[OSM-talk] Persian/Arabian Gulf Tagging

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 16:26:42 UTC 2021


I do agree with that and it applies in most cases, and yes I have seen 
the previous comment. However "what people who speak that language call 
that place" is not practical and in many cases leads to confusion. There 
are many Arabian speakers outside the Arab speaking countries along the 
Gulf, and even as expressed here in numbers for Arab speaking 
communities around the Gulf. The term "Persian Gulf" and it's use as an 
official name exist in Arabic and very common in the past and even 
today, but it's a non verifiable claim. Neither one of us is in the 
position to determine what the majority of the Arabic speaking world 
uses, besides of the Arabic speaking countries and officials around the 
Gulf who want to impose it out of political, cultural or other 
motivations. That should not drive our community decision.

Here I am talking about international waters, not the territorial waters.
I believe that for the territorial waters every country, locals have the 
right to refer to that part, their territory with a different term in 
their language, what we should support in OSM as political neutrality.
Neither one of us is in the position to determine what the majority of 
the Arabic speaking world uses, neither as far as I know does the UN or 
the majority of other reputed international organisations aiming to keep 
political neutrality. So they remain in their maps and Geo databases at 
a status quo with "Persian Gulf".

Another claim that in OSM it should be verifiable depends on whoever 
comes along and asks who he pleases.  If I as a non native Arabic 
speaker ask an Arabic speaker what the "Persian Gulf" is called in his 
language, most probably he will answer me with "Persian Gulf", he might 
argue that another name is used "Arabic Gulf", but it's a different 
name, an alternative name.
In this case in English, the language we should use for international 
waters, the name is "Persian Gulf", alt_name contains "Arabic Gulf".
In Farsithe name is "Persian Gulf", alt_name contains "Arabic Gulf".
In Arabic the name is "Arabic Gulf", alt_name contains "Persian Gulf", 
which is inconsistent as the SAME TERM is switched from one key to the 
other.
Compare it with an example in f.i. German. If I ask a native German to 
give me the name for these waters in his language I expect an answer like:

name:de = Persischer Golf alt_name = Arabischer Golf
If I ask a different native German with Iranian origins to do the same I 
probably get an answer like:
name:de = Persischer Golf alt_name = Arabischer Golf
If I ask a different native German with Arabian origins to do the same I 
expect an answer like:
name:de = Persischer Golf alt_name = Arabischer Golf
NOT
name:de = Arabischer Golf alt_name = Persischer Golf, that's expressing 
a political motivated opinion which we don't accept in OSM, we are neutral.

With the above I do follow "what people who speak that language call 
that place", I do respect verifiability, and most of all I keep neutral 
on political grounds. So why should we accept otherwise in this case for 
Arabic ?

So name:language and it's definition "what people who speak that 
language call that place" is valid and applicable with one exception: 
the same term is available and known in that language and appears both 
in the name and alt_name keys. In these cases the international accepted 
term should prevail in the name field and the name:language fields 
contain it's synonym or equivalent in that language, so it comes down to 
a simple translation in these cases. Switching is expressing political 
or cultural opinions which we should avoid at all times in OSM. We are a 
peacefull and non biased community. Actually we shouldn't care due to 
this reasoning who we make happy or not, it looks to me like non biased 
common sense.

Greetings,

Bert Araali

On 07/07/2021 18:12, Andy Townsend wrote:
> On 07/07/2021 15:31, Bert -Araali- Van Opstal wrote:
>> Your proposal seems a good compromise as to use "Arabic Gulf" as the 
>> Arab name used for the name "Persian Gulf", however not compliant 
>> with our wiki instructions. The Arab "translation" in the name:ar key 
>> should be Persian Gulf written in Arab. Arab Gulf remains in the 
>> alt_name.  The wiki is clear about this, so both in Farsi as in Arab 
>> it should read Persian Gulf, no matter the cultural, political or 
>> other sensitivities.
>
> No.
>
> The "name:language" value should be "what people who speak that 
> language call that place".  See for example 
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/267762522 , where the various 
> language name values aren't all simple translations.  It's been 
> mentioned previously, but that one also has "name:en_GB" and 
> "name:en_IE" as different values, as an example.
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Andy
>
>
>
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