Talk:List of language regulators

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Linguistics / Applied Linguistics  (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of linguistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Applied Linguistics Task Force.
WikiProject Languages (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


Added "Svenska Språkbyrån" :

Roman Catholic Church[edit]

I don't think that the Roman Catholic Church is a let alone the language regulator of Latin. Meursault2004 5 July 2005 08:05 (UTC)

To Meursault2004, it is. There is no argument on those grounds, the doctrine and inpection of accuracy of that tongue and addendums to it are facilitated by the Vatican, it is the national language of the Vatican and no other country.

The Ofice of Latin Letters in the Vatican is the closest there is today to a regulator of Latin. I found "Latin Allocution and the Applications and Usage of Latin as a Modern Language by the Vatican City State" (Connaughton 2003) an interesting read in this regard. --CRGreathouse 22:24, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Oxford University as regulator of English[edit]

Also, I'm disappointed there is no reference to English and the Oxford University School of English cited in here, I will add it if there are no arguments against it.

Jachin 22:04, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that Oxford University can be called the regulator. Some commentators say that the BBC is qualified to be the regulator, with them leading the language in Britain. Also, the English Language section says there is no regulator. Big Moira 16:24, 21 September 2005 (BST)

Personally, I am of the opinion that neither English nor Latin is regulated. That there are authorities on both is beyond doubt, yet these authorities hardly count as regulators. At the very least, a regulator should be able to introduce new words, rather than, as in the example of Oxford University, documetn current uses. — Itai (f&t) 16:09, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Oxford publishes a variety of prescriptive books, such as Hart's Rules (a style guide) and the Oxford Spelling Dictionary, both of which are certainly intended to be normative, even if not bindingly normative. Evertype 08:20, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
In the United States, there are several dozen style guides. I don't think Oxford can claim to have the most influential one. Ashibaka tock 17:25, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
The Oxford is considered to be authoritative. That does not mean that it is the only authority. (Personally I believe it is the best one, but that's my choice.) Evertype 21:01, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
One of the defining (and best) things about the English language is that it isn't regulated. I don't think that Oxford or Websters (or any other language authorities) can claim to be regulators of English (even de facto regulators). They simply describe the rules and styles of English at the time of printing Hart's Rules has been printed (40 times) since 1893, the language has changed a great deal since then and so has the book (I don't think anyone will claim that Hart's Rules prompted the changes in the language).Shniken 01:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I just changed it to read "No official regulator, but accepted regulations are printed in the Oxford University dictionaries for British English and to a lesser extent Webster's Dictionary for American English."
I think it should be changed more still to "No official regulator, but accepted regulations are printed in various dictionaries and reference books around the world". Since there are many publishers of such books (eg MacQuarie in Australia), or maybe it should be just left as "None"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Shniken (talkcontribs) 10:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC).
I would encourage the above proposal above (and below) that the entry for English should be changed to "No Official Regulator" or simply "None." There is no authority for English comparable to the authorities for the other languages on this list I am familiar with.
I disagree. Although there is no official authority that regulates the English language , there are however several important references and sources, e.g. dictionaries and writing/style manuals, that are authoritative in the sense that they establish guidelines/standards which are followed by government agencies, publishing houses, newspapers, and schools/universities. Although it may be technically correct that there is "no official regulator", that statement might mislead readers into believing that no standard is recognized for written English, when, in reality, at least two standards (British and American) are clearly established. I'd go back to the original wording in the article, i.e. "no official regulator, but accepted guidelines are printed in various dictionaries and reference books around the world." 10:36, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
It is not just "technically correct". It is a difference that has been said to show different attitudes about language between English- and French-speakers, for example. And the list of important sources would be endless. There are many more national standards than Brtitish and American (there are many specifically Canadian style books, for example), and within each country many "influential" style books exist. This situation is not comparable to languages with regulators. Joeldl 16:51, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
No one is claiming that there is a language regulator for English. The use of the pronoun "none" in the table makes that point quite clear. However, a qualification is necessary. I don't see why it would be wrong or inaccurate to say that there are no official language regulator, but there are nevertheless "several generally accepted guidelines" for English spelling and usage, which, as you said, might change from country to country. In fact, within the United States for example, spelling rules as used e.g. by newspapers, publishing houses, government agencies, scientific journals, and schools/universities, are actually quite uniform and very clearly established. Therefore, a "de facto" standard for written American English does exist, even if it is not centrally regulated. The Wikipedia article should acknowledge that fact. 00:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC) 17:29, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
A de facto standard or standards exist for every language that has official status in some country, at least. I believe English is remarkable for how little influence any one authority has. I also disagree about the supposed uniformity of the standard in the United States. I think that compared to countries with regulators, the United States does not seem "uniform" at all. Perhaps English just shouldn't appear in the list if what you're afraid of is that it might seem to be the only language without a regulator. [Note: if you have participated previously in the discussion as an anonymous editor, you should declare that fact.] Joeldl 21:31, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Any major newspaper printed anywhere in the US, be it New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, or Des Moines, is likely to use roughly the same standard spelling. Ditto for any book printed in the US by any major publishing house. That seems to suggest to me that, first, there is a clear consensus on what the "correct" American English spelling is, and, second, standard written English is fairly uniform across the United States. So far, I haven't come across any convincing evidence to the contrary. Language variation of course is wider when we take into account commercial signs, local dialects, personal correspondences, or "new media" like Internet newsgroups or bulletin boards. However, that is also true in countries like France or Spain where the standard written language is indeed centrally regulated by bodies like "l'Académie française" or "La Real Academia Española".
I guess my point is that, if a "de facto" written standard exists and is widely used by virtually all writers, editors, journalists, educators, and civil servants, then the rules that make up that standard must be recorded/referenced somewhere, e.g. dictionaries and writing/style manuals. Having said that, I do agree with you though that it is not always easy to determine what the ultimate reference for standard English is. That is why I believe the Wikipedia article should avoid mentioning any specific reference (the Oxford English Dictionary or the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for example), stating simply, in a more generic way ,that "there are generally accepted spelling and usage guidelines" which are published in multiple sources across the English-speaking world. 00:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC) 00:00, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Its really the primary educational system which has created and maintains the standard. By drilling grammer school students with tests and spelling bees, and grading ALL their work partially on 'proper' spelling, they establish a link in everybody's mind between 'correct' spelling and intelligence. This turns everybody into Spelling Cops. The lexicographers, even though they will proclaim that they are discriptive, not prescriptive, will be the final word in any dispute about spelling, effectively quashing any modifications. There simply is no need for an official central authority.JO 753 20:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Webster's Dictionary as standard of American English[edit]

