[Tagging] Which languages are admissible for name:xx tags?

Jo winfixit at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 09:47:29 UTC 2020

Well, since I'm able to communicate in Esperanto, albeit not fluently
anymore, I would definitely like to keep name:eo, probably interlingua and
those as well.

I'm not expecting an invasion of Klingons or Elven, so those don't seem all
that useful.

Roman, you mean Latin? It existed, people communicated using it, and I know
the name of my city and a few others in Latin (thank you Asterix), so that
one makes sense too, I'd say. Don't know about Sumerian or Egyptian

There are also transliterations between alphabets. Those depend on how the
person doing the transliteration thinks the name should be pronounced and
even if people agree on how to pronounce the name, they might still
transliterate differently because they use those characters for different
sounds in their own language.

I have been considering to add IPA to the street names of Brussels... No
matter which voice language I choose in OSMAND, part of the name will
always be pronounced wrong.

It even almost gets funny in the case of "Rue Conscience -
Consciencestraat". That should always be pronounced the French way, never
the English way, but alas.


On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 10:27 AM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> the "name:xx" tags are something of an exception in OSM because while we
> defer to "local knowledge" as the highest-ranking source normally, this
> is not being done for name:xx tags. It is possible for no single citizen
> of the city of Karlsruhe to know its Russian name, but still a Russian
> name could exist. Who is the highest-ranking source for that?
> My guess is that about 5% of name:xx tags in OSM actually represent a
> unique name in its own right; all others are either copies of the name
> tag ("this city does not have its own name in language XX but I want
> every city to have a name:xx tag so I'll just copy the name tag"), or
> transliterations (or, worst case, even literal translations).
> A while ago we had a longer discussion about Esperanto names; in that
> discussion, it was questioned whether Esperanto could be in the name tag
> but nobody disputed that adding name:eo tags is ok, even though
> Esperanto is an invented (or "constructed") language.
> Yesterday someone added a few dozen Klingon names to countries in OSM. I
> have reverted that because of a copyright issue, but I think we also
> need to discuss which languages we want to accept for name:xx tags.
> In my opinion, a name:xx tag should only be added if you can demonstrate
> that people natively speaking the living language xx are actually using
> this name for this entity. I think we have a very unhealthy inflation of
> names in OSM that are added by "single-purpose mappers" - they come in,
> stick a name:my-favourite-language tag onto everything, and go away
> again. Nobody knows if these names are even correct, and nobody cares
> for their maintenance. The country North Macedonia changed its name
> almost one year ago, yet roughly half of its ~ 170 name tags are still
> what they were before this change. Nobody cares; these names suggest a
> data richness that is not backed up by an actual living community that
> cares for them.
> What are your opinions on which languages should be accepted in name
> tags? What do you think about
> * niche constructed languages (say, FredLang which has 2 words I
> invented just now)
> * popular constructed languages (Klingon, Elvish) - note place names in
> these languages will often be algorithmically derived from the English
> or local name
> * "serious" constructed languages (Esperanto)
> * languages that once existed but are not natively spoken any more (Roman)
> * languages that are natively spoken but their speakers do not have
> their own name for the entity in question (instead they use the same
> name the locals use, possibly transcribed into a different alphabet)
> * ...
> Or if you don't have the time to think about this in detail, just answer
> the question: tlhIngan Hol - Hlja' or ghobe'?
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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