Correction for pinyin

Doug Ewell doug at
Wed Mar 10 02:38:33 CET 2010

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

> I had a slightly different comment in mind (much picked from 
> Wikipedian and Ethnologue):
> Comment: The Pinyin language is a Niger-Congo language spoken in the 
> north-west province of Cameroon. Alternate names: Bapinyi, Pelimpo.

Fine.  I mean, whatever.  I think when we start specifying "the 
north-west province" we have gone well beyond differentiating this 
language from Chinese romanization, and have crossed the line into 
adding encyclopedic material.  But as long as there aren't calls to 
extend this treatment to the other seven thousand languages, and as long 
as we aren't filling the Description field with it, I guess it's fine.

> (Mentioning the alternate names for this language, but leaving the 
> unrelated romanisation system to just the registration form.) But I'm 
> not insisting on any change.

I thought the whole idea was to contrast the language with the 
romanization system.  Are the alternate names in Ethnologue relevant to 
this goal?  Many, many languages have alternate names in Ethnologue.

> But speaking of the 'pinyin' variant subtag: only 'zh' (and 'bo') are 
> mentioned as prefixes, but none of the language subtags that is 
> covered by the macrolanguage subtag 'zh' are so mentioned. I think 
> they should be; at least 'cmn'.

I know we had this discussion back in September and October 2008, but 
that was before RFC 5646 went live with its ISO 639-3-based subtags. 
Maybe we could rehash it.

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

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