Addition request: alsatian

Addison Phillips addison at
Thu Jan 10 18:52:32 CET 2008

Mark Davis wrote:
7>     A second issue is that Alsatian speakers do not think of 
themselves as
>     speaking "Alemannic" and that the idea of using gsw alone may be
>     difficult to "sell" to these people.
> We are tagging languages, not names of languages. The fact that some 
> people call a language, dialect, or variant by a different name doesn't 
> justify having a variant subtag.

I agree: the fact that people call a language something else calls for a 
separate description. Or possibly a comment.

One resolution to the conundrum of Karen's request would be:

Now: insert a comment into the 'gsw' record like this:

Comment: This language is also use in the Alsace region
   of France, where it is referred to as Alsatian.

Later, if ISO acts in a manner consistent with changing the description, 
add a Description field saying 'Alsatian' and remove the comment. Note 
that "acts in a manner..." may include not adding the description 
officially to ISO 639.

If, for some reason, Alsatian turns out to be a regional dialect of 
'gsw' and if evidence is presented here that "gsw-FR" is insufficient to 
represent that dialect, register Stephane's variant (and remove the 

Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Yahoo! Inc.
Chair -- W3C Internationalization Core WG

Internationalization is an architecture.
It is not a feature.

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list