[Ltru] Ltru Digest, Vol 44, Issue 15

CE Whitehead cewcathar at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 3 17:15:04 CEST 2008

Hi, Are you saying that "langage" is a better French translation of "languages" in "Codes for the representation of names of languages" than is "langue"?  Or what?

(I do think it's possible to translate "sign language" as
"langue des signes"
Is this correct?)

However, "le tresor de la langue francaise" online (http://atilf.atilf.fr/tlf.htm) seems to largely agree with your definition of "langue" -- as something pertaining to the "tongue" or to things that remind one of a "tongue" (such as a "the tongue of a flame")


C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at hotmail.com

Lang Gérard gerard.lang at insee.fr 
Fri Oct 3 16:41:11 CEST 2008

> I do not think that all variants of "Sign languages" taken care of inside ISO 639 and IANA's Registry could enter under the"means of verbal communication" that are described as a condition for a language by UNGEGN.
> This question of definition of "languages" is clearly linked with the fact that the english word "language" has two possible interpretations in french:
> -(i) "langue", that is linked whith "tongue" (that has the same translation "langue" in french), evidently connected with "verbal communication" and oriented on the semantics (this interpretation clearly excludes all forms of signed or only symbolic languages);
> -(ii) "language", that is more extensive and more oriented on syntax, and allows to take care of sign languages as well as many sorts of artificial and symbolic languages, like informatics, or "chess game description", ......

> The french title of ISO 639 is "Codes pour la representation des noms de LANGUES" that , in principle, does not include Sign languages (that are not "verbal communication means").

> Gérard LANG

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