ISO 639 - New item approved - N'Ko

Richard Ishida ishida at
Thu Jun 8 18:20:47 CEST 2006

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at 
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
> I think it would be inappropriate and silly to use one type 
> of apostrophe for the script N'Ko and another for the 
> language N'Ko.  To me they are not "alternative names," but 
> they create a completely arbitrary difference.  Searching 
> would not necessarily work as expected, for instance.

I didn't expect this to become such a big deal, but let me note, since I think this is touching on wider topics, that I think searching would actually be a *good* reason to include both forms of N<char>Ko for both the descriptions of the script and language tags.  

I see the description as a help for the user that is particularly useful for finding codes, ie. I usually search on a language name to find a code, expecting a match against the description. We can't assume that users will search using the ISO (or other specific) characters.  I'd be miffed if I failed to find N'Ko because I used the wrong type of apostrophe.  

By the same logic, I guess, we should add the most likely alternative forms of Gwich´in, etc.

Whether we extend the multiplicity of names to non-English variants is, in my mind, actually a related but different question.


PS: Note that I'm nursing the idea of creating a web form that uses xmlhttprequest to find codes by searching on descriptions (automatically converting any escapes backwards and forwards along the way). Has anyone already done that?

Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list