[Accessforall] Codes for languages in ISO 24751 and the registry

Colin Clark colinbdclark at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 23:44:13 EDT 2012


Hi all,

We should be using ISO 639-2 language codes throughout the system. If not, it's a bug.

If I remember correctly, this was probably introduced by the UI Options team who were integrating at very short notice with the GPII framework. I believe UI Options can support both two- and three-character language codes (as is often the case).

As a speaker of "eng-CA", I don't see any reason not to simply use ISO 639-2 from the start and to also support country codes, as Christophe suggests. I also think it's probably worth supporting the two-character subset for interoperability if possible.

Colin

On 2012-10-03, at 1:18 PM, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

> I think that having language and country codes is a great idea.
> 
> Wd DO need to decide which codes to use.  I think the square brackets were because an official decision was not made yet
> 
> But I think using the ISO codes for both would be the right thing to do.  I added the arch list to see if someone knows  why two letter codes are currently used.  (W3C?) 
> 
> We also should say something like  "if no country is specified then ...."    
> (is there a default country for all languages specified somewhere?)
> we might say the country of origin -- but I'm not sure all languages have an (existing) country of origin anymore. 
> 
> Good catch Christophe.
> Lets get a decision and then record it in the Glossary. 
> 
> I wonder if we should have a decision registry somewhere since we have so many people involved. 
> 
> 
> Gregg
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> Director Trace R&D Center
> Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
> and Biomedical Engineering
> University of Wisconsin-Madison
> 
> Technical Director - Cloud4all Project - http://Cloud4all.info
> Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International
> and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project
> http://Raisingthefloor.org   ---   http://GPII.net
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Oct 3, 2012, at 11:43 AM, Christophe Strobbe <christophestrobbe at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> 
>> Hi,
>> 
>> While creating a preference set for one of the personas in the Cloud4all smarthouse simulation <http://wiki.gpii.net/index.php/SmartHouses_Preference_Sets>, I looked into language codes and found the following: 
>> (1) ISO/IEC 24751:2008 (all subparts) refer to ISO 639-2:1998 for language codes. In the registry, the value space for "language" is [ISO 639-2/T] (I don't know the reason for the square brackets). According to <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_639-2_codes> and <http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php>, the ISO 639-2 codes are three-letter codes (e.g. "eng" for English, "dut" or "nld" for Dutch, "fre" or "fra" for French, etc). However, the JSON preference sets I've seen so far (I mean those by the GPII/Cloud4all Architecture team) use two-letter codes (see Carla's, Nisha's and Timothy's preference sets). Am I misreading the information I found about ISO 639-2?
>> (2) Related to this is the absence of country information, i.e. combining a language code with a country code from ISO 3166 (see <http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/faq.html#22>). This is relevant to text-to-speech engines and Braille. For example for Dutch, not many people in Flanders are keen on TTS that uses pronunciation rules from the Netherlands. Braille conventions also vary between countries that use the same official language (well, they even vary between Braille centres, but let's not go into that).
>> (3) Note that IETF RFC 4646 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4646> gives preference to the shortest ISO 639 code (2 or three letters) that is available for a language (check the ABNF syntax under <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4646#section-2.1>). This base code can then be combined with an ISO 3166 country code, to create tags like en-US (American English) and en-GB (British English). However, IETF RFC 4646 is referenced neither by ISO 24751 nor by the registry.
>> 
>> Best regards,
>> 
>> Christophe Strobbe
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> Accessforall mailing list
>> Accessforall at fluidproject.org
>> http://lists.idrc.ocad.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/accessforall
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Accessforall mailing list
> Accessforall at fluidproject.org
> http://lists.idrc.ocad.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/accessforall

---
Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
http://fluidproject.org



More information about the Accessforall mailing list