Re: [Ietf-languages] Forms for subtag kmpre20c

Élie Roux <elie.roux@telecom-bretagne.eu> Tue, 03 December 2019 08:03 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Ietf-languages] Forms for subtag kmpre20c
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> Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? On the surface, I couldn't disagree more, but I assume I'm missing something.

I think it comes from a few different angles:

1. my experience with databases in the field that I'm working in
(Buddhist studies) is that they use zh for Buddhist texts in Chinese
(translated between the 4th and 11th c. give or take) and I'm quite
happy to do that too as nobody in the field requires the distinction
between the different flavors of Chinese, so zh perfectly fits the
purpose.

2. my experience with the same databases is that they all use the bo
lang tag for Tibetan. Unfortunately bo is not a macrolanguage, it's
supposed to be the language spoken in some areas today
(https://iso639-3.sil.org/code/bod). This language is very different
from most of the literature we have in our database which is Classical
Tibetan, which has its own tag (xct). Also, I struggle a bit to make
sense of the "bo" lang tag as: someone from Amdo (thus not speaking
"bo" but "adx") and someone from Lhasa (speaking "bo") can't
understand each other in speech, but the way they write is the quasi
identical. So how do you tag a blog article? If you don't know the
origin of the article, you can say it's "Literary Tibetan", which has
no tag, but you can't say for sure what "language" it is. And for
short sentences (such as titles like what we have in our database),
there's a great deal of overlap between Modern Literary Tibetan and
Classical Tibetan. And (in our applications) we don't care about this
distinction, we don't want to have to choose. And if we don't want to
chose, the only option is "und", which, to be honest, I find perfectly
ridiculous. So, we're sticking with bo even though it's not true...
But if there was a macrolanguage, we would definitely use it.

3. I suspect the situation with Khmer is actually the same, as well as
probably for Tham, Khom, etc.

And I don't know why some umbrella languages exist (such as zh, but
also inc or pra that I find useful), and why others don't...

Anyways, this is none of IETF's concern, I should bring that to SIL.

Best,
-- 
Elie