RE: [Ltru] Re: extlang

"Don Osborn" <dzo@bisharat.net> Tue, 20 March 2007 18:15 UTC

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From: "Don Osborn" <dzo@bisharat.net>
To: "'Addison Phillips'" <addison@yahoo-inc.com>
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Subject: RE: [Ltru] Re: extlang
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 12:53:05 -0400
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Thanks Addison. Quick comments in text...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Addison Phillips [mailto:addison@yahoo-inc.com]
...
> 
> Don Osborn wrote:
> 
>  > But what I have heard from some people re Arabic
>  > localization, “no one” writes “spoken Egyptian Arabic”
>  > arz (in Egypt or
>  > elsewhere). Maybe that’s an overstatement (I don’t know), but it
>  > reflects a certain reality.
> 
...
> 
> Hence my concern that we'll introduce myriad ways of identifying (say)
> Arabic in tags: "ar", "ar-arb", "ar-arz", "arb", "arz", etc. Users
> should not need to know that all these options exist for a single
> document, especially when the distinctions make no difference to the
> document in question.

I understand the concern. Problem is that the cat is out of the bag. Public education / outreach does not appear to have been a strong suit for various internationalization / standards efforts, but might benefit from more attention because of such issues. (Just an impression; I know there are reasons for that).

>  > In other contexts, one might seek an appropriate level of
> aggregation,
>  > rather than the smallest accurate language description. Such as
> software
>  > localization for instance (and hence locale).
> 
> Yes, hence language tags such as "es-419" [Latin American Spanish,
> essentially]. This is a somewhat artificial distinction useful in
> certain contexts. But most language tags have some basis actual
> language
> distinctions.

...

Thanks for reminding me of this (I believe John mentioned it a while back). It might be an approach useful for a number of African languages (Swahili and Hausa for starters, although each have country-level locales already) and probably for such as African French or English.

Don



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