[Tagging] Mapping language borders, tagging offical languages?

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 16 12:49:58 UTC 2018

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:21 PM, Joseph Eisenberg <
joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com> wrote:

I don't (yet) have an opinion either way on the feasibility or desirability
of tagging languages used in a region.  But this...

It should be interpreted with the individual language name tags.
> If the default language is zh;zh_pinyin (Chinese and romanized Chinese),
> there should be a name:zh and name:zh_pinyin tag on each feature within the
> boundary, in theory, and these two name tags should be combined in an
> international map rendering.
> In theory, this should look similar to what we currently get with the
> name=* tag

This is something I strongly disagree with.  For most objects, name=*
should not be translated because, for most
objects it should be, in my opinion, an opaque representation of signage.
If I don't speak the local language I need to
know what to look for on the street sign or the shopfront sign as
represented on the signage.  Knowing what it would
say if the locals had decided to put up signage in English is not very
helpful.  An IPA rendering of the local pronunciation
of the name might be beneficial for those with text-to-speech.

If a sign is bilingual then using name=xx: and name=yy: are perhaps of
merit in breaking down the components of the
full name.  E.g., a sign near me says "Heol Napier / Napier Street" (the
slash isn't actually present, the name is broken
up into two lines) and so name="Heol Napier / Napier Street" +
name:cy="Heol Napier" + name:en="Napier Street" is
one possible way of representing it in a meaningful way.

But how are you going to handle a house name like "Duncavin" which is about
a mile from me?  The "Dun" is
Scottish for "fort."  It's a house in Wales which is bilingual
English/Welsh.  And the name is a bad pun.  Displaying
the name phonetically might help somebody asking a local where the place
is.  Displaying a translation (even if
the pun works in the other language) isn't useful.  What's needed is what
the sign actually displays, not what it would
display if it were in a different language.

Yes, knowing the language(s) spoken in a particular region might be
useful.  Yes, having the query tool display tag names
like "shop" and "amenity" in the user's preferred language would be very
useful.  Rendering a house name like "Penrallt"
or "Y Felin" in Cryrilic or Arabic or Hebrew script isn't really going to
help anyone because house and street names are
often labels whose meaning is opaque.  Is 在米爾路上 (blame Google Translate,
not me) really going to help somebody
looking for a sign that has these literal characters on it: "Garnon's Mill
Road"?  Conversely, if I were in China and I
were looking for a road signed "在米爾路上" would it help me to know it meant
"Garnon's Mill Road"?

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