Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Michael Everson everson at
Sun Apr 24 19:32:43 CEST 2016

On 24 Apr 2016, at 17:01, Mark Davis ☕️ <mark at> wrote:
> The group responsible for the IETF language subtags is deeply concerned
> =>
> The registrar responsible
> or
> The registrar and some of the group responsible

“The undersigned members of the group responsible for the IETF language subtag” will do. 

> It does appear to me from that on balance one would consider Elfdalian to be a separate language rather than a dialect of Swedish.*

Then it ought to have been assigned a code according to the ordinary rules currently applied. That is to say, they erred (in our view) in not assigning it a code. 

> However, the RA appears to have tried to consider the issue objectively, and certainly left room for appeal. They wrote:
> "The request to create the code [ovd] Övdalian is rejected at this point. However, the Registration Authority is sympathetic to the request and notes that the outcome of a future request might be different following further clarification of decision-making principles in the standard that are anticipated to come out of the current work item to produce a revision of the text of the standard.”

So instead, they kicked the can down the road pending other decision-making principles which do not exist. That’s not fair to the applicant who has needs to tag his data. 

> I'm afraid that a heavy-handed approach will result in, if anything, the inverse of the desired solution.

Mats does not want to wait until March 2017 for a response to this appeal. I am confident that the RA will understand the intent of our letter. And yes, I think it is reasonable to tell someone that one thinks he or she has made a mistake. The letter suggests this, and lays down reasons for that opinion. I don’t think that the members of the 639 RA are going to fly into a rage or burst into tears when they read it. I don’t think they’ll respond to us spitefully. Nor do I think that by telling them explicitly about our concerns they will dismiss us as foes. 

Currently the signatories are as follows. Would anyone else like to be added?

Michael Everson (BCP 47 Language Subtag Reviewer)
Mats Blakstad
John Cowan
Martin Dürst
Doug Ewell


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