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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Sep 29 16:01:57 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
September 29, 2004

Signuno wrote:
> I mean you can mix country codes and language codes
> only when they are in different positions, for example
> fr-fr and fr-ca.

The way that our sgn codes were registered, is the way that Stephen did
the file for French-Switzerland...

Notice how the link for that file is:

> http://signbank.org/signpuddle/sgn-CH-fr

The sgn-CH-fr is how we registered the names of different signed
languages, with the ISO. So this is not a question of what we can do,
since this is already accepted by the ISO. The sgn is usually lower
case. The second part is the Country Code which is usually upper case.
And the third part is the regional language, and it is usually lower

sgn-CH-fr means the naturally-evolved signed language in the
French-speaking region of Switzerland...

Of course other standards could be proposed to the ISO in the future,
but this is what we have at the moment...

>> If you go to this web page
>> http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso639/sgn.html
> Good link.  I was thinking of SGN-xxx and xxx from
> http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=1 say,
> but http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso639/sgn.html
> seems quite complete already.

Yes. That is our work. Michael Everson's organization is called
evertype.com. He works with the ISO on Unicode and other encoding
standards, and he is the one that registered all the signed language
codes for us, so his link is definitely the best!

> Stephen could you change SGN-EO to SGN-epo.
> Would Gestuno be SGN-gestuno?
> (Do WFD read this list?)

I do not know if anyone from the World Federation of the Deaf is on
this List, but they are most welcome and if they are already on the
List...please write to our List to tell us!

Meanwhile, regarding the code of your Signuno system...one of the
problems with a signed language that is not naturally-evolved in one
region of the world, is that it has to have a different code to show
that fact. So we can work together to create an excellent code...but
let us take this slowly and talk through all the possibilities...

First, eo is an ISO code for the language of Esperanto. Just so you
know why that was chosen. Or perhaps you already chose that?...Anyway,
keeping with the system we created, sgn-eo would be the signed language
associated with Esperato. And Gestuno, which is another system, does
not seem to have a language code in the ISO...I couldn't find one

Isn't your Signuno different than the established Gestuno system of the
mid 1970's-1980's in Europe? I have a book on Gestuno here, published
in Northern Europe...Have you seen it? My former boss at the University
of Copenhagen worked on Gestuno when I was working with him in
1974-1975. His name is Dr. Lars von der Lieth...

What does the epo you mention above stand for? We will find a great
code we all like...but I hope you can patiently answer my questions...

Many thanks, Signuno!

Val ;-)

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