[Tagging] [OSM-talk] nomoj de internaciaj objektoj / nazwy obiektów międzynarodowych / names of international objects

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 15:35:09 UTC 2020

sent from a phone

> On 6. Jan 2020, at 07:29, Maarten Deen <mdeen at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> Baltic Sea to be the "Baltic Sea" or for South America to be "South
>> America" - this is an example of English imperialism.
> This "imperialism" idea of yours is just your idea. It is not something that is widely felt.

regarding imperialism, I think it’s hard to reject the reasoning that English is in widespread use because of imperialism. We’re all used to it (at least in the western world) and internet and the tech economy have further diffused its use, so currently it is the defacto standard for most international contexts (in other regions and for some specific context it may be Russian or Chinese, Spanish, French etc. all mostly because of imperialism). 

Not sure this has to be discussed, in OpenStreetMap we’re trying to represent the current state of things, rather than trying to campaign for a state we would prefer (with the exception of Crimea, which is this, an exception, simply because last year the majority of the 5 people that made up the board wasn’t interested in seeing a bigger picture or striving for consistency). English is (shortly before Chinese) the language which most people in the world are able to understand, so there is good reason for using it in international context as a fallback. As OpenStreetMap is not popular in China (AFAIK it’s even forbidden to use it), the logical alternative IMHO isn’t relevant for our context. Esperanto, which you personally seem to prefer, and which is around for 133 years, is only understood by, with most favorable estimates, 2 Million people (compared to billions for English) and while remaining susceptible for criticism of eurocentrism similar to English and not being  “neutral” in any way, it is completely artificial so that the “names” in Esperanto are used by nobody. Choosing Esperanto would be a loose-loose situation, from my point of view.

Cheers Martin 

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