[OSM-dev] Multilingual Maps Overlays

"Marc Schütz" schuetzm at gmx.net
Thu Nov 4 11:09:58 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.

And there could well be several local dialects and languages.

> > 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
> language.

And to add to the confusion, there are actually two notions involved:
- the distinction between two languages/dialects
- and the distinction between a language and its sub-dialects (a hierarchy)

But while all this is interesting, I think we already swayed too much from the topic.

> > 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".

AFAIK the ISO 639-6 standard is intended to do that: providing a means to refer to any language variant by specifying the "path" through the hierarchy, if there isn't a shorter code available. But I don't know its current status.

> > 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),

Well, they would be translations. My opinion is, that we should not invent translations, but only use what's really in use, but I guess others have different opinions on this question.

> 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.

Yes. But maybe mappers from one area could agree on one "orthography" or at least a few basic rules.

And if everything else fails, we could still fall back to using name:whatever-fonipa to record the phonemic (probably preferable to phonetic) form.

> >> 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 ;-)

Frei statt Bayern :-P

Seriously, I guess this is an artifact of the usage of Ethnologue/SIL data for the ISO codes, which are rather bad quality for European dialects.
GMX DSL Doppel-Flat ab 19,99 €/mtl.! Jetzt auch mit 
gratis Notebook-Flat! http://portal.gmx.net/de/go/dsl

More information about the dev mailing list