[Tagging] Feature Proposal - Voting - Default Language Format

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 09:45:58 UTC 2018

As we discussed last month, brands are not necessarily in a particular
language. Name=McDonalds isn’t really right, it should probably just be
brand=McDonalds unless the specific location has a real name. And what
language is “IKEA”?

But at any rate, it’s fine to just use name= for a chain restaurant or any
sort of shop name which isn’t clearly in a particular language. These are
“fictitious business names”, or trademarks.

It’s more useful to specify the default language for features that have
real names in multiple languages: for example, cities, rivers, lakes,
mountains, seas, some roads, and so on.

The default language tag is NOT meant to “tell what language is used in the
default name tag”. That’s impossible in an open database with no
moderation. I understand that there were a couple of rejected proposals
last year with that goal.

Rather, this tag is meant to allow database users to automatically pick
which localized names to use in a particular place. So default:language=en
means “the name:en tag should be the name that is used most often locally,
on signs and in conversation by local people.”

While default:language=fr;nl means “look at the name:fr and name:nl tags to
find the most commonly used local name or names used on signs and in
conversation by local people.”

Please read the proposal page for more examples and explanations; I
understand that this is a complex issue.


On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 6:24 PM marc marc <marc_marc_irc at hotmail.com> wrote:

> >     Are there lots of POIs in Brussels that have a name in both
> >     languages in the database <...>?
> what's Marc G. mean is that a Mc Donalds in Brussels (as nearly
> everywhere) nearly never have a name:fr nor a name:nl
> only a name=Mc Donald (bad ex, it's a brand, but I still use this one).
> this is the case for the majority of restaurants, bars, office
> that have a unique name often in the language of their creator.
> Marc G. fears that he will have to add default:language on each of those
> objects because otherwise the tag on the region tell that their name
> is in fr:nl and that's wrong.
> if we wanted to describe the situation perfectly, it would look like
> default:Language="fr;nl @ highway;operator:type=public)"
> because only those name follow the rule but imho that's overkill.
> other name have no Language rule at all.
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