Review period; Nepali and Oriya

Doug Ewell doug at
Sat Aug 4 23:32:08 CEST 2012

Gordon P. Hemsley wrote:

> (FTW, the section specifying that extlangs can only be specified at
> initial registration is 3.4, not 3.3.)


> Given that CLDR tends to map ISO 639 macrolanguage codes onto a single
> particular microlanguage, maybe we should synchronize with them? I
> don't know how feasible (or logical) it would be, given that they
> already have a lot more mappings than there are extlangs in the
> registry, but it might be something to consider.

I don't know which of the many CLDR tables has this data. Mark Davis can 
probably help here. But the Registry can't simply map "Chinese" onto 
"Mandarin," if that's what you mean; any of the other encompassed 
languages like Cantonese might also be denoted in tags by 'zh'.

> Were there new macrolanguages that were
> diliberately NOT registered as extlangs (past the original
> registration)?

(Point of terminology: extlangs represent encompassed languages, like 
"Cantonese," not the macrolanguages that encompass them, like 

Sure, there have been some. For example, in 2010 ISO 639-3 converted the 
individual language code element 'bnc' for "Central Bontoc" to a 
macrolanguage called "Bontok," encompassing five languages, including a 
new code element 'lbk' for "Central Bontok" (note incidental spelling 
change). The ietf-languages list and Reviewer did not believe that 'bnc' 
had previously been used in BCP 47 contexts to refer specifically to 
Central Bontoc in some cases, and generally to all five Bontok languages 
in other cases, so there was no creation of five new extlangs under 

At the same time, however, it was decided that 'lv' had indeed been used 
both for Latvian specifically and for the general sense of "Latvian" 
which included Latgalian, so a different decision was made there.

The question regarding Nepali and Oriya could be thought of as whether 
tag usage for these languages has been more like Bontok, or more like 

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­ 

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