Valencian Language Tag registration request

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Jun 18 20:20:03 CEST 2009

Lang Gérard scripsit:

> And, for me, the answer is clearly given by the title of the ISO 639
> series that is "Code for the representation of NAMES of languages".

Clearly that does not correspond with the practice of ISO 639/RA-JAC.
Otherwise, we'd have a code element for "English", another code element
for "Anglais", another for "Englisch", another for "gliban.", and so on
through the world's 7000+ languages.

> So that the coded entries of ISO 639 should be NAMES of LANGUAGES
> (ideally the language's autonym, that is the name given by the
> considered named language inside this considered language; so that there
> should ideally be only one language name for every entry of ISO 639,
> because this entry is exactly this name that is being coded). 

So you are proposing that because Ainu (Japan) and Ainu (China), two
unrelated languages, share a name, they should also share a code?

It's time to put the "names of languages" canard to rest once and for all.
There may be a case that ISO 3166 encodes names of countries, but no
case at all for ISO 639.

John Cowan              cowan at
Historians aren't constantly confronted with people who carry on
self-confidently about the rule against adultery in the sixth amendment to
the Declamation of Independence, as written by Benjamin Hamilton. Computer
scientists aren't always having to correct people who make bold assertions
about the value of Objectivist Programming, as examplified in the HCNL
entities stored in Relaxational Databases.  --Mark Liberman

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list