Re: the Ethnologue

From: Misha Wolf (
Date: Wed Sep 13 2000 - 15:55:22 EDT

> It takes a long time for data to work its way into an ISO standard.

This generalisation is unhelpful. Consider ISO 4217, the currency code
standard. As soon as the Maintenance Agency (MA) has been notified by a
competent authority (in this case, a central bank) of a legitimate
currency code change, all subscribers are sent a fax (soon to be an email)
informing them of the change.

For example, I have here ISO 4217 amendment 109, dated 12 September 2000,
announcing a change to the currency of Ecuador, effective 13 September

I'm not sure how long it takes before the ISO 4217 (public) Web site is

Above I wrote "a legitimate currency code change", as central banks
sometimes ask for codes which are already in use, etc.

Michael, please tell us how long it takes the ISO 639-2 MA to update the
standard, following receipt of a legitimate request.


[This mail was written using voice recognition software]

> Perhaps
> another organization (like the Unicode Consortium) could take it upon
> itself to massage the Ethnologue langauge list and add corrections,
> deletions, and insertions; and put the new list on-line as "the most
> up-to-date information on language tags." Dialect, script information, and
> ISO 2 and 3-letter tags should also be added for each language if the list
> is redeveloped. I have my own personal list of this type, and from
> time-to-time I make revisions, so as to have "the best information on
> languages" available at my fingertips.
> John F.

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