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Subject: Re: core components analysis
Martin Bryan wrote: I was always told that ISO 639-2 failed to take into account the one case I specifically mentioned, that of American Indians. (Just in case you think this is a fanciful requirement, I mention that my son bought a tape on Black Feet and Sioux tribal songs when we were last in the US. This had no word of English on it. If I wanted to export such tapes to the UK to sell to the Scottish clans, who have a very similar musical tradition, what ISO 639-2 language code would I use to describe its contents?) Dear Martin: The blackfoots speak Siksika (ISO 639-2/T code bla), one of the Algonquian languages (alg) which is like Cree (cre). The Sioux are a nation composed of many tribes, presumably speaking similar if not identical languages, e.g., the Dakota (dak). For more interesting reading, including languages, see The Native American History Archive at http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/k12/naha/. We must be culturally sensitive: saying Sioux is like lumping all the West Teutons together, who speak similar but mostly mutually unintelligible languages (English - eng, German -deu and Frisian - fry). The other difference that I was led to believe that ISO 639-2 does not address is that of the differences between Canadian French, Mali French and Official French, which the more flexible RFC 1736 does address. True, RFC-1736 lets you distinguish between U.S. English and British English (en-US and en-GB). But the Library of Congress doesn't see fit to make any such distinction in ISO 639-2, probably because there is no discernible difference between the way educated Canadians, Americans, British and Australians *formally* speak and write the language, the "whilsts" and "colours" to the contrary notwithstanding. Keep in mind the Queen is the most American-sounding of you people. I don't know French, though I suspect the same attends what educated speakers use in Québec, Mali and France. William J. Kammerer FORESIGHT Corp. 4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy. Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305 +1 614 791-1600 Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/ "Commerce for a New World"
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