Says who? What is a Webster's Dictionary any way? If we mean the Merriam-Webster dictionary, then we should say so. However, it's a standard of American English not the standard. --Richard 19:33, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. Since Webster's Dictionary refers to a variety of dictionaries from several different publishers, it can't possibly be considered a language regulator. Besides, the preeminent dictionary from the publisher with the greatest claim to the Webster name is known for its permissiveness, not for its regulatory qualities (see Webster's Dictionary#Criticism). --Metropolitan90 07:00, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Patent nonsense. Given that no one has defended this in the months since the objection, I'm going to remove it. - Ncsaint


Who regulates the German language?

I have removed the (untrue) information that the Goethe-Institut is the regulator of German language and replaced it with "recognized Duden standards." See also the German language article. Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 20:27, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


This list gives "Government of Japan" as the regulator of Japanese. That's a rather broad term. Is there a specific "Department of Language" or something that's in charge of regulating Japanese? Nik42 09:03, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

You are right, it should be more detailed. Regulating the language is part of activities of the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁 bunkachō) at the Ministry of Education of Japan. To be more precise, it is the National Language Subdivision (国語分科会 kokugo-bunkakai) of the Council for Cultural Affairs (文化審議会 bunka-shingikai) that deals with Japanese language issues since 2000. I suppose the latter is too specific for the list, though. Obakeneko 20:19, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Fictional languages?[edit]

If esperanto and Interlingua are under "Fictional Languages" why Ido isn't ?

