ISO 639-3 changes: Latvian and Bontok

Peter Constable petercon at
Sat Feb 20 19:51:53 CET 2010

When talking about 639-4, I think you could say "'lav' (= 1SO 639-1 'lv')" -- if that would help avoid confusion.


-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:05 AM
To: ietf-languages at
Subject: Re: ISO 639-3 changes: Latvian and Bontok

Kent Karlsson <kent dot karlsson14 at comhem dot se> wrote:

> You sometimes refer to "lav". I think that reference should be to "lv" 
> or to "lav/lv".

In forms like these, I use the 3-letter code element value when referring to ISO 639-3, or to an action taken by ISO 639-3/RA, and I use the 2- or 3-letter subtag value when referring to the IANA Language Subtag Registry.  Similarly, I try to use the term "code element" or "subtag" depending on whether a 639-3 or LSR entity is being discussed. 
The two are not 100% interchangeable and I don't treat them as if they were.

I don't want to make it look as though 'lv' is an ISO 639-3 code element.  It's not.

How about:

"This registration tracks a change made to ISO 639-3 effective 2010-01-20, reclassifying the ISO 639-3 code element 'lav' (Latvian, which is 'lv' in the Language Subtag Registry) as a macrolanguage encompassing 'ltg' (Latgalian) and 'lvs' (Standard Latvian)."


"This registration tracks a change made to ISO 639-3 effective 2010-01-20, adding the code element 'lvs' for Standard Latvian, encompassed by the macrolanguage code element 'lav' (Latvian, which is 'lv' in the Language Subtag Registry).  Both a primary language subtag and an extended language subtag were added for this code element."

> "Central Bontok proper" or some such clarification is needed here (as 
> for some other cases handled before); the change from "c" to "k" is 
> not sufficient for this. Similarly for the registration data for 
> "lbk".

We have other changes which differ by only one letter: Yakima was changed to Yakama, and Kabiyé (acute accent) was changed to Kabiyè (grave accent).  The change from "Maguindanao" to "Maguindanaon" does not visually stand out either.  I can change the 'bnc' registration form to read "Central Bontok proper" but it's understandable that this becomes a very gray area when over 100 changes are being made in one activity.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­

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