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Re: Definition of COUNTRY (Was: Resignation)

Le jeudi 6 Mai 2004 19:40, Roger So a écrit :
> OK, here's my take.

Thanks for discussing about language issues. 

> People in Hong Kong speak Cantonese. People in Taiwan speak Mandarin.
> People in mainland China speak Putonghua. (Yes, I know Putonghua and
> Mandarin are essentially the same thing, but common terms and even
> grammar are slightly different across the three regions, so from a l10n
> point of view they should be treated as different.)


Here, we may notice that the ISO notation starting with "zh" and ending with 
names of areas ("CN", "TW, "HK") are broken because there are several Chinese 
languages and several written scripts (as you explained). 

The locale system was probably defined a long time ago, (back when China was a 
third world and underveloped country). Actually the designers of the ISO did 
not even notice that there were several languages in China !!!

> (And although people in southern mainland China also speak Cantonese,
> the terms and grammar they use are the same as the rest of mainland
> China and not Hong Kong. (correct me if I'm wrong here!))
> All of these are dialects of the Chinese language. They can be written
> down in both Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.


> So theorectically you have six combinations here:
> zh_CN@simplified  zh_CN@traditional
> zh_HK@simplified  zh_HK@traditional
> zh_TW@simplified  zh_TW@traditional

Yes, but not exactly:

- There is only a single traditional glyph system (zh@traditional) for all 
- Cantonese may also be written in European letters.

Correct me if I am wrong . 

> Practically, nobody in Taiwan use Simplified Chinese. Only the older
> generation in mainland China still use Traditional Chinese. "Native"
> Hong Kong people use Traditional Chinese, but use of Simplified Chinese
> is increasing in printed materials to cater for the influx of mainland
> tourists swamping^Wvisiting Hong Kong. ;)
> So the default for zh_CN should be zh_CN@simplified, zh_HK
> zh_HK@traditional, and zh_TW zh_TW@traditional.
> I'm not sure how the languagechooser handles locale modifiers, but
> showing both Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese at the top level
> should be acceptable.

For compatibility reasons, we may keep the usual locales used in GNU/Linux 
zh_CN, zh_TW, zh_HK). But there is no reason to use regions to define what 
are actually written scripts and glyphs systems:

- "zh_CN Simplified glyph, mostly used in mainland China"
- "zh_TW Traditional glyph, mostly used in Taiwan" (no reference to Region of 
Contry, people can choose based on their belief)
- "zh_HK  Written Cantonese, mostly used in Hong-Kong"

This way, users may be able to choose their prefered script, based on their 
knowledge of languages and glyphs.

Dear friends on the list, please do not post answers making parallels with 
Northern Irland or Portuguese.

Please let the Chinese express what they think of this proposal. One person is 
not enough as there are one billion potential Debian users in China.

I am getting in contact with Chinese friends being part of the PostgreSQL 
translation project and will get back to you shortly.

Cheers, Jean-Michel

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