[Ltru] How to handle macrolanguage when no code?

CE Whitehead cewcathar at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 15 18:23:26 CEST 2009

 Don, just one more note:


the http header and

the meta tag

<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="rw, rn"/>

are for indicating the target audience language (& are fine if both languages are mutually comprehensible to the point that a speaker of one would be happy to read text in the other)

but not for indicating the text processing language!

The text processing language is indicated in the element tags itself and has to be one specific language, the actual language used (or I guess a macrolanguage that encompasses the actual language, but my understanding is the more specific the better)


Hope the info you got helped some.

best wishes,


C. E. Whitehead

cewcathar at hotmail.com 

Don Osborn dzo at bisharat.net 
Sun Apr 12 18:01:14 CEST 2009 

> Thanks to all who replied on this question with suggestions, additional questions, and pointers.


> I will try (to find the time) to get an answer from BBC on their approach and intentions, and also to get some feedback from someone familiar with Kinyarwanda and Kirundi.  This sort of situation is one that I think is potential with a number of languages (per some past threads), and that in such cases, the idea of a clear-cut single language definition and/or audience for page content may not hold. More information on such situations is will certainly become available as more web content in diverse languages is created.


> As for requesting macrolanguage codes, that is another level, but obviously one to keep in mind. I think it is viable in many circumstances, but in others it may be difficult to make the case. The ad hoc way that ISO 639 evolved, however, means that there are similar cases of related tongues that are sometimes given a common code (interpreted after the fact as macrolanguage) and sometimes not.  I think that developments such as more web content in diverse languages and efforts such as the locales sub-project of ANLoc (African Network for Localisation) have the potential to highlight such issues. 


> Thanks again and all the best.


> Don

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