First batch of ISO 639-3 modifications

John Cowan cowan at
Sat Aug 17 03:45:20 CEST 2013

CE Whitehead scripsit:

> These look o.k. to me; thanks for doing these so carefully.
> However I do wonder why ISO specified no preferred value for one identifier:
> > File-Date: 2013-xx-xx
> > %%
> > Type: language
> > Subtag: mld
> > Description: Malakhel
> > Added: 2009-07-29
> > Deprecated: 2013-xx-xx
> > 6. Any other relevant information:
>   > This registration tracks a change made to ISO 639-3 effective
>   > 2013-01-23, retiring the code element 'mld' for Malakhel as
>   > non-existent. No Preferred-Value is indicated.
>   > For more information on the ISO 639-3 change, refer to:
>   >
>   >

SIL concluded that the language doesn't exist and never did; it was
simply a mistake.  The one and only document (audio recording, actually)
that was said to be in Malakhel is really in Ormuri.

> I don't see why iso did not specify a preferrd value for [mld] as
> [oru], but fine.

To give a more familiar analogy: suppose some library had misclassified
a book in Portuguese as being in "Snortuguese", and on the strength of
that, SIL had added Snortuguese to its list of languages.  When someone
checks the book and finds it's just plain old Portuguese, naturally SIL
will withdraw Snortuguese from its list, but it's not going to say that
Snortuguese *really is* Portuguese.  That would imply that Snortuguese
was a real language variety that was recognized as being a dialect of
Portuguese, or something of the sort.  It's just an error.  If you are
using the code, you don't want to recode your resources; you want to
find out what language they really are in.

As we all know, civil libertarians are not      John Cowan
the friskiest group around --comes from         cowan at
forever being on the qui vive for the sound
of jack-booted fascism coming down the pike.           --Molly Ivins

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