Mark Davis ☕️ mark at
Mon Dec 19 11:46:07 CET 2016

That doesn't work for a very common use case: selection.

To communicate requests for localized content and internationalization
services, locales are used, which are an extension of language tags. When
people pick a language from a menu, internally they are picking a locale
(en-GB, es-419, etc). If you want an application to support Spanglish or
Hinglish (and one definitely sees requests for the latter), then you have
to have a locale to represent that.

This is not a small use case: it is on every mobile device, every laptop,
most server requests for contents, and so on. Having the ability to tag
parts of a text at a fine grained level is an orthogonal use case, and
useless for communicating such locale selections. (And such fine-grained
tagging falls apart for cases like Denglisch "gedownloadet" or the
Franglais "downloadé", anyway, but I don't want to deep-end on that.)

I'm not as sanguine about a new RFC for another extension: those are an
complete pain to do, and take an inordinate amount of time and effort. That
also isn't at all necessary. It is clearly well within the scope of -t-,
which is fairly broad as per the bolding below.

   This document specifies an Extension to BCP 47 that provides subtags
   for specifying the source language or script of transformed content,
   including content that has been transliterated, transcribed, or
   translated, *or in some other way influenced by the source*.  It also
   provides for additional information used for identification.


My only question to this list would be for recommendations as to what the
best subtag in the T extension for such code-switching would be.

   1. It could be a value under the m0 key (like es-t-en-m0-codeswit or
   hi-t-en-m0-codeswit), or
   2. It could be a new key (like es-t-en-c0 or hi-t-en-c0), which would be
   shorter for the general case and allow for finer-grained distinctions in
   the future if necessary. (I lean towards this.)


2016-12-19 5:47 GMT+01:00 Martin J. Dürst <duerst at>:

> On 2016/12/19 03:12, Michael Everson wrote:
>> An example of Spanglish (from a published translation of The Little
>> Prince):
> So one way to express what's happening would be the following:
> <p lang='es'>Cuando yo tenía seis años, encontré un <span
> lang='en'>beautiful</span> dibujo en un <span lang='en'>book</span> llamado
> <span lang='en'>True</span> cuentos sobre una <span
> lang='en'>jungle</span>. El <span lang='en'>book</span> mostraba
> una boa constrictora tragándose un <span lang='en'>wild animal</span>.
> Esta es la copia del dibujo.
> El book decía: ‘La boa constrictora se traga sus presas <span
> lang='en'>whole</span>, sin masticarlas. Después ellas son incapaces de
> movimiento.
> Después ellas <span lang='en'>sleep</span> por seis meses <span
> lang='en'>while</span> hacen la digestión.’
> <span lang='en'>That</span> me puso a pensar sobre todas las cosas que
> están en la <span lang='en'>jungle</span>, y, con una crayola, yo hice mi
> primer dibujo. Lo llamé
> drawin número uno. Él looked así...
> </p>
> Sorry if I made some mistakes, in particular if I overlooked an English
> word.
> Regards,   Martin.
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> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at
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