Phonetic orthographies

Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Nov 29 15:58:53 CET 2006

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

> As for Romanian vs. Moldavian, I've been inclined to deprecate one, 
> but there is legacy usage that remains a reality (and since this isn't 
> something that needs to be fixed prior to publication of 639-3, it's 
> not a priority for me to get it changed).

I assume you mean "deprecate one" in ISO 639-3, not in the IANA Language 
Subtag Registry.  We are committed to following the ISO standards except 
as necessary to ensure stability and avoid conflict.  Second-guessing 
the ISO RA's doesn't fall within that scope.  We might add a Comments 
field to one or both language subtags indicating the equivalence, but 
that's it.

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> Myself, I am all for more variant tags when they encode subtle 
> dialectical differences, rather than more language tags--if two 
> languages are mutually comprehensible then it makes little sense to 
> have a new language tag where not existed if a variant subtag would 
> do;
> if the variants were Romanian and Moldavian however I do not know what 
> I would choose for the overall language tag.

The ISO 639 code elements already exist, so the question of whether to 
use language subtags or variant subtags to encode the difference (if 
any) between Romanian and Moldavian is moot.  We follow the standards.

If I personally were tagging content in these languages, I'd probably 
use "ro" to mean "ro-Ro", and "mo" to mean "ro-MD", because I would 
expect existing content to be tagged like that and I'd want the 
searching/filtering process that find that content to find mine too.

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

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