[sw-l] Re: Country and Language Codes, and standardization with ISO

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Sep 27 19:23:37 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
September 27, 2004

Dear SW List and Stuart...

Just one brief thought before I answer your questions...

These codes have nothing to do with the way we call these languages in
our daily conversations...they are solely for computer codes.

For example, we do not say that we speak EN (meaning English) when we
have a conversation with each other. The word ENGLISH is still used
when we talk to each other. But in HTML code, we use the code EN to
mean English...so these codes do not change the way we speak or how we
refer to languages daily...

Same with French-Canadian Sign Language (LSQ) and American Sign
Language (ASL). We say LSQ and ASL when we speak to each other, but in
the computer, the ISO wanted to use Country Codes combined with
Language Codes for html and other software coding systems, so that is
what we are talking about...solely for computer standardization...

So LSQ still exists, and so does ASL! And English-speaking Canada still
uses ASL of course....But in the heading of an email message, when you
state what languages you speak, you can list EN for English, and
sgn-US, sgn-BR and sgn-NO for American, Brazilian and Norwegian Sign

....you combine the country code with the language code....so the US is
the country code for ASL, and the language is SGN for the
naturally-evolved language of Deaf people in that country....That is
how the attached chart of registered Sign Language codes were
designed...for email headers etc.....

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