3066ter (Re: Guernsey Jersey and Isle of Man ISO 3166-1 Codes)

Harald Alvestrand harald at alvestrand.no
Mon Apr 10 16:15:24 CEST 2006

John Cowan wrote:
> Agreed.  I am simply pointing out a hypothetical case.  Suppose someone
> comes to us with the need to register a language tag for Gagauz,
> which is in ISO FDIS 639-3 but not in IS 639-2.  We have the following
> possible courses of action:
> 1) Urge the requester to undertake the 639-2 registration process (I
> don't know if Gagauz passes the threshold [*] for this process, but let's
> suppose it doesn't).
> 2) Create a 4-letter-or-more ad hoc language subtag for Gagauz.  This
> will create annoying problems of obsolescence if and when RFC 3066ter
> does come on line.
> 3) Recommend that the requester use "tut-MD", which refers to a Turkic
> language of Moldova (which Gagauz is).  This is irritatingly vague, uses
> the country code in a non-standard way, is not necessarily likely to be
> interpreted correctly by others, and has the same long-term problem as
> choice 2.
> 4) Tell the poster to cheat and use "gag" in the hope (probably
> well-founded) that ISO won't change the code for Gagauz before 639-3
> becomes an IS.
> It is in that sense that we are presently in a delicate condition; I
> can only hope that no such requesters arrive in the next year or two.
> I don't say that there's anything we can do about this, either.  I simply
> want to have this analysis on record and in the backgrounds of our minds
> in case we require it.
> [*] For 639-2 registration, the requester must be able to certify that
> fifty documents in or about the language exist, and that these documents
> are held by no more than five agencies.  Electronic and non-textual
> documents count; almost any organization can be an agency for this
> purpose.  This summary is not authoritative.
in one of my more crotchety moods, I'm inclined to claim that if 
someone's unwilling to type or tape 50 samples of a language and send 
these off to five different institutions, that person shouldn't waste 
the time of the rest of the world in pushing for his language to have a 
tag this week rather than a year or two from now......... ie I'd say 
that if a real need exists, and the proposer has already managed to pass 
through whatever minefield guards the access to 639-3 registration, 
he'll find a way.....

For the tags that have failed to meet whatever criteria 639-3 sets for 
language tags, but are still seen as valuable (if such a beast can 
exist) variant registration seems like a reasonable course to recommend.

My $0.02 or less.


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