Ietf-languages Digest, Vol 81, Issue 40

Frank Bennett biercenator at
Sat Sep 26 22:04:33 CEST 2009

On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 4:39 AM, Mark Crispin <mrc+ietf at> wrote:
> Thanks Frank for your comments.
> Given what you said, I agree that it probably does not make sense to both
> with registering Nihon-shiki.  The final concern that I have is this:
> Would your application be adversely impacted if it turned out that the
> ultimate usage of the Hepburn tag became "something that is more or less
> Hepburn" (with all of the variants therefore) and of the kunrei-shiki tag
> became "something that is more or less kunrei-shiki" (with all of the
> variants such as JSL, Nihon-shiki, etc.)?
> My prediction is that if you expect the Hepburn tag to be used only for
> strictly compliant Hepburn (as defined by Hepburn) and the kunrei-shiki tag
> to be used only for strictly compliant ISO 3602, you will be disappointed.

For Hepburn, I believe that's covered by the additional registration
of ja-Latn-hepburn-heploc.

If you feel there is a similar problem of fuzziness over kunrei as
well, then a similar two-tier registration could be used there, I
guess.  In that case, as you say, "kunrei" may not even be the best
top-level subtag for that category of variants, and the sorting out of
that corner of the mess should perhaps best be left to another day.

> If, on the other hand, it's alright if the usage winds up being generic, and
> that we call text Hepburn if it has "Fujitsu" and kunrei-shiki if it has
> "Huzitu", then I see no problem.
> Or, put another way, for the Japanese word 失礼 ("rudeness"), can a user of
> these tags triage:
>        Hepburn:        shitsurê, shitsurē, shitsurei, shitsuree
>        kunrei-shiki:   siturê, siturē, siturei, situree
> without causing trouble for you and your application?  If so, then we're
> good.
> As you may have guessed, my hangup is with bothering to register the
> distinction between Nihon-shiki and kunrei-shiki yet not any of the other
> variants which commonly appear.
> I agree that it is madness to try to register all the possible variants in
> order to have strict compliance.  I've noticed that even native Japanese who
> prefer kunrei-shiki don't strictly follow ISO 3602 once they are out of the
> clutches of their primary school and no longer have to do as the Monbushou
> says...
> If the generic usage is alright, then I suggest we the registration say
> something to reflect this and specifically debunk any assumption of strict
> compliance.
> -- Mark --
> Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
> Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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