Wednesday, August 24, 2011

toki pona and ISO 639

It looks like toki pona is going to have another chance to get an ISO 639, which, I admittedly don't quite understand myself.

The topic is on the toki pona forums.

With the relovent message coming from the original poster.

In 2007 an application to the ISO 639 Registration Authority to give a language code to Toki Pona was rejected, for the following reasons:
Registration Authority decision on Change Request no. 2007-011: reject requested creation of new identifier for Toki Pona

In consultation with Anthony Aristar of LinguistList, the ISO 639-3 Registration Authority has determined that the request for this new code element is premature. The propagation of a new constructed language is often a short-lived interest of limited scope; few constructed languages have lasting impact in the world community of languages to become more than mere novelties. Toki Pona seems to fit the novelty category, as an intentionally “minimalist” language. During 2007 there was some media interest in Toki Pona, in which its novel aspects were highlighted. If Toki Pona survives the next few years and continues to develop, both in applications and in user base, then the RA will be open to consider a new request for assignment of a code element for Toki Pona.

It has got back on the table. I'm an advisor to the 639 committee and I recently successfully got a code for Neo. I am supporting a code for Toki Pona.

So, it seems like it probably has a good shot considering that it's been a few years, and toki pona is still alive and all. But, what is ISO 639?

Well, according to Wikipedia:

Use of ISO 639 codes

The language codes defined in the several sections of ISO 639 are used for bibliographic purposes and, in computing and internet environments, as a key element of locale data. The codes also find use in various applications, such as Wikipedia URLs for its different language editions.

Delimiting languages

A multilingual page is contained by the CSS class "multilingual", with text in every language contained within the class "lang-xx", where xx is a lowercase ISO 639 two-letter or three-letter language code and the lang attribute. The lang attribute is contextually more correct, but the CSS required to hook into it is not supported by all browsers. If there is no two-letter code, the lowercase three-letter code is used. For text in an unknown language "und", (undetermined) is used.

So, I take that as meaning it would be a bit more official and be able to be used in code more easily, which are all good things to me. I'm excited to see if it gets accepted this time, and wonder if it will bring a short burst of more active fans.

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