New language translation group

Asked by bortis

I want to start a new translation group for gsw-CH-wallis. The language is called "Wallisertitsch"

gsw: ISO-639-2 Code for Swiss German; Alemannic
CH: Country Code according to ISO 3166
wallis: Geographical region. Free string according to RFC 4646

Plural forms are the same as in German or English

for example, in German.
2 Minuten
1 Minute
0 Minuten

in Wallisertitsch (gsw-CH-wallis).
2 Minüte
1 Minüta
0 Minüte


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Jeroen T. Vermeulen Edit question
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Jeroen T. Vermeulen (jtv) said :

This is problematic. As I understand it, gsw is a collective code for a group of languages including various forms of Schweizerdütsch (hope I spelled that right) of which Wallisertitsch, as I recall, is just one. Which means that we can't just assign gsw to one of those languages!

Launchpad is entirely tied to ISO 639 language codes. If there were only one Swiss language in the group, gsw_CH would be the perfect code for it. But if I remember correctly, there are still other languages that would match that code.

That only leaves a "variant" code like gsw@wallis. The bad news there is that our code doesn't support such variants yet beyond basic import and export.

So unless I'm wrong (always possible), it looks like the only way out is to get Wallisertitsch recognized as an ISO 639-3 language in its own right. That's not as impossible as it sounds: the standard is being actively maintained and kept open to change, and it was updated in 2008. See here:

As far as I know you're not the only Launchpad user who would be interested in getting Wallisertitsch established as a language, so you might consider posting on the launchpad-users mailing list to coordinate efforts.

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bortis (bortis) said :

I know that this is problematic. In fact there are a lot more than 10 different dialects of gsw spoken in Switzerland. Wallisertitsch is the dialect that most differ from the basic gsw (Allemanic). A lot of people in other areas of Switzerland don't even understand it. The other way around is normally not a problem.

The first time, I and some other people tried to get an ISO 639 code, they have answered that "Wallisertitsch" is not a real language and they can not open a new code for us and we shall use gsw for translation work. That first writing was 6 years ago!!! Since then, I spent a lot of time writing e-mails to various people behind the ISO 639, but they always wrote back that I get a code maybe in the next release.

I know that there are not so many people who actually speak Wallisertitsch, but I think it is absolutely not correct that this minority can't translate open source projects only because a non open group decide not to get them a ISO 639 code!

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Jeroen T. Vermeulen (jtv) said :

I'm sad to hear it. There's not much I can do about it, except to note that with such organizations, snail-mail may sometimes get serious consideration where email doesn't.

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bortis (bortis) said :

ISO-639 has a new secretary. I will try again, hopefully with more luck.

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Fabri Velas (fabrivelas) said :

I would suggest (and would like) to proceed with the new language translation group gsw following the ideas of the alemanic wikipedia team (
They accept different dialects and descriptions as long as the alemanic grammar is used and a certain rigour in spelling.

The plural (including the zero form) can be formed in various different forms:
1. Using umlaut: Müüs (Muus)/Miis (Müüs), Fueß/Fiäß (Füeß), Gascht/Gescht, Schopf/Schepf (Schöpf), Namme (Name)/Nämme (Näme), Fahne/Fähne, Gratte (Chratte)/Grätte (Chrätte), Noscht/Nescht (Ascht/Escht), Hund/Hind (Hünd), etc.
2. Using umlaut and ending -er: Huus (Hous, Hüüs)/Hiiser (Hejser/Hüüser/Hüser), Dach/Dächer (Decher), Blatt (Blett)/Bletter, etc.
3. Using the ending -er: Näscht/Näschter, Liächt/Liächter, Fäscht (Fescht)/Fäschter (näbe Fescht), Stuck/Stucker
4. Using the ending -e: Has (Haas)/ Hase, Schnäck (Schnägg)/ Schnäcke (Schnägge), Keib (Cheib)/Keibe (Cheibe), Fraü (Frou)/Fraüe (Froue), Öpfel (Epfel)/Öpfle (näbe Epfel, Öpfel), Wääg (Wäg)/Wäge (näbe Wäg)
5. Using umlaut and the ending -e: Mueter/Miätere (Müetere, näbe Müeter), Vatter/Vättere (näbe Vätter), Dochter (Tochter)/ Dechtere (Töchtere näbe Töchter)
6. The ending -i often becomes -ene (-ine): Mili (Müli)/Milene (Müline), Daifi (Toiffi, Tieffi)/Daifene (Toiffine, Tieffine), Decki (Dechi)/Deckene (Dechine), Kuchi (Chuchi)/Kuchene (Chuchine)
7. Singular and plural are the same: Dire (Türe), Lupfede (= das Hochzuhebende), Leitere, Brot (Broo)
8. Using the ending -s in some regions (others use the same plural form as the singular): Outo/Outos, Büro/Büros, BMW/BMWs

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Fabri Velas (fabrivelas) said :

Some more info about gsw:
Alemannisch, called Schwyzerdütsch' in Switzerland, and 'Alsatian' in France
ISO 639-2/ISO/DIS 639-3: gsw
language name in English: Alemanic
language name in French: alémanique
spoken in parts of Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France (Alsace), Venezuela (Colonia Tovar) and Italy

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bortis (bortis) said :

I am fully aware of the gsw language code, but Schwyzerdütsch and Wallisertitsch are not the same. It's true that this is also an alemanic language type, but because of the physical isolation, Walliserstitsch became different.