Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad mats.gbproject at
Tue Apr 26 16:29:14 CEST 2016

I think Luc sums this up good.

The RA gets chance to take action, and if they don't at least I have the
5-letter language subtag, and I can investigate more on which applications
that manage to use it. I will still file a new ISO639 application and if
that one is also rejected then I guess we at least have the 5-letter
language subtag. If the process of assigning language codes to languages
can't be fixed I guess some languages simply needs to get their codes
assigned like this. If it will be impossible to implement 5-letter subtags
on applications I can of course try promote a private subtag, even though I
guess I will also get a hard time to make applications support it.

If people in Microsoft are worried about this issue, they should also let
the RA know that and explain them why they want to avoid that situation. I
guess the issue is now not only about linguistics vs politics, but also
gets a very practical side that I hope the RA are going to be pragmatic

About the macro-language discussion; The RA needs to find out what they
think is best. The important thing is to get a code. However, if they
recode Swedish to a macro-language and creates 2 new codes for Swedish and
Elfdalian - to me it would be like a comedy...

2016-04-26 14:41 GMT+02:00 Luc Pardon <lucp at>:

> On 25-04-16 18:51, Doug Ewell wrote:
> >> Then if the RA is still no ready to assign a language code, then IETF
> >> > should be ready to assign his own language subtag.
> > Keep in mind that such a subtag would be 5 to 8 letters. You have said
> > previously that this wouldn't work for you.
> That is not my understanding.
> Mats has even filed a registration form for a 5-letter non-ISO primary
> language subtag "ovdal", that is pending since February 29.
> See:
> And on 24-04-16, the day before you said the above, Mats wrote:
> > I still don't understand why a 5-letter subtag would be a problem.
> The draft appeal gives three reasons, but neither of them seem very
> convincing to me. It says:
> > (a) There is the possibility of conflict or redundancy if the RA later
> approves a code element.
> >
> > (b) Some processes are incompatible with 5- to 8-letter language
> subtags, which would not be beneficial to Elfdalian data.
> >
> > (c) While it is an option for BPC 47, it would decouple BCP 47 from ISO
> 639-3 in a way which neither we nor the ISO 639 RA may want.
> As to (a), if/when such an approval ever happens, couldn't we simply
> insert the new ISO code in the registry and deprecate "our" 5-letter
> subtag in favour of it?
> If yes, chances are that the RA will know that as well.
> As to (b), I tend to agree that it might be inconvenient at first. But
> in the end, either the broken process should be fixed, or users of
> Elfdalian could look for alternatives.
> They could be up and running long before we finish this byzantine debate
> on how to tell the RA that he made a mistake without telling him that he
> made a mistake.
> Besides, we have Mats asking for a 5-letter subtag, so he seemingly
> doesn't share our concern that it is "not beneficial to Elfdalian data".
> If the RA is indeed monitoring this list, he will probably have noticed
> that as well.
> As to (c), that is the only real concern I can see, but unprecedented
> situations do call for unprecedented solutions.
> Besides, if (a) happens, we immediately deprecate, the decoupling would
> be undone and (c) would evaporate.
> So the RA may not see it as a problem if we drift apart for a "short"
> while.
> What am I missing here?
> Luc
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