Comments for region splits (was: Re: NEW-MODIFY LANGUAGE SUBTAG MODIFICATION for "GB")

Doug Ewell dewell at
Fri Apr 21 16:20:55 CEST 2006

Kent Karlsson <kentk at cs dot chalmers dot se> wrote:

> sv-SE (official) and sv-AX are so close that I cannot tell the 
> difference. There's not even a difference in pronunciation. Dialects 
> of sv-SE vary *MUCH* more. sv-FI (not -AX) is sometimes considered 
> "purer" (and has a very particular dialectal pronunciation), but only 
> in the sense that it is more old-fashioned. Just like Icelandic is 
> sometimes considered a "purer" form of Nordic/Scandinavian languages, 
> but only for its (very much more) old-fashioned nature.

What this really shows is that region subtags are not a perfect 
indicator of linguistic varieties, which we know -- but no superior, 
widely understood alternative system is known to exist.

>> Fortunately, the AX-FI split happened before our official event 
>> horizon (Date B), and there was never anything, AFAIK, saying that FI 
>> included AX.
> The split happened long after RFC 3066 became official.
> (Not sure what "date B" is, and you don't give an actual date.)

"Date B" was the date of approval of the main RFC 3066bis document 
(formerly draft-ietf-ltru-registry).  This appears to be 2005-11-15 
based on the I-D tracker page 

"Date A," by comparison, was the date of publication of the ISO 
standards referenced in RFC 1766.  Any ISO 639 or 3166 code elements 
valid as of that date were required to be valid subtags in RFC 3066bis. 
This date is 1988 (fortunately, no finer resolution was necessary).

Both of these dates were used to determine the contents of the initial 
registry.  If anyone ever creates an FAQ list for RFC 3066bis, this 
should certainly be on it.

> I had just hoped that I would not have to argue much about it 
> myself...

I'm still not really sure what the argument is.  Is it simply that the 
comment is unnecessary, or that it might open a floodgate?

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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