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

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Tue Sep 28 17:19:14 UTC 2004

I like what Valerie has already worked on. The advantage is that we can
see language and country relationships. With SGN-ASL, we don't have any
information as to if we are talking about American Sign Language,
Argentine Sign Language, Austrian Sign Language, or Aboriginal Sign
Language :-). It is also less easy to see what variants are common
within that country.

By doing SGN-US, we have a neutral designation for American Sign
Language as it is generally signed in the US. The purpose of suggesting
SGN-US-CA is to identify a variant of American Sign Language as it is
generally signed in Canada. A third designation can be helpful if we
need to identify dialects or other variants as needed.

SGN-EO wouldn't make sense anyway because that *is* confusing country
codes and language codes.

SGN is the language code

US is the country code

The issue is the use of a third following designation .... should it be
a language code or a country code or some other code?

If it was a language code, then we are assuming that the sign language
generally is associated with the speakers of that spoken language. In
this example, SGN-CA-EN would then represent ASL as signed in
English-speaking Canada as opposed to SGN-CA-FR which would then
represent LSQ as signed in French-speaking Canada.

If it was a country code, then we are associating the language with a
variant used in that other country. In this example, SGN-US-CA would
represent ASL as signed in Canada where SGN-CA would represent LSQ as
signed in Canada since LSQ is unique to Canada.

If it was some other code, then we could focus on the variants. Based on
what I have read so far, I am not seeing that ISO is interested in
drilling down to that level, but if we wish to use the ISO standards to
help us identify that level for web pages, dictionary databases, etc.,
then we will have to figure something out.

But I am not as keen on seeing SGN-ASL ... I think we lose valuable
information that is already encoded in the current standard.



Signuno wrote:

>SGN-US-CA won't work because you shouldn't mix
>language codes with country codes (all these are case
>INsensitive).  Also, SGN-EO could be a problem for
>this same reason.
>Why not deprecate all SGN-twoletter codes and invent
>and register new SGN-threeormoreletter codes such as:
>Or is it too late for that?
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