Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#Unicode #CLDR How to fix a wrong name

One of the languages in the Incubator is Mapudungun. It is spoken in Chile and Argentina and many of the Mapuche people are offended by the English name used for their language. The result is that they refuse to have anything to do with the effort to have a Wikipedia for their language.

The Wikipedia article on the Mapuche language mentions the name that should not be used and it states: "The latter was the name given to the Mapuche by the Spaniards but nowadays both the Mapuche and others avoid this usage". The question is; why does it say Araucanian, where does it come from and how can it be fixed.

MediaWiki uses the CLDR for such data and with some digging the record that has Araucanian can be found. The ISO-639 standard does not have it as its name so it can be changed. The next question is, who is going to do this. There are several issues:

  • the CLDR has only windows of opportunity when the data can be changed
  • actually changing things at the CLDR is an "experience"
  • we do not have anyone volunteering to join the language support team for English
  • we do need this change to be in the CLDR for this issue to go away
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