"Century" variants (was: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?)

Gerard Meijssen gerardm at wiktionaryz.org
Tue Nov 21 15:40:29 CET 2006

What we discuss is what language something is. A reworked version of 
Voltaire or Rouseau is not the work the man wrote, it is modern French. 
What a tag should indicate is the language used and not what is being 
said or who it is attributed to. I do think the IETF is involved in 
describing what a particular content technically is.

An adaptation is as different from the original as a translation would 
be, it is derived from a different era, in many ways a different culture.


CE Whitehead schreef:
> Hi, thanks, I will fill out the forms as I do think someone looking 
> for Voltaire or Rousseau will specify Voltaire or Rouseau.
> In addition, Middle French is not that far from 17th century; someone 
> looking for 17th century French might want both.
> So I am particularly interested in the subtags for the 16thc and 17thc.
> When the tag indicates the date, the user would then not go to the 
> pages he/she did not want, but I feel with literature the only problem 
> would be when someone wanted 16th century French translated into 
> Modern French (and it is normally not translated, unlike Old French, 
> which often is available in Modern French; correct me if I'm wrong here.)
> Thanks.
> --C. E. Whitehead
>> From: "Doug Ewell" <dewell at adelphia.net>
>> CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>>> Of course, an ordinary user looking for a French text might not want 
>>> Middle or Old French.  Middle French would be readable probably to 
>>> the ordinary user, though different from Modern French.  The 
>>> documents would be literary anyway and should not interest the 
>>> ordinary user and probably would not come up in a search for 
>>> business and shopping; they would come up in a search for French 
>>> literature.  Only in a search for French literature I would think 
>>> (hopefully, if the search engine works, if no one has put all kinds 
>>> of fictitious stuff in the meta content information).
>> Even scholars of French literature, looking for (say) Voltaire or 
>> Rousseau, may not necessarily want to pull up works in Old or Middle 
>> French such as the chansons de geste.  The scholar who will accept 
>> material in any of the three languages, like the businessman who will 
>> accept English or French or Japanese, needs to specify this 
>> preference explicitly.
>>> In addition, should the pages come up, the second part of the tag 
>>> indicates the date of the language.
>> Here you are talking about the suggested "12thc" variant subtags, not 
>> the ISO 639-based subtags "fr" and "frm" and "fro".
>> I stand by the caveats I mentioned about the arbitrariness of tagging 
>> language as "12th century."
>>> If your pages are inserted into the body of a page created by the 
>>> host's application, there is no place to list more than one language 
>>> at a time; you can of course list different text processing 
>>> languages in the various subsections delineated by html or xml or 
>>> xhtml  (such as p for paragraph, div for division, span for still 
>>> another section heading); but only one at a time.
>> Yes, that is how it is done with existing technologies.  Most text, 
>> even multilingual text, is in only one language *at a time*.  For 
>> text that is truly in multiple languages simultaneously, such as "she 
>> has a certain je ne sais quoi about her," the solution is for the 
>> language-tagging structure of the text format -- HTML or PDF or 
>> proprietary word processor or whatever -- to allow multiple language 
>> tags, NOT for a single language tag to represent more than one language.
>>> There is no way to identify a single language as both fr, French, 
>>> and frm, Middle French.
>> I assume you mean "identify a single text."
>>> I'd like to say further that the option of having tags for say the 
>>> European languages labelled: 12thc, 13thc, 14thc, 15thc, 16thc, 
>>> 17thc would help those who needed to clarify the exact date of a 
>>> language or language variant.
>>> I feel these would be useful tags!
>> Then go ahead and fill out the necessary forms from RFC 4646 and send 
>> them to this list.
>> -- 
>> Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
>> http://users.adelphia.net/~dewell/
>> http://www1.ietf.org/html.charters/ltru-charter.html
>> http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages 

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