Spanglish (was: Re: Record for Spanglish variant)

Doug Ewell doug at
Sun Jan 8 17:59:40 CET 2017

Luc Pardon wrote:

> On 05-01-17 21:42, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> My problem with this is that, for purposes of identifying a given
>> Spanglish text, it
>> (a) may not be feasible to determine, and
>> (b) probably is not relevant
>> which is the matrix language and which is embedded. Thus we require
>> the tag consumer to care about a distinction that he would not
>> otherwise care about.
> I didn't read it as a requirement, just a recommendation that he
> selects the language prefix with care, not just randomly.

That's the tag creator, not the consumer. The user or entity searching 
for Spanglish content -- the consumer -- would essentially need to 
search for both "en-spanglis" and "es-spanglis". This is pointless and 
there is no type of fallback mechanism that would prioritize the variant 
subtag ahead of the primary language subtag.

> As I understand it, that means we simply expect him to count the
> number of Spanish words and that of English words in his text, and
> then choose the prefix that matches the highest count. Just
> arithmetics, no linguistics.
> He would definitely care about it if he is publishing in a context
> that requires accessibility. If his text consists of 80% English
> words, and he tags with "es-spanglis", he would have to mark up 80%
> of the words as English. On the other hand, if he tags with
> "en-spanglis", he can meet the requirement by tagging only 20%.

And what if it's 51% to 49%? Or if, as John pointed out, word count 
doesn't really tell the story?

I can't imagine any tag creator going through this exercise, and it 
doesn't help the tag consumer at all. We have gone all this time without 
a way to tag Spanglish; surely we do not now need to distinguish these 
two edge cases.

Can we not even have the discussion about registering a language subtag 
"spanglis" instead of a mechanism that forces users to pick between 
English-dominant and Spanish-dominant?

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US | 

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