[OSM-talk-ie] Proposed automated edit for automatic irish translation

Dermot McNally dermotm at gmail.com
Tue Nov 4 19:46:37 GMT 2008

Hi folks,

As a side note, I'm pursuing another avenue towards gaining missing
Irish names - this approach is fairly much the opposite of what Rory
proposes, in that it would involve consulting an official list of
names. Drawback being that we first need to clear our use of such
official sources. This is being worked on, and will be a very useful
and maximally correct solution if it comes off. But to this specific

2008/10/30 Rory McCann <rory at technomancy.org>:

> Basically there are some streets with and Irish and English name (ie
> name and name:ga tags) and some street with only an English name (ie
> name tag only). Most of the time the Irish translation for a street name
>  depends on the English name, so if there is a street called X in
> English and Y in Irish, then it's most likely that another street in
> another town called X would also be called Y in Irish.

I'm not so comfortable with this approach. It's true that many roads,
particularly newer ones, have native English names to which Irish
translations have been retrofitted. However, many are the exact
inverse of this. In each case, there are many cases where there is not
a one-one mapping between the Irish and English. In fact, I've seen
road signs from different decades at either end of a road, each
offering a quite different Irish name.

For me, despite the ingenuity of the idea, the approach is liable to
lead to worse data than if we don't do it at all, which for me is a
big warning sign. What I mean by that is, that despite adding a FIXME
note or whatever, once an Irish name seems to be present, it becomes
less likely that anyone will ever survey that street to obtain a
primary source.

An example of what you're dealing with here:

Rainsford Street in Dublin (near Guinnesses). Two separate signs, one
modern, one recent but retro in appearance. The non-retro one names
the street "Sráid Rainsfort" (yes, with a T, not the D of the English
version). The retro sign has "Sráid Marcus Rainsford" (with a D).

Now... Rainsford isn't that common a name, so this ambiguity probably
won't bite us. But this one example demonstrates to us that when
English names are translated into Irish, it does not occur with
uniform methodology (not even for the same street). In this instance,
one of the Irish language versions contains more information than the
English sign.

So back to your approach, Rory. Imagine a surveyor has mapped a "Smith
Street". Suppose he has also determined that the official Irish form
is "Sráid John Smith". A scripted extrapolation of this case will have
the effect of assuming that every Smith Street in Ireland is named
after John Smith and tagging them accordingly.

A further reason not to do this - the purpose (if I read you right) of
this tool is to handle roads whose native names are English language.
IMHO Irish names for such roads only add value (if at all) when they
are known to be official. A guessed name for what may be a poor
translation of a road historically known by its English name is surely
of little value to us.



Iren sind menschlich

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