RE: Same language, two locales (RE: Locale string for Norwegian - Bok mal and Nynorsk?)

Date: Thu Aug 31 2000 - 14:41:15 EDT

Addison P. Phillips wrote:
> Differences in writing systems are much more problematic than the
> Norwegian example. The Simplified/Traditional Chinese thing
> leaps to mind, of course, [...]

Right. I just notice that, in Unicode, this is not a display difference but
an encoding one: corresponding simplified and traditional characters have
different code points.

> I imagine that the nb/nn codes will eventually predominate...
> except that this means many Norwegian locale structures are
> going to be messy: Java, for example, will default from nb
> to default, not from nb to nn-if-it-exists or from nb to no.

"Cascading" language selection is a great thing, and we are probably moving
in that direction.

But it is probably pointless to standardize the hierarchy of languages,
because it is too much bound to the culture and preferences of each

E.g. you cannot assume that Italian is the preferred language for all
Italians and, if not available, English is always the next best choice. The
mother tongue of many Italian citizens is German (or French, or Catalan, or
Albanian) and, although English is the most widespread foreign language,
many Italians are more fluent in French, German, Spanish, Russian...

Similarly, wouldn't it be plausible that some Norse people, in the absence
of a Nynorsk interface, prefer a foreign (but familiar) language like
English, rather than the domestic (but maybe not very well known) Bokmål?

So, probably, the hierarchical list of language preferences should be a
customizable part of the locale, as it is in fact in some environments.

_ Marco

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