Pinyin: the prefix

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Sep 25 16:29:34 CEST 2008

Michael Everson scripsit:

> So, what is it?
> Type: variant
> Subtag: wadegile
> Description: Wade-Giles romanization of Chinese
> Prefix: zh-Latn
> Prefix: zh
> Both? As I have said wadegile is inherently Latn, not Grek or Cyrl or  
> Deva.

"Both" certainly makes no sense.  The first Prefix: line says: "Tags that
have 'pinyin' SHOULD also have both 'zh' and 'Latn'."  The second Prefix:
line says: "Tags that have 'pinyin' SHOULD also have 'zh'."  So the first
recommendation subsumes the second.

I favor the first, recommending both 'zh' and 'Latn', because if tag
creators use the tag 'zh-Latn-wadegile' it will help tag recipients that
understand 'zh-Latn' but not 'wadegile'.  But in any case, tag creators
are free to use 'zh-wadegile' if they want to.

Only do what only you can do.               John Cowan <cowan at>
  --Edsger W. Dijkstra's advice
    to a student in search of a thesis

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