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RFC4645 Initial Language Subtag Registry

RFC4645   Initial Language Subtag Registry    D. Ewell [ September 2006 ] (TXT = 15517 bytes)

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Network Working Group                                      D. Ewell, Ed.
Request for Comments: 4645                                    Consultant
Category: Informational                                   September 2006

                    Initial Language Subtag Registry

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).


   This memo defined the initial contents of the IANA Language Subtag
   Registry for use in forming tags for the identification of languages.
   Since the contents of this memo only served as a starting point for
   the registry, its actual contents have been removed before
   publication to avoid confusion.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Initialization of the Registry ..................................2
   3. Initial Registry Contents .......................................5
   4. Omitted Code Elements ...........................................5
   5. Security Considerations .........................................5
   6. IANA Considerations .............................................5
   7. References ......................................................6
      7.1. Normative References .......................................6
      7.2. Informative References .....................................6

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

1.  Introduction

   [RFC4646] provides for a Language Subtag Registry and describes its
   format.  This memo defines the initial contents of the IANA Language
   Subtag Registry, using the criteria described in Section 2.

   The Language Subtag Registry is formatted in a modified record-jar
   text format, as described in [record-jar].  The specific format of
   the registry, and the definition and intended purpose of each of the
   fields, are described in [RFC4646].

   The registry is expected to change over time, as new subtags are
   registered and existing subtags are modified or deprecated.  The
   process of updating the registry is described in Section 3 of
   [RFC4646].  This memo does not define the permanent contents of the
   registry and should not be represented as doing so.

   Many of the subtags defined in this registry are based on code
   elements defined in [ISO639-1], [ISO639-2], [ISO15924], [ISO3166-1],
   and [UN_M.49].  This registry is not a mirror of the code lists
   defined by these standards and should not be used as one.

2.  Initialization of the Registry

   Section 3.7 of [RFC4646] requires that the LTRU working group create
   an initial version of the Language Subtag Registry and populate it
   with the initial set of subtags.  This involves converting the
   entries from the existing IANA language tag registry defined by
   [RFC3066] to the new format, as well as defining valid subtags from
   various source standards.  This section describes the process that
   was used to create the initial registry entries.

   The initial set of records was based on the following standards:
   [ISO639-1], [ISO639-2], [ISO15924], and [ISO3166-1].  The following
   criteria were used to select and format the records of the subtags
   included in the initial Language Subtag Registry (hereafter "ILSR"):

      1.  For each source standard, the date of the standard referenced
          in [RFC1766] was selected as the starting date.  Code elements
          that were valid on that date in the selected standard were
          added to the ILSR.  Code elements that were previously
          assigned, but that were vacated or withdrawn before that date,
          were not added to the ILSR.

      2.  For each successive change to the standard, any additional
          assignments up to the date of the adoption of [RFC4646] were
          added to the ILSR.  Values that have been withdrawn are marked
          as deprecated, but not removed.  Changes in meaning or

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

          assignment of a subtag were permitted during this process (for
          example, the [ISO3166-1] code element 'CS' was originally
          assigned to Czechoslovakia and is now assigned to Serbia and

   Code elements from [UN_M.49] were also included in the ILSR using the
   criteria above, with the following additional rules:

      3.  UN numeric code elements assigned to "macro-geographical
          (continental)" regions as of the date of adoption of [RFC4646]
          were added to the ILSR and thereby made valid for use in
          language tags.

      4.  The UN numeric code elements for "economic groupings" or
          "other groupings," and the alphanumeric code elements in
          Appendix X of the UN document, were not added to the ILSR.

      5.  The UN numeric code elements for countries or areas not
          associated with an assigned [ISO3166-1] alpha-2 code element
          were not added to the ILSR.  These values are listed in
          Section 4 and may be requested for registration by individuals
          using the process defined in [RFC4646] and according to the
          rules described therein.  Listing of these code elements in
          this section is not a guarantee of future registration.

      6.  Code elements that were withdrawn, vacated, or deprecated from
          [UN_M.49] as of the date of adoption of [RFC4646] were not
          added to the ILSR.

   Using the initial set of subtags described above, the tags in the
   [RFC3066] registry were evaluated as follows:

      7.  Tags in the [RFC3066] registry that were not deprecated,
          consisted entirely of subtags already in this document, and
          have the correct form and format for tags defined by [RFC4646]
          were converted to records of type "redundant" in the ILSR.
          For example, "zh-Hant" is now defined by [RFC4646] because
          'zh' is an [ISO639-1] code element and 'Hant' is an [ISO15924]
          code element, and both are defined as subtags in the ILSR.

