langauge vs. locale (was: RE: Suppress-Script candidates (was: Re: frr, fy, ngo, tt))

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Wed Sep 27 22:32:45 CEST 2006

(This is getting a bit off-topic.)

Peter Constable wrote:
> My initial inclination is to suggest that locales are 
> different beasts than linguistic documents,

Yes, but...

> that region is a key attribute of a locale,

> and therefore that locales IDs 
> should have different requirements than we place on tags used 
> to declare linguistic attributes of documents, namely that a 
> locale ID must always include a region component as well as a 
> language component.

CLDR locales don't. Just about all locale data can, and often should,
be in the "language only" named locales. Very rarely is there a difference
from those locales that belong in the "language_territory" sublocales.

John Cowan wrote:
> This is partly because the concepts of language tag and locale overlap:
> though there is no distinctly U.S. dialect of Japanese (as far as I know),
> the idea of someone in the U.S., using U.S. measurements and currency,
> but writing in Japanese is perfectly plausible.

Yes, but choosing (a single) currency or a choosing a measurement
system does not belong in a locale. Doing that is a mistake, similar to
that of selecting character encoding via locale (as, unfortunately done
in Unix/POSIX locales).

The currency unit of a currency value is something that is quite
independent of the choice of locale. Similarly, the unit for other
measurement values are also quite independent of locale. How to
translate/display the names of currency/measurement units may
well (and do) depend on locale, but not the underlying units
themselves. Krona does not turn into Euro by changing locale,
nor do cm turn into inches by changing locale.

		/kent k

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