.)

I am also not sure we should be registering transliterations.
At least with a transliteration to sign languages, (I assume they are
considered  transliterations) I could see that the expressiveness of signing
would evolve and behave like a language of its own. With transliteration
from one script to another, I am not so sure. (But I am not a linguist.) I
guess I think of Greek transliterations as one way- Going from Greek to
Latin, and not that people will write new Greek materials in Latin script,
so that it evolves like a language on its own.
At least with some of the other languages that were written in different
scripts, although you could transliterate between them, people were also
using the script for the purpose of writing and expression.

The registration indicated one of the two uses of transliteration was for
use by non-Greeks. This suggests to me it is not being used as a language
but simply an alternative notation system that is autogenerated. The users
are not writing and expressing themselves in the transliteration.

I know that is not entirely true, and do not want to overstate the point,
but this kind of automated transliteration occurs between most languages and
scripts, but is not used as language. We shouldn't need to review, register,
and discuss all of the combinations.

I guess we will need a tag for transliteration of Heiroglyphics to latin as
We might need one for the Rebus puzzles in the newspaper too.

We should add zh-Latn, as chinese is often written in latin script as well.

Maybe we should just stipulate that almost everything is transliterated in
Latin, and simply consider it available for all languages.


Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> --On tirsdag, september 27, 2005 22:40:14 -0700 Tex Texin
> <tex at> wrote:
> > Is there a most likely, or most expected scenario if one requests or
> > receives el-Latn?
> > If I wanted to select a spell checker or othography, what would I look
> > for?
> that kind of question is why I don't like generative tags.... at the
> moment, I think we should bow to the consensus of the community and say
> "it's Greek, and the script is Latin; for all other properties - guess".
>                        Harald

Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex at
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