Actually, "Fictional languages" is not the right section title. "Constructed languages" would have been more appropriate. (There's nothing fictional about either Esperanto or Interlingua, and fits Ido as well.) — Itai (talk) 12:05, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Webster's Dictionary[edit]

Since "Webster's Dictionary" is not the name of a single publication, or even of a group of publications from the same publisher, I don't believe it can be considered a recognized standard to the degree needed to warrant listing it on List of language regulators. Note that the Merriam-Webster company, which is the corporate successor to Noah Webster's dictionary business, can't even regulate the use of the name "Webster's" on dictionaries from other publishers. There are dictionaries published under brand names such as Merriam-Webster's, Webster's New World, Random House Webster's, and Webster's II New Riverside, all from different publishers. Then once a particular Webster's is chosen as the recognized standard, you have to ask whether that particular Webster's is prescriptive or descriptive, and I don't know which one or more of them are prescriptive. In short, Webster's Dictionary does not belong on this list. --Metropolitan90 03:49, 11 September 2006 (UTC)


English isn't regulated. Dictionaries record usage. Styles guides are just that. Some organisations use their own house styles. You are free to choose no matter what pedants and language mavens say! 08:36, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I think the "English" field should just say "none". Joeldl 09:53, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Why is English in this list at all? It should either list all standard languages, including those with no regulator, or only regulated standard languages. --taras (talk) 00:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I think it would make sense to have a list of languages that have no regulator. English being the obvious one. (talk) 01:42, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Constructed languages[edit]

Regarding constructed languages, the article currently states, "Constructed languages are by definition their inventors' regulations, so language planning, as known in natural languages, does not exist independent of the language itself." This is untrue. Esperanto, for example, has no central body that decrees what is and isn't good speech. The language develops organically, and the Academy of Esperanto's role (as stated on its website) is merely to acknowledge what is already considered to be good usage by a majority of speakers, and to respond to questions from the public. Why are constructed languages listed separately from the main list? --Kwekubo 13:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

YIVO and Yiddish[edit]

does Yiddish have a single standard language? Does YIVO regulate it? Does the Yiddish taught in official schools in Sweden and Russian (and various universities) correspond to YIVO standards? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:29, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Portuguese Regulator[edit]

The so-called Instituto Internacional da Língua Portuguesa, is not the official regulator of the Portuguese language as claimed in the article ! In fact, I believe most native speakers of Portuguese are not even aware that such Institute exists ! The recognized authority on matters of language in Brazil is the Academia Brasileira de Letras. In Portugal on the other hand, I'm not sure if there is any central language regulator. 02:55, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Official spelling in Portugal is regulated by the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Secção de Letras. Lisbon's Science Academy and the Brazilian Literary Academy negotiated for example the recent 1990 Luso-Brazilian Orthographic Agreement. 10:26, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

What is a language regulator?[edit]

This article would benefit from defining what responsibilities and powers an organization must have in order to be considered a language regulator. For starters, is there an official body in the world that has any legal power to actually regulate the use of some language, as opposed to simply offering advice? (talk) 07:17, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

"None official" entries[edit]

I notice that both English and Leonese state that there is no official language.... If there're no objections, I'll remove them, since they don't exactly belong in the list tommylommykins 15:38, 24 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tommylommykins (talkcontribs)

I've removed English and Tamil which were recorded as "No regulator". Kiore (talk) 03:30, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be useful to have a list, separate but in this page, of all languages that have no regulator. It would prevent assumptions about them being accidental omissions as well as being informative as to the purpose and value of such regulators in the territories that do have them. (talk) 01:47, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

The case of English[edit]

I agree with the comment made by I think we should clarify the specific responsibilities of the bodies in this list. This could help us deal with the case of the English language. I think somehow we should make it clear that the institutions listed here are public bodies given official language-related mandates by the law. Citing the law which created the body and/or gave it its mandate might be a good way to provide basic references to this list. These mandates of course vary from case to case, not to mention they may have varied over time.

