CLDR-2008-02-15

(from the CLDR-users archives; source: CLDR-users index for Feb. 2008 )


From: "Don Osborn"
To: <Lorna_Priest@xxx.xxx>, <unicode@unicode.org>
Cc: "'CLDR list'" <cldr@unicode.org>, <cldr-users@unicode.org>
Subject: RE: 2008 UN Year of Languages. 2008-02-21 International Mother Language Day
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 15:40:32 -0500

Hi Lorna, you wrote:

> din should be dks - if the language name is right :-)

On the other hand, if the phrase is indeed identical in both varieties of Dinka cited, then maybe they could have listed it one time with the code din (rather than dib & dks).

The exercise of translation of a short slogan into several varieties (dialects/languages) of a tongue (language/macrolanguage) is something that seems to me to risk showing the personal differences in turn of phrase by individual translators, as much as any more-widely existing preferences in phrasing. Not that that's wrong, but when the goal is promoting slogans - or translating commands for software localization - it may be possible to find either common words/phrases for the closely related varieties of a tongue, or harmonized versions in the several varieties. In the former case - such as apparently in Dinka where the phrase is the same - then shouldn't the macrolanguage or ISO 639-2 code be used?

I realize this gets off topic for this list, so apologies. The topic of how to match needs of translation and localization in the case of language and macrolanguages coded variously under ISO 639 does have implications for locales and language coding more generally. I'll cc to the CLDR list.

I'll also pass the Songhai and Zarma examples on to the Marga list for comment.

Don


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