Review period; Nepali and Oriya

Gordon P. Hemsley gphemsley at
Sat Aug 4 07:00:21 CEST 2012

I am of the late-night-and-not-well-thought-out opinion that further use of
extlangs should be discouraged.

AIUI, they are redundant registrations that are automatically deprecated
(in some sense, if perhaps not in name) upon registration. The only purpose
they seem to serve is to allow macrolanguage and microlanguage information
to both be explicit in a single tag, and I'm not sure how useful that is.

Is there any data available for current usecases of extlangs which don't
involve legacy implementations? (I'm assuming that that was the primary
motivation for including them in the spec. Correct me if I'm wrong.)


Sent via mobile device
On Aug 3, 2012 11:04 PM, "Doug Ewell" <doug at> wrote:

> There's one week left in the review period for the 180 registration
> requests I submitted last week for changes driven by ISO 639-3. This period
> can be extended if necessary, but judging by the number of responses so far
> (0) this seems unlikely.
> Last week I wrote:
>  Although ISO 639-3 has converted the existing code elements for Nepali
>> and Oriya into macrolanguages, and added new code elements for Nepali
>> proper and Oriya proper (and the other two encompassed languages), no
>> proposals are presented here to add Nepali and Oriya to the list of
>> macrolanguages whose encompassed languages get extlang subtags
>> (currently 8, epitomized by Chinese and Arabic). This can be discussed
>> on the list, and proposals added, if desired. As a note, two years ago
>> we did this for Latvian, and the resulting discussion carried on for
>> months.
> I'm not arguing for or against putting Nepali and Oriya into the extlang
> category, but I do want to call attention to the fact that this can ONLY be
> done now, at the time the encompassed languages are registered. They cannot
> be registered as extlangs later. (So says Section 3.3, item 12.C.4.)
> --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA
> | @DougEwell ­
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