I would probably agree about "XX" or "IAN". But ISO/TC46 tends to like
Anyway, as 26*26*26+26*26=18252, the 2 or 3 letter space is not large
enough to give meaningful names to all the languages in the world.
Which is why the latest proposal doesn't have such limitations. If ISO-639
version 2539 has 100 letter codes, then Content-Language will be able to
Here, we have, quite pedantically, been talking about the future
possibility of having a 639 reigstered language "IANA", which destroys
I suspect that long before all people of the world have access to e-mail
communications, and want to use their own languages, that we'll all be
speaking some Japano-English dialect anyway, and we'll only need one
language code. :-)
Say that to French. (^.^)
As for time-stamping: I think that is going a little overboard. We are
talking about e-mail communications, with messages that have a fairly short
Aren't we talking about a long term archive which contains data in MIME
messages are stored in archives (as most of USENET is), then the Date: header
on the messages is sufficient to say "country code xy as it was in 1993"
if that kind of information is important.
If each compoents of a multipart message have separate Date: header, yes.
Anyway, country code is not so useful to distinguish languages though
there is notable exceptions of AU/GB/US English.
There is a need to cope with ancient languages and linguistic notations, but
except for some twisted individuals who delight in "breaking the system",
e-mail, in the form of text/*, is not the best way to do this. Rather some
kind of marked-up document format would be better,
Isn't MIME rich text marked-up document?
especially since it is
likely that explanatory text in a current language would be wrapped around
the ancient writings or linguistic notations. This is beyond the scope of
It seems to me that John C. Klensin is thinking about that possibility
by tagging even individual words with langage names.