Re: Locale ID's again: simplified vs. traditional

From: Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 20:29:13 EDT

Steven R. Loomis wrote:

> In RFC1766 usage, "zh-tw" is often used to mean traditional chinese,
> and "zh-cn" is used for simplified This occurs in places such as HTTP
> headers and xml:lang tags.

No. "zh-tw" only mean Chinese used in Taiwan and "zh-cn" only mean
Chinese used in China. It happen the people in Taiwan use Traditional
Chinese and people in China use simplified Chinese. The code "zh-tw"
itself does not imply traditional Chinese or simplified Chinese. In
year 2010, "zh-cn" could mean traditional Chinese if PRC govement decide
to change back to Traditional Chinese, and "zh-tw" could mean simplified
Chinese if ROC govement decide to change to Simplified Chinese. These
two codr only mean the Chinese used in that region, without imply any
form of Chinese.

Also, I think RFC1766
itself does not define what "zh-tw" nor "zh-cn" mean. It only define how
to use ISO 3166 and ISO 639 to define language. Actually, if you seach
the RFC1766, you won't even find the string "zh-tw" in the RFC.

> In POSIX locale id usage, zh_CN and zh_TW are also simplified and
> traditional, respectively.
> However, what should be done for simplified versus traditional in the
> regions hong kong and singapore? I am wondering both for the posix
> locale IDs and as well ICU's locale IDs.
> zh_HK is traditional Chinese.
> zh_HK_CN could mean simplified with CN as the variant. (zh_HK@CN in
> POSIX format)
> Or, it could be zh_CN_HK (Chinese-China (Hong Kong)) .. is this not
> correct to say now?

I think this is wrong. Both CN, TW, HK are region code. They do not mean
any language variant and should not used for language variant other than
indicate the region which speak/used it. If you want to distinguish a
language variant from the other, you should use some code for language,
not for the region.
For example, you probably should consider using
"zh_HK@simp" an "zh_HK@trad" instead of zh_HK_CN

If you use zh_HK_TW, then some people could interpreted it as "The
language used by the Hong Kong people who live in the region governed by
Taiwan" (which never exist).

> However, that doesn't help Singapore. zh_SG_CN or zh_SG_TW don't make
> sense, at best. (zh_SG@CN, zh_SG@TW).
> Perhaps it should be zh_SG_SC and zh_SG_TC for simplified and
> traditional. In this light, hong kong could also have zh_HK_SC for
> simplified.
> Opinions?
> -steven

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