Standard list of languages: suboptimal choice
The proposed text says: > For language identifiers, ICANN will adopt the International > Standard Organisation's 639-1 naming system for identifying and > labeling particular languages: There are two strange things in this choice. One is that ISO 639-2 and 639-3 are already issued (639-3 is more than one year old) and they offer a more comprehensive list. But the other is more important: language codes are not sufficient to express all the necessary details. The proposed text adds the country codes but not the scripts, which are far more discriminating. A mexican can speak es-AR (the spanish spoken in Argentina) but he could certainly not read spanish written in the arabic alphabet (as it was in Spain during the muslim rule). Many languages spoken today are written with different scripts. There is already an international standard to express all the details, IETF BCP 47, currently RFC 4646 (available at <http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4646.txt> and described at <http://www.langtag.net/>). It is used by many important Internet protocols or formats (such as XML and HTTP) and the registry for this standard is managed by... IANA, a function of ICANN. It is quite suprising that ICANN references Wikipedia instead of the registry it manages! (The registry is at <http://www.iana.org/assignments/language-subtag-registry>) The reason may be that the full power of Internet language tags is not necessary for the few languages that ICANN will use (currently, there are more than 500 languages in the Internet language tags registry, far more than what ICANN could use). Is that so?