Ietf-languages Digest, Vol 90, Issue 8

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Wed Jun 16 18:05:37 CEST 2010

Anthony Aristar, Wed, 16 Jun 2010 09:20:58 -0400:
> As I have always understood macrolanguages, Joan, they are typically 
> used for linguistic entities which are actually distinct languages 
> (or close to it), but which for some reason speakers often treat as 
> the same language.  The classic example is "Chinese".  If we used a 
> macrolanguage for Serbo-Croatian, we would be turning this on its 
> head:  we would be using a macrolanguage for very similar (and 
> mutually totally intelligible) dialects.
> What we need, then, is not to use a macrolanguage in this way, but 
> simply to instantiate appropriate dialect codes.

It doesn't look correct to operate with dialect codes to represent 
Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, when they are not dialects 
but standardized variants of the same dialect.

However, for the very same reason, it also doesn't look correct to say 
- as the Language Subtag Registry does - that 'sh' represents a 

Judging from the text of the front page of the Serbo-Croatian version 
of Wikipedia, it looks like 'sh' today is used to express that both 
Cyrillic and Latin is welcome. [1]

It was reported in February, that the European Union wants to keep the 
door open to somehow treat all these standards as, in practice, one and 
the same language, to save costs when possible all the former 
Yugoslavian states join the EU. [2][3] (Translatoing should be simple, 
but perhaps EU primarily wants to save on printing costs?) ;-)

A kick to John: This is out of question e.g. for Sweden and Denmark.

leif halvard silli

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