Date: Sat Mar 11, 2000 12:00
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: The 3-letter code for Sign Languages
On 3/10/00, Michael Everson wrote:
>Last month the Registration Authority for ISO 639-2 (Code for the
>representations of names of scripts) accepted the proposed three letter
>code for Sign Languages, "sgn". I am grateful to the DAC for sending me as
>envoy to the RA-JAC meeting in Washington. See
March 10, 2000
Dear SignWriting List Members:
Since all of us on this List have known for decades that signed
languages are real languages, it must seem minor perhaps, that the
Registration Authority for the ISO (the International Organization
for Standardization) has officially acknowledged that "Sign Language"
deserves a three-letter code....
And what, you may ask, is a three-letter code used for anyway?
Well, these codes are used to mark countries and languages in
computer programs. If a language is not recognized with its own code,
then programmers do not consider it a language. So in the long run,
it would hurt all who work with a signed language, if Michael had not
fought and achieved recognition for the code: "sgn".
So I am writing to thank Michael Everson, who flew from Dublin to
Washington DC, to represent us at an important meeting of the
Registration Authority back in February. Some of the members of the
Authority did not realize that signed languages are real languages,
and temporarily questioned the need for granting a three-letter code.
Michael's presence in the meeting made all the difference, and it is
This three-letter code ".sgn", does not state which signed language
from which country. Those definitions are yet to come and have to be
registered with another legal authority on the Internet...so Michael
is now working on that proposal. Can you believe how many hoops they
make us jump through? smile
So thank you, Michael - for doing this on our behalf, and putting up
with the paper work!
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