Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Mon Apr 25 20:21:28 CEST 2016

If I were the one requesting this, I would do both:

1)     Ask this group to submit a letter similar to what we have (honest, yet not antagonistic) as soon as is convenient.  That may, somehow, be faster than #2.  At the very least it should help get people at the RA used to the idea for #2.

2)     Concurrently, I think Mats could prepare a new application with the additional evidence and supporting documentation.  That might take longer.


From: Mats Blakstad [mailto:mats.gbproject at]
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2016 11:19 PM
To: Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>
Cc: Michael Everson <everson at>; ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <ietf-languages at>
Subject: Re: Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Okay, what if we do it like this: we send a new iso639 application this year, and then IETF add this letter to the application or as comment in the review period. Then if the RA is still no ready to assign a language code, then IETF should be ready to assign his own language subtag. It must be an honest and open letter like the one we have, it might not be comfortable to read for the RA, but it is honest and the truth. It can not be a letter that simply supports the application for an iso639 code without any consequences; I need to get a clear answer about what is going to happen if also the next iso639 application is rejected. That solution cannot be "use a privat subtag" or "create a variant subtag for Swedish".

2016-04-25 7:09 GMT+02:00 Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at<mailto:Shawn.Steele at>>:
> So in other words no, it will not be possible to include this private use tag in BCP47. It will not be listed within IANA.
> I know it will be valid, but that is something else than included.
> I think you're suggesting a really bad solution for Elfdalian.

If by “include” you mean saying qaa === Elfdalian in the language subtag registry, then no.  That would defeat the purpose of the private use tag.  By my definition of include, it’s already permitted.

It isn’t suggested as a permanent solution, but rather a temporary method to allow people interested in the language to tag content appropriately.

I have used this technique in the past for projects I was interested in.  (Bing uses tlh-Qaak, however now needs to be updated to tlh-Piqd if you want a real-world example.  Previously there was an i- code.)

Given the direction of the conversation, it seems unlikely to me that this language tag issue will be resolved within the next month or two.  So I’m suggesting that as a possible path to unblock your immediate needs, not as a long-term solution.


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