And at least 38.2% of Montenegrins can proudly cry "the version after next of Windows was my idea, and it's all about ME!"

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/04/15 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/04/15/10411052.aspx


When is it a dialect, and when is it a language?

I know, I know. "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."

Or as the Yiddish linguist I'm about to lovingly misquote might say:

אײ סובקולטור איז אַ שפּראַך מיט אַן אַרמײ און אַ פֿלאָט

But what if the navy isn't used, the army doesn't fire a shot, and the majority of the country still identifies with the older language?

We're not talking about Bosnian. Or Croatian. Or Serbo-Croatian. Or even Serbian.

We're talking about Montenegrin.

The language of the people in Montenegro.

And the people just voted themselves out of Serbia, and just like that became Montenegro.

Simple majority rule, democracy at its very best!

Though for the language itself, things were a little more complicated.

Rather than 100%, more like 38.2% of them who say that is what they're speaking is Montenegrin (as opposed to the 41.6% who say it is Serbian that people are speaking!).

The letters are:

Latin collation order
Latin A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š Ś T U V Z Ž Ź
Cyrillic А Б Ц Ч Ћ Д Џ Ђ Е Ф Г Х И Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ О П Р С Ш С́ Т У В З Ж З́
Cyrillic collation order
Cyrillic А Б В Г Д Ђ Е Ж З З́ И Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ О П Р С С́ Т Ћ У Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
Latin A B V G D Đ E Ž Z Ź I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Ś T Ć U F H C Č Dž Š

Of course they prefer the Latin to the Cyrillic, as most do in the pot-Soviet world. Nothing too personal. But the Russians kept invading!

As per Wikipedia's article about Montenegrin, According to the latest poll of 1,001 Montenegrin citizens conducted by Matica crnogorska in mid 2010:

But those two extra letters give them an edge in their argument that not all of those Slavic languages have....

So the pro-Montenegrins of Montenegro won the war without firing a shot!

So my Slovakian friend and colleague has 12 bugs assigned to her, all about the need to move from sr-Cyrl-ME and sr-Latn-ME to me-Cyrl-ME and me-Cyrl-ME.

It could have been one bug.

In fact, it should have been one bug.

She isn't complaining though. They've all been tagged for vNext Follow Up.

So, assuming I haven't been fired or arrested or died by next version, I can look forward to seeing those 12 bugs assigned to me!

And then I'll be wishing it was just one bug. :-)

And at least 38.2% of Montenegrins can proudly cry "the version after next of Windows was my idea, and it's all about ME!"


Random832 on 15 Apr 2013 10:07 AM:

On the subject of collation - are there any locales that make an effort to collate two scripts together, to the extent that there is a one-to-one correspondence between letters (or digraphs) in the two scripts?

John Cowan on 15 Apr 2013 10:50 AM:

Umm, I should think that me-Latn and me-Cyrl would be enough; whatever you can say about Standard Montenegrin, nobody uses it outside Montenegro.  (Except of course that actually they *do*, as that 12.3% is willing to say and everybody else knows perfectly well.  But that's neither here nor there.)

I wonder, is Windows ME popular there?

Doug Ewell on 16 Apr 2013 9:05 AM:

You guys better not change any language IDs to 'me' until it's been assigned in ISO 639-1. Which it hasn't.


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