Phonetic orthographies

Gerard Meijssen gerardm at
Wed Nov 29 17:13:58 CET 2006

Doug Ewell schreef:
> 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.
The problem with this approach is that in Transnistria, a part of 
Moldova that is an unrecognised independent republic, the Cyrillic 
script is used. During the conflict that resulted in Transnistria, the 
Moldovan government declared the use of Cyrillic script illegal the same 
happened for the Latin script in Transnistria. It is therefore not safe 
to use country codes to indicate Cyrillic content as Moldovan; Cyrillic 
is illegal in Moldova.


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