ISO 639, RFC 464* & African languages

Randy Presuhn randy_presuhn at
Thu Nov 29 19:59:39 CET 2007

Hi Don -

Information regarding the situation with languages in addition
to the ones that have already received intensive discussion would
be most welcome.  I think that some of the follow-ups to your
message will belong on ietf-languages at, and others
on ltru at

Here's how I'd recommend dispatching them:

   - data that would help the extlang / macrolanguage discussion
     should go to ltru at

   - discussion of registration process, or the types of information
     that should be included with registration requests or recorded
     in the registry, should go to ltru at

   - discussion of guidelines to be documented belongs on ltru at

   - requests at add a new code or to modify information associated
     with some specific subtag should go to ietf-lanaguages at

I hope this will help minimize the need for cross-posting.

ltru co-chair

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Don Osborn" <dzo at>
To: <ietf-languages at>; <ltru at>
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:39 AM
Subject: ISO 639, RFC 464* & African languages

Not sure about where is most appropriate to bring this up so will bring it up on both ltru and ietf-languages (with apologies for
the crossposting).

I've been in discussions about a project to facilitate writing of locales for African languages, and in that discussion I have
suggested that the effort keep notes on the categories of language headings available in ISO 639 for this purpose.

I feel this is a unique opportunity to gather information on application of these tags in specific work relating to use of a number
of African languages in ICT. I don't expect anything dramatic, but hope this helps get discussions past the few examples generally
circulated (including ones that some readers may be tired of seeing from me).

It may possibly lead to some suggestions re new codes. It might also lead to other observations re use of existing codes.

Two requests:
1) thoughts or guidelines on the above, what specifics to look for, etc.
2) ideal follow-up with the RFC process and its post 464* iterations if/as indicated; I understand of course about the processes for
applying for new ISO 639 codes, which the event they are necessary (at the very least I would expect one for Runyakitara) would
probably be initiated by country-level partners

Don Osborn

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