Addition request: alsatian

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Tue Jan 8 20:40:34 CET 2008

I replied on the LTRU list about this. Some brief comments below.

On Jan 7, 2008 9:05 PM, Frank Ellermann <nobody at> wrote:

> Mark Davis wrote:
> > I haven't seen yet a convincing case for a separate "alsatian".
> It's an existing variant of "gsw", with its own identity, the
> Wikipedia articles about it make sense as far as I can judge it.

And so is "American English" distinct from "any old English". The question
is whether gsw-FR is sufficient to identify it, or whether there are there
are communities of Alemanic speakers in France that don't speak Alsatian.

>  [variants]
> > not everyone supports them (for example, Google doesn't)
> Google also doesn't support many languages, they likely decide
> what to support depending on the demand.  E.g. parts of Google
> support Elmer-Fudd "xx-fudd", Bork-bork-bork "xx-bork", Pig
> Latin "xx-piglatin", and Klingon "xx-klingon", for their list
> see <>

Nobody supports all possible BCP 47 tags.

That's not the point. The point is that if there is already a way to use
non-variant tags, that is what should be used, rather than resorting to
variants that not everyone supports.

> > if we present two ways of doing things, inevitably people will
> > get mixed up.
> Creative (ab)uses of region codes to indicate the script were
> one of the reasons to start 4646, weren't they ?  Region codes
> limited to what passes as country in the UN are often not good
> enough.  Maybe Alsatian is a border case, maybe it should get
> a language code, not only a variant.

Maybe -- it really depends on whether it is reasonably well delineated by
gsw-FR or not.

> gsw is rather new, maybe there are also old de-FR emulations
> of Alsatian.  An old de-FR would be broader than a new gsw-FR,
> like gsw-FR might be broader than gsw-alsatian.  In the worst
> case gsw-FR is not only broader but simply different.
> > if we introduced "en-american" for American English, we would
> > just cause confusion with "en-US" being used for that purpose.
> Yes, please propose something more specific.  IFF we find that
> gsw-FR really is broader, then we could go for a prefix gsw-FR
> for Alsatian.  OTOH if it's different from gsw-FR (no subset),
> then prefix gsw is fine.

I think we're in agreement here.

> Saying that Alsatian is irrelevant is
> no option.

I never said that.

> A possible reason to reject the request would be
> that Alsatian is "in essence the same as gsw-FR".


>  I can't judge
> if that's the case.  In fact I was surprised that "gsw" in the
> sense "Schwyzerdütsch" is supposed to encompass "Alsatian".

(me too, when it appeared: especially with that abbreviation.)

>  Frank
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list