language subtag registration request: Region EU

Markus Scherer at
Thu Jan 12 17:58:35 CET 2006

Hi Doug, our emails crossed (I was interrupted typing my previous one)...

On 1/12/06, Doug Ewell <dewell at> wrote:
> This request runs into a few problems.  First and foremost is that RFC
> 3066bis doesn't permit the registration of region subtags, except as
> necessary to keep up with ISO 3166 and UN M.49. [...]
> Until the ISO 3166
> Maintenance Agency formally assigns EU as a code element, it does not
> qualify.

>From what I can see, and as I explained in my other email, reserved
codes are "assigned", even though they are not "officially assigned".
In addition, this particular code has a sufficiently large scope ("any

> Unlike the concepts "Europe," "Western Europe," etc. that are reflected
> in the numeric subtags, "European Union" is not only a geographical but
> also a political concept.  The European Union is not the same as
> "Europe"; it excludes Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

I know. (I grew up in the EU.) It is this particular geographical
entity that I am after.

> [...] there was an explicit desire in the WG not to
> extend this to the numeric subtags by including the UN's economic
> groupings.  EU seems similar to those.  The goal of region subtags is to
> identify linguistic differences, and it's unclear to me how EU would do
> this in a way that 150 and friends would not.

For German, de-150 and de-155 would include (high) German as spoken in
Switzerland, but de-EU would not. de-EU would be broad enough for
german in DE/AT/LX however.

For (sophisticated) matching, *-EU would match any language spoken in
the EU, which is very different from *-150.

Best regards,

Opinions expressed here may not reflect my company's positions unless
otherwise noted.

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