Principles of Operation (was LANGUAGE SUBTAG REQUESTFORMErzgebirgisch)

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at
Fri Jan 25 12:17:32 CET 2008

Google does not support all languages. It does not support Maltese or
Macedonian. Both official languages of European countries. As applications
typically only support the languages that they have been localised for, they
do not allow you to indicate that your language is for instance Maltese,
Lower Saxon, Piedmontese ... Consequently texts, materials in those
languages will not be tagged by their applications and it will be hard to
find content in those languages.

It is for this reason why I find it vital for the languages and
orthographies supported by MediaWiki to have a proper code. By making the
code explicitly part of the package, we can get content out on the Internet
that is properly coded. Without it, content will be genuinely hard to find.

On Jan 25, 2008 12:02 PM, Frank Ellermann <nobody at> wrote:

> David Starner wrote:
> > Why does it matter whether it's en-caesarea or ang-caesarea
> > except to linguists? Those details should be hidden from
> > end users and are in most cases.
> I have "en-GB", "en", and "en-us" in the language preferences
> of my browser, and with a "quick locale switcher" tool I can
> pick what I want for tests.  So far my browser, this tool, and
> I never considered to add "ang" or "sxu".  I had to configure
> "frr" manually for tests (no effect so far, e.g. "frr" isn't
> in the various lists of languages supported by Google).
> It depends on what the requester wants.  If it's for research
> or other "any unique tag will do" purposes a linguistically
> correct but otherwise obscure prefix is fine.
> Clearly using "ang" (or "sxu") for a research project showing
> that this is actually wrong would be odd.  OTOH if it is meant
> to help all speakers of the dialect that their Web content is
> "supported" in various ways, then using less obscure prefixes
> "en" (or "de") is better.
>  Frank
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