Anomaly in upcoming registry

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Thu Jul 2 01:13:43 CEST 2009

Gerard Lang's info. is good info. (I quote from his older posting here but I've seen both).

Gerard's info. does not make me turn one way or the other however--so I agree with Doug on this point.
I see that:


(1), if [sh] is 'un-retired' (or whatever) we have two macro-language codes for Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian.  


(2), If it is not 'un-retired' we have one code and one deprecated code.


(Forgive me for making up the word 'un-retired.')
Indeed I do not see that it matters what we do here.  (Are we just doing this to do something in this case?)

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at 
Lang Gérard gerard.lang at 
Tue Jun 30 17:31:03 CEST 2009 

> I completely agree with this position.
In fact, the situation concerning sh and connex code elements inside ISO 639 is more than exceptional.
> 1-ISO recommendation R 639 (November 1967) includes the code element "Sh" as symbol for the language (name) "Serbo-Croat/Serbo-croate", having indexes "861/862", that is part of the slavonic language family, inside the UDC (Universal Decimal Codification) and combination "Sh/YU/" with the country (name) symbol concerning Yugoslavia.
> 2-ISO 639 standard (1988-04-01) includes, amonge of its 136 initial alpha-2 code elements, the alpha-2 code element "sh" for the representation of the language name "Srpskohrvatski/serbo-croate/Serbo-Croatian", as well as "hr" for the language name "Hrvatski/croate/Croatian" and "sr" for the language name "Srpski/serbe/Serbian"..
There is no entry concerning the language name "Bosnian"
> 3-ISO 639-2 (1998-10-22), whose introduction writes "The languages (names) listed in ISO 639-1are a subset of the languages (names) listed in this part of ISO 639; every language code (element) in the two letters code set has a corresponding language code (element) in the alpha-3 list, but not necessarily vice-versa.", includes an alpha-3 (binary) entry "scr/hrv" for the language name "Croatian/croate", and also another (binary) alpha-3 entry "scc/srp" for the language name "Serbian/serbe", but does not include any alpha-3 code element for an entry language name "Serbo-Croatian/serbo-croate", so that the promiss given inside ISO 639-2 introduction is not fulfilled concerning the ISO 639(-1) alpha-2 code element "sh" that has no alpha-3 ISO 639-2 counterpart. There is no entry concerning the language name "Bosnian".
> 4-Between 1992 and 1993, four (Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia) of the six Republics that were formerly united inside the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia acquired independance, became Member States of the United Nations and received alpha-2 ISO 3166-1 code elements.
> 5-On 2000-02-18, ISO 639/RA-JAC decided to deprecate the ISO 639(-1) alpha-2 code element "sh" "because there were separate language code (elements) for each language (name) represented (Serbian, Croatian and then Bosnian was added.).
> 6-On the same day, ISO 639/RA-JAC decided the addition of a new alpha-2 code element "bo" inside ISO 639 and of a new alpha-3 code element "bos" inside ISO 639-2 to represent the language name "Bosnian/ bosniaque" (along with the addition of 24 others entries inside ISO 639-2 on the same day; but among them only "Sign languages" received only an alpha-3 ISO 639-2 code element "sgn" and no alpha-2 ISO 639-1 code element).
> 7-Nevertheless, ISO 639-1 (2002-07-18) reintegrated the alpha-2 code element "sh" representing the language name "srpskohrvatski (jezik)/ serbo-croate/ Serbo-Croatian)" as an entry, along with the three others code elements "bs", "hr" and "sr" for representing respectively the three language names "bosanski (jezik)/ bosniaque/ Bosnian", "hrvatski jezik/ croate/ Croatian" and "srpski (jezik)/ serbe/ Serbian".
> 8-On 2005-YY-XX, after this reintegration inside ISO 639-1, the language name "Serbo-Croat" was never included as a new entry inside ISO 639-2, and in 2005 (no more precise datation given) the ISO 639/RA-JAC decided to "reaffirm the deprecated status of "sh" inside ISO 639-1
> 9-ISO 639-3 (2007-02-05) includes the following entries "bos" (Bosnian), "hbs" (Serbo-Croatian, explicitely linked to "sh" [deprecated]), "hrv" (Croatian), "srp" (Serbian), as  well as "mkd" (Macedonian, with also "mk" [and CDU index 866 inside the slavic language family]already inside ISO 639: 1988) and "slv" (Slovenian, with also CDU index 863 inside the slavic language family] already inside ISO 639: 1988; moreover, the language name "Slovenian" has the symbol "Sn" and the combination "Sn/YU" inside ISO R 639 (1967). 
> 10-On 2008-04-07, the Croatian National and University Library, the Croatian Standard Institute, the National Library of Serbia and the Institute for Standardization of Serbia jointly wrote a letter to the ISO 639-2 Registration Authority and to the ISO  Central Secretary to explain that the alpha-3 ISO 6392/B code elements "scr" and "scc", that were abreviations for "Serbo-Croatian written in Roman alphabet" and "Serbo-Croatian written in cyrillic alphabet" should no more be used and that the corresponding alpha-3 ISO 639-2/T code elements "hrv" and "srp" should replace them to represent respectively the Serbian and Croatian language names inside ISO 639-2.
On 2008-06-28, ISO 639/RA-JAC accepted this claim and decided to deprecate "scc" and "scr" respectively in favor of "hrv" and "srp".
> 11-ISO 639-5 (2008-05-15) includes the entry "sla", that an alpha-3 ISO 639-5 code element to represent the family language name "Slavic languages (remainder group)", that is under the hierarchy of the alpha-3 ISO 639-5 code element "ine" to represent the family language name "Indo-European (remainder group)."   
Bien cordialement.
Gérard LANG 

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