[translate-pootle] Use of iso-639-3

F Wolff friedel at translate.org.za
Mon Apr 19 04:49:00 EDT 2010

Op So, 2010-04-18 om 01:26 +0930 skryf Clytie Siddall:
> To: Pidgin i18n list, Pootle list
> On 17/04/2010, at 5:57 PM, Martin Srebotnjak wrote:
> > One must also consider if all translation tools support this
> standard, like Translation Toolkit, Pootle etc. Maybe they already do,
> I do not know.
> > 
> > Lp, m.
> I think they do. Pootle and Translate Toolkit devs?
> Gettext is fine with ISO-639-3, so is po4a (doc conversion package).
> As I said, these codes have been in use at Debian for quite some time
> now, and I've also seen some at GNOME, so they must work with all the
> standard traslation editors. They probably do work with Pootle and the
> Toolkit, because Debian has some levels of its Installer (all
> languages) up on Pootle.
> Pootle and the Translate Toolkit aim to support standards, and the
> iso-codes are certainly basic standards for us.

We aim to support all such language codes, and even more complex ones
such as the IETF language tags as described in BCP 47. We also try to
work well with glibc locales and to match between these styles where

On our main Pootle server you can at least see that we use two and thee
letter codes, (optional) country specifiers, and even other specifiers,
such as for ca at valencia (which translates to ca-valencia for some
applications, such as tagging the web pages of the interface language).

While it might seem fairly simple to support these language codes by
allowing a user to type them somewhere, the reality is that things break
in subtle ways.  Virtaal already has UI translations in languages that
don't have Windows locales. Pootle is translated in languages that
aren't in the language selectors of most browsers. Google Translate uses
the code 'iw' for Hebrew instead of the standard 'he'.

So the bottom line is that we should use these codes and report any
issues where they occur. In most cases someone else already fixed these
before you need them :-)

Keep well

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