Phonetic orthographies

Doug Ewell dewell at
Sat Nov 11 09:17:34 CET 2006

Gerard Meijssen <gerardm at wiktionaryz dot org> wrote:

> Actually, zh is only to be used within the confines of ISO-639-1 and 
> ISO-639-2. The new standard has zh and consequently zho marked as a 
> macro language. Making assumptions on the basis of the zh code is only 
> useful for the hopefully short period until the use of zh is only to 
> be used for historical reasons.
> Consequently using zh as an example for other use is not a great idea.

In fact, the concept of "Chinese" as a language continues to be a 
valuable one for those applications that do not distinguish between the 
various Chinese languages/dialects.  (Written Chinese, in either 
traditional or simplified script, is such an application.) 
Consequently, the ISO 639 codes "zh" and "zho" and the RFC 4646 language 
subtag "zh" are not going away any time soon.

A similar situation applies to other macrolanguages.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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