[Suppress-Script] Initial list of 300 languages
Caoimhin O Donnaile
caoimhin at smo.uhi.ac.uk
Tue Mar 14 15:50:49 CET 2006
Thanks to John and others for taking the time to clarify the situation
regarding the meaning of Latg.
I think this needs to be documented clearly in appropriate places,
because I don't think it is clear from ISO 15924, and I am sure that I
am not the only Irish Gaelic speaker who would have automatically
assumed that Latg was defined in terms of character use rather than fonts.
As Ciarán indicated, there is a danger of Latg/Latn being
used, knowingly or unknowingly, as "proxy" tags for the
dot-above/'h's difference, which is more important to most people
than the fonts - rather in the way in which zh-TW and zh-CN used to be
used as proxies for zh-Hant and zh-Hans. Perhaps, to forestall this,
we should take up Kent's suggestion and register variant spelling
codes for ga. I'll talk to people about this. At least three
variants would be required:
- traditional spelling with dot-above
- traditional spelling with 'h's
- reformed spelling with 'h's
and possibly also for completeness:
- reformed spelling with dot-above
although this latter would be almost unused.
Maybe dot-above and 'h's variants would also be needed for Old and
Middle Irish (sga and mga) but I don't know much about these. The
spelling was no doubt very variable anyway, with perhaps a mixture of
systems being used, so the tags would maybe only be useful for
Does anyone know, by the way, whether the CLDR project
(www.unicode.org/cldr) plans to collect locale data for language
Regarding Peter's question about existing use of ga and ga-IE,
I have checked and I see that I was wrong in thinking that "ga"
itself would have been scarcely ever used yet in tagging
webpages (I was extrapolating from the Scottish Gaelic situation,
where even large quality sites like the BBC and the Scottish
Parliament do not tag with "gd", but there is much more language
awareness in Ireland than there is in Britain).
All of the following sizeable official sites tag with "ga" in one
way or another:
I didn't come across any examples of "ga-IE". The main Irish language
support body, Foras na Gaeilge at http//www.gaeilge.ie/, tags its
Irish language pages with:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-ie">
<meta name="DC.Language" content="ga">
which is of course wrong and inconsistent.
"ga-IE" would carry no additional meaning as a language tag anyway.
(Unless we were going to start using ga-GB as a proxy for the Donegal
dialect; or for the traditional spelling which enjoys some residual
support in Donegal and the North, and is close to Scottish Gaelic
spelling - but I don't think we want to start down that route!)
As John says, though, we can't be sure it has never been used
- maybe inserted automatically by some software.
Now that I know that Latg is only about fonts, not characters, I think
it is likely to be of so little interest to most people that I think the
Suppress-Script for "ga" should stay as Latn. And maybe even sga and
mga should be given a Suppress-Script of Latn too??
(No offence intended to the Cló Gaelach, which I like very much.)
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