ID for language-invariant strings

Tracey, Niall niall.tracey at
Fri Mar 21 12:32:34 CET 2008

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Randy Presuhn
Sent: 20 March 2008 22:20

> Thus an application putting these non-localizable strings
> into localized content would indeed need to treat them as
> having linguistic properties similar to those of other
> foreign words or expressions that might show up.

Think in terms of scientific formulae:

  x = y
  y = x

Considering those symbols as words would produce confusing formulae in inflected languages. Rewriting the above to the first and second inflections of Latin the rather confusing:

  xia = yum
  yus = xiam

It would be confusing enough for Latin speakers, but it's worse if you don't speak Latin. (I had to look those up. Not a word of Latin.)

Peter said that "the strings are [...] intended for programmatic usage." To me that makes them a symbolic constant, and while a symbolic constant may superficially take the form of a noun, it is not a noun and cannot be altered linguistically like one, just as in the example with x and y.


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