registration requests re Portuguese

cowan at cowan at
Mon Apr 13 18:47:18 CEST 2015

Yury scripsit:

> All those ones you mention surely did their part in the days when all
> was needed was a coarse-ishly delimited set of basic _culture_-related
> tags (like, currency, thousands, and date format). In days where the
> more and more fine distinctions are being set up in the _language_ area
> (and more and more folks sort of get their share of ramplight from
> those), not quite so.

Country codes are still useful in many cases to represent *purely
linguistic* (not locale) distinctions.  There are two basic reasons
for that:

1) For languages that are standardized by formal/de-jure processes,
it is not uncommon for these to be done separately by different
national academies.  Even if the work is done internationally,
national bodies may or may not accept it, or may implement it only
in part.  That leads to national differences between language varieties.

2) For languages that are standardized de facto only, the tendency
to pay attention only to authorities (publishers, lexicographers,
or both) within one's own country is even stronger.  American
publishers follow American dictionaries and grammars, which
draw their evidence primarily from texts published in the U.S.

The use of these tags for linguistic information is less extensive
than for locale information.  Russian is spoken in many countries,
which require distinct locales for currency and so on, but it is
not divided into national dialects to any great extent.  One may
specify the locale en_de to indicate English language in a German
national context, but there is no distinctively German variety of the
English language comparable to en-CA, en-US, en-GB, en-AU, en-NZ,
en-IE, en-ZA, en-IN, etc., so the language tag en-DE, though
valid, is meaningless.

Nevertheless, the use of the country tags for this purpose is
convenient and traditional: there is no reason to add duplicative
en-canuck, en-yankee, en-limey, en-ozite, en-enzed, en-paddy,
en-saffer, or en-baboo tags.

John Cowan        cowan at
When I wrote it I was more than a little febrile with foodpoisoning
from an antique carrot that I foolishly ate out of an illjudged faith
in the benignancy of vegetables.  --And Rosta

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