Valencian Language Tag registration request

Doug Ewell doug at
Wed Jun 17 04:04:56 CEST 2009

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> As was the case with Romanian/Moldovian, it seems that documents 
> translated into both Valencian and Catalan tend to be identical in 
> both languages, so linguistically there is very little difference 
> between the two languages.

As was the case with Romanian/Moldovan, there is only one language, not 

> Nevertheless, I do feel that the requester has the right to petition 
> ISO 639 for a code for Valencian should the requestor wish to do so, 
> though 'val' would not work, as Addison has pointed out.

One might benefit from reading John Cowan's note from a day ago:

> 3) In August of 2007, ISO 639-3/RA rejected the request for a separate 
> code unit for Valencian, so "talk to ISO first" is unnecessary.

It would be pointless to go back to the RA less than two years later 
with the same request and the same supporting information.  "Insanity: 
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different 
results." - Einstein

> However, although having the code 'ca' stand for both languages may be 
> a little problematic from a political standpoint,

The political standpoint does not matter.  ISO 639 and the IETF Language 
Subtag Registry exist for the purpose of tagging and identifying content 
in human languages.  They do not exist for the purpose of settling 
political disputes or validating people's nationalistic identity.

The ISO 639 RAs have assigned two names to this language -- "Catalan; 
Valencian" -- an approach they have taken with other languages as well, 
including Spanish and Dutch.  That should be sufficient.

Under BCP 47, the language-variant combination "ca-valencia" is 
available to distinguish "Valencian" from "Catalan."  Whether the 
difference is one of dialect, orthography, vocabulary, or what have you, 
this is more than sufficient and no other solution is needed.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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