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Language tags in HTML and XML / private-use subtags
Extension and private-use subtags
Extension subtags

Private use subtags

Read more in the BCP 47 spec:

2.2.7 Private Use Subtags

2.2.6 Extension Subtags

4.1 Choice of Language Tag

If you feel you really need to use these subtags, you should read the specification, rather than this article.

Extension and private use subtags are introduced by a single letter tag, or 'singleton'. An organization can propose a singleton for an extension. Its intended use must be described by an RFC (IETF specification). The singleton will be added to the registry if it successfully passes a review. The singleton x is reserved for private use. Multiple subtags are allowed after the singleton; however, as for all subtags, they must each be 8 or less characters in length.

Extension subtags allow for extensions to the language tag. For example, the extension subtag u has been registered by the Unicode Consortium to add information about language or locale behavior. Many locale identifiers require additional "tailorings" or options for specific values within a language, culture, region, or other variation. This extension provides a mechanism for using these additional tailorings within language tags for general interchange.

For example, the following indicates that phonebook collation order should be used by an application, that sorted data in a document is sorted according to this collation, and so on.

The u- extension is defined in RFC 6067, which points to the Unicode Consortium's Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) for details on the subtags that follow it. It is not defined by BCP 47.

Private-use subtags do not appear in the subtag registry, and are chosen and maintained by private agreement amongst parties.

Because these subtags are only meaningful within private agreements and cannot be used interoperably across the Web, they should be used with great care, and avoided whenever possible.

The following example of a private use subtag may identify a specific type of US English, but only within a closed community. Outside of that private agreement, its meaning cannot be relied upon.

language  localize  international  i18n  web  w3c  spec 
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