[Tagging] RFD tag:shop=camera?

johnw johnw at mac.com
Fri Jun 5 03:29:01 UTC 2015

> On Jun 5, 2015, at 7:40 AM, John Willis <johnw at mac.com> wrote:
>> Do you feel that maps for any given area should only be available to those fluent in the local language or languages?
I realized I didn’t answer your question. 

TL;DR : 

- OSM should match the “ground truth” - which is that some countries have secondary labels on everything because the native language is too difficult for non-natives to parse for navigation. 
- I think the main OSM/-carto render should be at least parseable to most viewers, which means using english secondary labels for some languages. 
- Individual OSM sites for each country can be single language - including using the Single Language as the primary labels on the rest of the map. 
- English secondary labels lets everyone - including non-english speakers -  use the main map because of the barriers of many non-roman script based languages. 


Most of the languages used by europeans are at least parseable - we can tell the difference between the names between Italian or german towns - even if we can’t read them, because we can at least recognize the letters. But with a character based language - there are 1000 Kanji needed just to converse as a Japanese middle school student. The place names are very difficult sometimes - and pull from a dictionary of over 20,000 characters. 

前橋  /  桐生  /  高崎 / 伊勢崎 / 太田 / 大間々     =     Maebahi  /  Kiryu /  Takasaki /  Isesaki  /  Ota  /  Omama 

The words mean the same basic thing to Japanese people - but the “Romaji” names of the towns are Parseable to all map users - They are all names of towns in Gunma Prefecture. 

It is unreasonable to expect people living outside of these countries to use the Main Map render without some kind of secondary label - They help A LOT. Which is why Japan (and others) label everything in real life with secondary English labels already! 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091322783/in/album-72157638113676925/ <https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091322783/in/album-72157638113676925/> Largest suspension bridge in the world. 
https://goo.gl/maps/AupPU <https://goo.gl/maps/AupPU> 
https://goo.gl/maps/O2ZRV <https://goo.gl/maps/O2ZRV> They put English on all kinds of Signs (Yes, that’s Mt Fuji in the background). 

Here is a common sight in the middle of nowhere in Japan: English secondary labels:
https://goo.gl/maps/ENk9e <https://goo.gl/maps/ENk9e>
https://goo.gl/maps/VuC8a <https://goo.gl/maps/VuC8a>
https://goo.gl/maps/vVmR7 <https://goo.gl/maps/vVmR7>  <― this is in the middle of the middle of nowhere - truly “inaka” . 

There are more deer that read that last sign than People who need English. Except for me when I was out biking in the mountains. 

If I go to a Japanese version of OSM, then I expect everything to be Japanese only - just like buying a Japanese map in a store, or going to google.co.jp <http://google.co.jp/> -  But the main project page should have secondary English labels to deal with languages that are unreadable to a person unfamiliar with the Roman alphabet. 

English is the common language of the world. All of these countries in SE Asia who cant read nor understand each other’s languages all study English at some point because of this.  Chinese people can read Japanese Kanji for their meaning, but they are not going to understand how to say it - and vice versa - “Beijing/Peiking” ( 北京 ) in the Japanese pronunciation of the Kanji would be “Kita-kyo”! 

There is also an assumption that the people living in Japan can read Japanese - which is also false. it takes a decade or two of practice to read the Kanji correctly, so the 500,000 foreigners living in Japan rely on English labels when traveling out of their region - which is when you would especially need a map - which is why there are English labels on everything here IRL already. 


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