Re: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"

"Doug Ewell" <doug@ewellic.org> Thu, 28 November 2019 02:02 UTC

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From: "Doug Ewell" <doug@ewellic.org>
To: "'Peter Constable'" <petercon@microsoft.com>, "'Shawn Steele'" <Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com>, "'ietf-languages'" <ietf-languages@iana.org>
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Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 19:02:03 -0700
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Subject: Re: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"
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CLDR has a lot of this type of best-guess fallback data: if someone speaks Breton but we don’t have a Breton localization, offer them French instead, but don’t go the other way.

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I don’t think it’s something we would want to embed in BCP 47 or the Registry at all (not that Shawn was suggesting that).

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Shawn wrote:

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> It’s still unclear to me if a “signed modality of English” would be

> interesting enough (and consistent enough) to warrant a subtag. It

> sounds like the answer is probably “no”.

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The “interesting” part puzzles me, because the whole point of this thread is that a group has come to ISO 639-3 and to this list, making the case that it is important to have such tagging.

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--

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US | ewellic.org

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From: Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com>; 
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 17:27
To: Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com>;; Doug Ewell <doug@ewellic.org>;; 'ietf-languages' <ietf-languages@iana.org>;
Subject: RE: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"

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I think it’s rarely safe to make assumptions about other languages someone might use if going in the direction of lower likelihood. So, if someone indicates they speak (say) Ainu, it’s probably _somewhat_ safe to assume they can also speak Japanese; but it certainly wouldn’t be safe to assume that, if a speaker of Japanese also speaks other languages, then Ainu would be one of them.

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If I know that someone speaks English (native speaker, or maybe 2nd language?), and that they also speak a signed language, maybe that sign language is ASL, but it might also be Maritime Sign Language, or Hawai’I Sign Language, or Kenyan Sign Language, etc. At a minimum, I probably need much more info to make reduce risk of bad inferences, and probably I shouldn’t make inferences at all but should let them indicate explicitly all of their language preferences.

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Peter