A proposed solution for descriptions

Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Mon Jun 19 16:54:12 CEST 2006

Kent Karlsson <kent dot karlsson14 at comhem dot se> wrote:

>> I agree, particularly since it seems very important to the Ivoirian 
>> government that the country be called "Cote d'Ivoire" in all 
>> languages, and not a translation thereof.
> Firstly, that would be "Côte d’Ivoire". Secondly, that is French and 
> most of the entries in CLDR (1.3, I don't have the 1.4 data easily 
> searchable) for 'CI' list a translation of that French name into 
> another language. So are you opposing the CLDR data on this? (I have 
> no idea what the "Ivorian" government thinks of this.)

CLDR exists to provide translated and localized forms of objects, such 
as country names, into as many languages and scripts as possible.  We 
are not CLDR and that is not our mission (at least I don't think it is).

> PS
> I brought up "Côte d’Ivoire" just as part of the rhetoric. I'd be 
> happy to leave it as "Côte d’Ivoire" (preferably with an apostrophe 
> adjustment) in the Language Subtag Registry. I would NOT be happy with 
> using "Cote d'Ivoire", however, as that is a misspelling. Translating 
> it to English (in addition to "Côte d’Ivoire") would be acceptable 
> though.

It's clear that there is no agreement at all concerning this topic.

1. Côte d'Ivoire (with circumflex and straight apostrophe) is the 
version from ISO 3166.

2. Côte d’Ivoire is the same but with a curly apostrophe.

3. Cote d'Ivoire is an ASCII version created by removing diacritical 
marks and converting the apostrophe to ASCII.  Nobody claims this is 
grammatically correct French.

4. Ivory Coast is an English translation, which coincidentally happens 
to be pure ASCII and to enjoy some current usage.

>From what I see, members of this list hold at least four or five 
different views on what combination of options 1 through 4 should appear 
in the Registry.  The difference between Kent's view (above) and mine is 
profound, and I see no short-term resolution.

There is also disagreement, perhaps a bit less profound, on what to do 
with the parenthesized names -- leave them alone, split them out, or 
both.  I note that we are already not using the exact, un-split ISO 639 
names in the Registry; we have "Spanish" and "Castilian" as two separate 
descriptions, but do not have the combined form "Spanish; Castilian" as 
it appears in ISO 639.  Nobody had objected to this a year ago when the 
initial Registry was being assembled.

In fact, the only one that seems completely non-controversial is the 
removal of the (apparently spurious) apostrophe from Amis.  There is no 
"fidelity to the standard" issue because the original source was the RFC 
1766/3066 tag registry.

Perhaps the best thing it to propose a modification only for the Amis 
tag, and withdraw all other proposals until we can get this worked out.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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