[Foundation-l] three-letter language codes

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 30 08:48:07 UTC 2010

In the ISO-639-6 there will be two three and four character codes for
linguistic entities. English for instance will be known by its two character
code en and not eng.

Also in the RFC about such things two characters are used in preference to
three characters.

The point here is that by conforming with the best practices, we make it
easy for search engines to correctly find what language is used.
Consequently, it has nothing to do with egalitarianism it is just not how
things are done when you used these codes.

Technically there are other considerations why you want to be careful about
the use of codes. Some codes refer to macro languages and these are not
eligible for new projects.

On 30 June 2010 10:30, Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> Did anyone ever consider completely migrating WMF projects to
> three-letter language codes? Currently two-letter ISO 639-1 code are
> used whenever possible and three-letter ISO 639-2 or ISO 639-3 codes
> are used when a two-letter code is not available.
> Among the three-letter codes currently having Wikipedias are Sicilian
> (scn), Kashubian (csb), Nahuatl (nah), Udmurt (udm) and Mari (mhr).
> Using three-letter codes for all languages seems to me like a more
> egalitarian approach.
> Two-letter URL's must, of course, be kept as redirects.
> Can anyone think about any problems with this?
> --
> אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> Amir Elisha Aharoni
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> "We're living in pieces,
>  I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
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