      8.  Tags in the [RFC3066] registry that contained one or more
          subtags that either did not match the valid registration
          pattern or were not otherwise defined by [RFC4646] were
          converted to corresponding records of type "grandfathered" in
          the ILSR.  These records cannot become type "redundant" except
          by revision of [RFC4646], but may have a "Deprecated" and

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

          "Preferred-Value" field added to them if a subsequent subtag
          assignment or combination of assignments renders the tag

      9.  Tags in the [RFC3066] registry that had a notation that they
          were deprecated were converted to records of type
          "grandfathered" in the ILSR.  The record for the grandfathered
          entry contains a "Deprecated" field with the most appropriate
          date that can be determined for when the [RFC3066] record was
          deprecated.  The "Comments" field may optionally contain a
          reason for the deprecation.  The "Preferred-Value" field
          contains a tag that replaces the value.  For example, the
          [RFC3066] tag "art-lojban" is deprecated and thus appears as a
          grandfathered tag in the ILSR.  Its "Deprecated" field
          contains the deprecation date (in this case "2003-09-02") and
          the "Preferred-Value" field the value "jbo".

      10. The remaining tags in the [RFC3066] registry are not
          deprecated and have a format consistent with language tags as
          defined by [RFC4646] but contain subtags that are not defined
          in the ILSR.  These subtags are eligible for registration as
          variants.  The ILSR contains appropriate variant records for
          the following list of subtags, and the registered [RFC3066]
          tags containing these subtags were entered into the ILSR as
          type "redundant":

          1901 (use with Prefix: de)

          1996 (use with Prefix: de)

          nedis (use with Prefix: sl)

          rozaj (use with Prefix: sl)

      11. All remaining [RFC3066] registered tags were converted to
          records of type "grandfathered" in the ILSR.  Interested
          parties may use the registration process in [RFC4646] to
          attempt to register the variant subtags not already present in
          the Language Subtag Registry.  If all of the subtags in the
          original tag become fully defined by the resulting
          registrations, then the original tag is superseded.  Such tags
          will have their record changed from type "grandfathered" to
          type "redundant" in the registry.  Note that previous approval
          of a tag under [RFC3066] is not a guarantee of approval of a
          variant subtag under [RFC4646].  The existing [RFC3066] tag
          maintains its validity, but the original reason for its
          registration might have become obsolete.

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

3.  Initial Registry Contents

   The remainder of this section specified the initial set of records
   for the registry.  This material was deleted on publication of this
   memo, to avoid any potential confusion with the registry itself.  The
   IANA language subtag registry can be found at
   <http://www.iana.org/numbers.html> under "Language Tags".

4.  Omitted Code Elements

   The following code elements from [UN_M.49] were not associated with
   [ISO3166-1] alpha-2 code elements.  Consequently, they were not
   assigned as subtags in the initial Language Subtag Registry, but were
   valid candidates for registration as region subtags, using the
   process in [RFC4646]:

      830   Channel Islands
      831   Guernsey
      832   Jersey
      833   Isle of Man

   The last three became ineligible for registration in April, 2006,
   when the [ISO3166-1] code elements GG, JE, and IM were assigned as
   region subtags.

5.  Security Considerations

   This document specifies the initial contents to be used by IANA in
   populating the Language Subtag Registry.  For security considerations
   relevant to that registry and the use of language tags, see

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document points to the initial content for the Language Subtag
   Registry which is maintained by the IANA.  The IANA language subtag
   registry can be found at <http://www.iana.org/numbers.html> under
   "Language Tags".  For details on the procedures for the format and
   ongoing maintenance of this registry, see [RFC4646].

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC4646]     Phillips, A., Ed. and M. Davis, Ed., "Tags for
                 Identifying Languages", BCP 47, RFC 4646, September

7.2.  Informative References

   [ISO15924]    International Organization for Standardization, "ISO
                 15924:2004.  Information and documentation -- Codes for
                 the representation of names of scripts", January 2004.

   [ISO3166-1]   International Organization for Standardization, "ISO
                 3166:1988.  Codes for the representation of names of
                 countries, 3rd edition", August 1988.

   [ISO639-1]    International Organization for Standardization, "ISO
                 639-1:2002.  Codes for the representation of names of
                 languages -- Part 1: Alpha-2 code", 2002.

   [ISO639-2]    International Organization for Standardization, "ISO
                 639-2:1998.  Codes for the representation of names of
                 languages -- Part 2: Alpha-3 code, first edition",

   [RFC1766]     Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of
                 Languages", RFC 1766, March 1995.

   [RFC3066]     Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of
                 Languages", BCP 47, RFC 3066, January 2001.

   [UN_M.49]     Statistics Division, United Nations, "Standard Country
                 or Area Codes for Statistical Use", UN Standard Country
                 or Area Codes for Statistical Use, Revision 4 (United
                 Nations publication, Sales No. 98.XVII.9, June 1999.

   [record-jar]  Raymond, E., "The Art of Unix Programming", 2003.

Author's Address

   Doug Ewell (Editor)

   EMail: dewell@adelphia.net
   URI:   http://users.adelphia.net/~dewell

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RFC 4645            Initial Language Subtag Registry      September 2006

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

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Ewell                        Informational                      [Page 7]



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