[OSM-dev] Multilingual Maps Overlays

M∡rtin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 17:51:13 GMT 2010

2010/11/3 "Marc Schütz" <schuetzm at gmx.net>:
>> > No, this is _not_ the purpose of loc_name. In fact,
>> loc_name/name/old_name/official_name... and language tags are completely orthogonal.

> The "Examples" section of http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:name describes their usage. loc_name would be the name a feature is known as by the local population, in contrast to the official and nation wide names. Unfortunately, the examples there are a bit contrived, but you get the general idea.

I was assuming that the local population would speak the local dialect
(language). Of course this would not tell you which language/dialect
this is (without an external source or a polygon or sth. similar which
contains these), but it could be the right place to put the
information anyway.

> If I were to present you with two samples of speech (be it written or spoken) of which you don't know anything about (official status, where they are spoken, ...), it would be impossible to determine whether they are dialects or languages.

fortunately it is not the case that OSM presents you information
without at least (geo)-context.

> Of course, in practice, there is indeed a distinction, but it depends on various external factors (Is the language recognized officially? Is it used only in informal contexts? How do the speakers themselves see their language? How is it related to other languages?), and thus it is not a property of the language itself.

There is also the distinction: does someone who speaks language A
understand A' or doesn't he. If he does A' could be defined as
dialect. I agree that this distinction is sometimes difficult, and
probably most of the German dialects won't be understood completely
but only in parts by someone who only speaks the "official language".
I think I agree that we might treat dialects just like any other

> However, in our context, this distinction still doesn't matter. We have various places each of which can have an official name, an international name, a former name, etc. Each of these names can be in one or more languages/dialects. If we were to restrict this to officially recognized languages only, we would still need another tagging scheme for the dialects. I don't see what we'd gain from doing so.

Probably the coding could be done in a way that it became clear that
e.g. bavarian is part of the "german language family".

> Except of course if you're suggesting that we shouldn't record dialectal names at all? I (and supposedly Stefan too) would object to that, because there are useful applications for it. For example, I'd like to record field names (Flurnamen), which usually exist only in dialectal form, and for which I would see it as incorrect to use Standard German "translations".

not sure if they only exist in dialectical form (IMHO "translations"
would be feasible but won't insist on this), but me too I am
interested in collecting this cultural heritage in OSM. Still there is
a problem with how to write them, as dialects are usually (in Germany)
not written. AFAIK there is no "official" way to write them. The same
word would be written differently by different mappers.

>> Your example of East Franconian is about a
>> dialect IMHO, not about a language.
> Yes, but then there is also Bavarian, which has the same official recognition (i.e. none), and roughly the same social status, but there _is_ a code for it.

yes, as the world knows those bavarians try to be different wherever
they can. Don't know how they managed to put their dialect in, but I
guess keeping franconian out was part of their intervention ;-)


More information about the dev mailing list