639-3 updates

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at comhem.se
Mon May 14 22:58:14 CEST 2007

Peter Constable wrote:
> >>we have the language-collection tags to represent partial ignorance,
> >>as when one knows that a document is in a Chamic language but
> >>not which one.
> >
> >That is a conceivable use, but not one currently supported by ISO 639...
> >Use of a collection code is not recommended if there
> >is a more specific code available, according to ISO 639-2.
> I'm not sure on what basis these statements are made.
> ISO 639-2 says, "A collective language code is not
> intended to be used when an individual language code
> or another more specific collective language code is
> available."


> That's not quite the same as "is not recommended",

Then how do you interpret "is not intended"?

> nor does imply that the usage John describes is prohibited.

No, but apparently it is "not intended" for that.

> Also, it doesn't say what
> should happen when the user or application knows that
> the content is in a language that would be encompassed
> by the collection but is uncertain whether or not there
> is a more specific ID, which is precisely the scenario
> John has in mind.

As it stands, the code would then be 'und', which is the
only code given for use when the exact appropriate code is
not known.

	/kent k

> Peter

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