Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad mats.gbproject at
Sat Apr 23 10:23:34 CEST 2016

2016-04-23 6:07 GMT+02:00 Peter Constable <petercon at>:

> I am concerned about process.

I'm also concerned about process, because the RA rejected an application
for a language code base on opinions from a governmental agency without any
compelling linguistic arguments.

> Now we are asking the RA to engage in a different, not publicly-visible
> process. The only justification I see given is that people don't want to
> wait through 8 months with uncertainty about the outcome. I completely
> understand that waiting 8 months may be inconvenient for some. But what
> people are not considering is that, for the RA, to engage in a non-public
> process may be _far, far more damaging_ to them. And as I've seen, that
> kind of damage to the RA could potentially lead to damage for BCP 47.

I completely understand that argument. However, it is the process that the
RA themselves have led, giving special requirements for Elfdalian for
assigning a language code that are not given for other languages, that put
us in this situation.

I'm not sure what is the best solution to do, but to get a language subtag
seem to solve at least some issues for myself at the moment. I applied for
a language subtag 29th February and look forward to that application being
processed soon.

> For my part, I think it wiser not to push the RA in a direction that this
> list might later come to regret.

Sending the letter will give the RA a chance to review the issue and
probably make them discover that they've done a mistake. It will also give
them important feedback and maybe make them think over again how they can
make sure that applications for language codes in the future gets an equal
treatment. The other alternative is of course to simply assign the language
subtag without communicating anything with the RA. To me it seem strange
that two such institution would not communicate anything about these issues
with each other.

For the language subtag, maybe to just assign it is not that big crisis
after all. Different applications can choose to implement BCP 47 if they
want to support Elfdalian (and obviously for many other reasons!), and they
will still be aligned with ISO639. If Elfdalian gets an ISO639-code later
in 8 months, 20 months or 32 months, then the language subtag can be
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