Wikimedia language codes
debbie at ictmarketing.co.uk
Sun Nov 12 19:16:35 CET 2006
Your need is for ISO 639-6. This part of the ISO 639 family is due for
publication in January 2008.
Editor ISO DIS 639-6
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no] On Behalf Of
> Gerard Meijssen
> Sent: 12 November 2006 18:08
> To: ietf-languages at iana.org
> Subject: Wikimedia language codes
> I have said a few things in another mail thread and I think
> it is helpful when I explain what I am looking for and what
> my current issues are. In this mail I will only address needs
> that we have in the Wikimedia Foundation.
> *==Wikimedia Foundation==*
> The Wikimedia Foundation has at this moment in time exactly
> 250 different Wikipedia projects. Some of them have a code
> that is incompatible with any ISO-639 code of any version.
> There are projects that have codes that are squatting on
> existing ISO-639 codes. There are codes that have been made
> up that currently do not trespass on what are the codes of
> other languages however, I would not be surprised when this
> understanding is that it is not permitted to use codes that
> can be mistaken for valid codes.
> As there is now a "language sub-committee" in the Wikimedia
> Foundation, and as it is our brief to come up with
> recommendations for the creation of new projects and as the
> CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation is not pleased with this
> situation, one of the tasks in front of us is to come up with
> the appropriate codes for the existing projects. This is not
> simple and it is certainly not straight forward. One of the
> disputes is about the Belaruse wikipedia that has been
> squatted by people who insist on using an orthography that is
> not the official one. There is a vibrant group of Belaruse
> using the official orthography that wants to claim on the
> same domain. This is one among many, most are largely political.
> One of our problems is not solved because you do not consider the
> ISO-639-3 "official". This is the existence of a Wikipedia in
> What we do understand is that none of the ISO-639-3 codes
> will ever be used other then for its defined purpose.
> An often recurring theme in our request for new projects is
> that people claim that something is a language. It happens
> regularly that the proponents point to what should be amounts
> of impressive content either in archives, libraries on the
> Internet, all stuff that is to most of us goobledegook.
> Often it is claimed that they have applied for recognition
> for their language. It does not make sense to request it from
> anyone but Ethnologue as the ISO-639-2 is at its end of life.
> There was some earlier discussion of the Min-Nan language on
> this mailing list. For your information both the Min-Nan
> Wiktionary and Wikipedia are not in either the Hant or the
> Hans script, it uses Latn.When you start off from zh as the
> basis you insist on and equally the people who write Min-Nan
> without exception use Latn, the code zh-nan-Latn is not
> logical at all. NB these are really active projects.
> For the Wikimedia Foundation there are a number of options;
> * We use our WMF language codes internally and
> externally. This is
> imho from a standards point of view a worst case scenario
> * We use our codes internally and externally we advertise the
> "official" codes.
> * We sanitise our codes so that there is at least no conflict with
> the ISO-639 codes. We use them internally and we advertise the
> "official" codes.
> * We move away from our current codes and only use
> "official" codes
> both internally and externally.
> It is as difficult to make the Wikimedia Foundation move as
> it is to get movement about Standards I suspect. I think it
> we need a plan how this can be solved. There are at least two
> lists I would like to have that would help:
> * A list with the all the ISO-639 codes (1, 2 and 3) and the codes
> that these languages have under RFC 4646.
> * A list with the WMF language codes and the language codes under
> RFC 4646.
> I am sure that the first list exists. With this list it is
> possible to compile the second list. For some WMF language
> codes we may need to ask for tags to identify them properly
> by their dialect, orthography or whatever makes them special.
> Gerard Meijssen aka GerardM
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
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