UN M.49 in language tags & locales

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Mon Nov 9 19:21:35 CET 2015

Don Osborn scripsit:

> Trying to catch up on what the current rules are on use of 3-digit
> region codes in language tags and got lost in the wording of RFC
> 5646.

Basically, if it's valid to use such a code, it is already in the Registry at
2-letter codes from ISO always trump 3-digit codes from the UN, but if
you want things like West African English, en-011 is the code for you.

The Official Doug keeps track of additions to the UN list and gets them
added to the Registry when required, but I don't think this has happened
lately, maybe not ever.

> Also interested to know if these UN M.49 codes can still be
> used in locales.

Locale ids are not the subject of any standards, but de facto if
something is valid by the RFC, it is a legal locale name in most OSes
(with - changed to _).  Microsoft may have its own rules.

> BTW, it looks like the Territory Containment table at
> http://www.unicode.org/cldr/charts/latest/supplemental/territory_containment_un_m_49.html
> needs to be updated to show South Sudan in Eastern Africa (per
> http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm ). I'll file a
> bug report on that.

By all means, but it doesn't affect us, as we use only SS for South Sudan.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Even the best of friends cannot attend each others' funeral.
        --Kehlog Albran, The Profit

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