We see that in some English-speaking countries, there is a de facto national standard. While they may not have received from the State a specific mandate to do so, there are of course institutions responsible for these standards being proposed in the first place, and other institutions choosing to follow them, which results in the standard being real rather than just proposed. :-)

Maybe we can start by adding a column named "Responsibilities"? -- Mathieugp (talk) 01:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

English does have a body that makes recommendations about grammar and so forth. It's the English Academy of Southern Africa. Obviously, it's lower profile than the Académie française, but the Académie française likewise has no official authority and is not recognized outside its own country. (talk) 10:44, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
And although the Académie française is indeed officially recognized, it is nowhere near as influential as Larousse or Robert, private editors publishing their own dictionaries. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in France who has ever read l'Académie's dictionary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

The case of Latin[edit]

Thanks to this page, I've found out about Opus Fundatum Latinitas, so thank you to whoever included it. But it doesn't cover the whole field. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (maintained by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy) and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (maintained by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature) lay down rules for scientific Latin, including how to establish names for new species; their rules are actually followed by scientists, and this is one of the main fields in which Latin in used on a daily basis today. So I think those two should be included. Rather than just add them, I've added a note here to check whether others agree that they qualify. Andrew Dalby 11:51, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

No one's disagreed, so I'll add them to the page. Andrew Dalby 07:53, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Sign Languages[edit]

How would others feel about adding various Signed languages to this list? In many cases they are clearly regulated by government agencies and/or federations of the Deaf. Colincbn (talk) 06:41, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I definitely feel any sign language that has a regulator should be included. Except in means of productoin and reception, they are like other languages. Kdammers (talk) 02:20, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

The case of Italian[edit]

The Accademia della Crusca decisions and statements are not mandatory for Italian. Its original goal was a purist one: the exclusion of every word not found in medieval and Renaissance language. However, this goal failed, since Italian developed, like every language. Today the Crusca is a linguistic instituition (descriptive, non prescriptive) the same way of Oxford University when publishes the OED. There is no compelling body about Italian ortography or grammar or vocabulary. (talk) 11:12, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm an italian user, and I can confirm you that the Accademia della Crusca doesn't play any important role in the italian language evolution nowadays. The Accademia provided important translations and linguistic advices to the Italian Government and other institutions up to the end of the 1970s. The new Statute of 1987 (here, in italian only) stressed its role as scientific institution in the field of research on the Italian language, omitting any reference to regulation and prescriptive task (e.g. create neologisms, etc.): you should remove it from the list. You could maybe mention different initiatives aimed to establish the Consiglio Superiore della Lingua Italiana-CSLI (Superior Council of the Italian Language, here an useful link, in italian). Sorry for possible mistakes in writing (I'm a little in a hurry).--Calànch (talk) 15:34, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Expanding the scope of this article[edit]

There seems to be an idea that language regulators must be prescriptive. This isn't the case. They may be descriptive. Oxford, for instance, is descriptive, but nevertheless they publish Hart's Rules, which is prescriptive (or at least advisory), and they publish the Oxford Spelling Dictionary, which is certainly normative. Since there is no other List of language advisory bodies such organizations should be listed here. -- Evertype· 18:05, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps this article should be moved to List of language authorities keeping the scope to boards and councils and academies and publishing houses (not to individual grammarians). -- Evertype· 12:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on List of language regulators. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 14:31, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Shouldn't Bòrd na Gàidhlig be included in this list? Particularly as Gàidhlig na h-Alba (Scottish Gaelic) is recognised by the Scottish parliament as an official language of Scotland. Michealt (talk) 16:51, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Attempts at language regulation and growth in language use[edit]

Are there any good sources, scholarly or otherwise meeting Wikipedia verifiability standards, on the relationship between attempts by various top down bodies to "regulate" (broadly considered) language and the effect that might have on helping or hindering the growth of the use of a language? Would be useful, and encyclopedic, if so. N2e (talk) 17:59, 31 December 2016 (UTC)