Wikivoyage talk:Currency/Archive 2014-2016

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

'You can start a new discussion on the main talk page here: Wikivoyage talk:Currency.

Currency codes in text!? Srsly?[edit]

What the holy hell -- did W. Frank seriously manage to ram through a WV-wide change to start using ISO currency codes through the guide, and prefixed to numbers to boot? That looks terrible and reads worse. Jpatokal (talk) 12:35, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so. The policy currently states: "Unless there is a real risk of ambiguity, do not use the three letter ISO 4217 currency codes like 'USD' nor 'GBP' if a currency notation is both well established and universally known" Powers (talk) 00:33, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Editing Costa Rica last night. Currency codes in existing text appear as "$", "US$xx", "xx USD" as well as every other possible permutation. How does one proceed? Seligne (talk) 04:16, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Costa Rica is a good example in that the US dollar is a (the?) dominant currency. To avoid confusion I personally would prefer to see 'USD $80' in all cases where US dollars are listed. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:40, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Ugh! I think that is adding insult to injury. I lean towards one or the other, "$" or "USD". Overall, I favor ISO codes. No fuss, no muss, no ambiguity, no arguments, although the aesthetic sensibilities of some will be offended. Seligne (talk) 07:10, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
It may be a dominant currency but, unlike Cambodia or the USA, US dollars are not an official currency like the Costa Rican colón (CRC) in Costa Rica and so USD should be used as the abbreviated notation to show US dollars - unless you want to spell it out in full each time. --118.93nzp (talk) 07:27, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
As part of my work I do deal with contracts in different countries, and in the corporate world at least the 'USD $1,000,000' is a very unambiguous way to describe things. I think it can apply here too since I would find 'USD 80' a bit odd. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:53, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
From the existing article 'a hip replacement costs around US$12,000' also works for me. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:55, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

But isn't that the essence of what the OP is objecting to? The very use of the ISO currency code? (In the absence of communal guidance, I see no alternative but to continue to use it.) Seligne (talk) 08:08, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean in the absence of communal guidance? This policy is very clear that we don't use currency codes unless there's no widely understood alternative, or the alternative would be ambiguous. And in any case "USD $xxx" is redundant. Powers (talk) 14:34, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
What I mean is that persons are objecting to the use of ISO currency codes even in cases "where there is no widely understood alternative, or the alternative would be ambiguous," policy notwithstanding. I think that for every country there ought to be a definitive standard, set in stone on the country page. That's what I mean. Seligne (talk) 14:48, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
You are not wrong Seligne and especially in the non-obvious cases like the Eurozone or USA and in a similar way to what is seen at Talk:Laos#Laos_Article_Conventions_.28Feb_2014.29 and Talk:Myanmar#Myanmar_Article_Conventions_.28Feb_2014.29 and Talk:Thailand#Thailand_Article_Conventions_.28Feb_2014.29 and Talk:Vietnam#Vietnam_Article_Conventions_.28Feb_2014. --118.93nzp (talk) 22:59, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but without further clarification from Jani, I don't know that anyone is actually objecting as you claim, Seligne. Powers (talk) 02:10, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

The very first comment in this thread raises an objection. I will also point out that the second comment (yours) ignores this very first sentence from the MoS: This page in a nutshell: Prices should be listed in the local currency unless the local convention is to list prices in a foreign currency. Except for countries specifically excepted below, prefix currency amounts with the three letter ISO 4217 code for the currency in block capitals and no intervening space. Makes me wonder if we are all reading the same MoS.. Seligne (talk) 08:12, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I am with Jani here. The ISO codes should be used if and only if there is no reasonable alternative. The above sentence making them the default is absurd. Pashley (talk) 09:45, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Nutshells are not policy; that one is clearly not in sync with the page as it's written currently; see my quotation above. Powers (talk) 14:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I have resynced the nutshell to the text of the policy. That said, the text of the policy is not consistent after Frank's edits: I think we should make it clear that per longstanding policy, international currency codes are a *last resort*, not the first preference. Jpatokal (talk) 01:34, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Full support from me for Jani's proposal to always use the currency code symbol unless there is a danger of ambiguity. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:38, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
By my reading, both Jani & I were saying the exact opposite of that. I read it as always never use the ISO code unless it is necessary to avoid ambiguity. Pashley (talk) 02:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I meant currency symbol, not code, but my brain wires clearly got crossed, sorry. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:54, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The page badly needs rewriting. It is very confusing to have the primary rule referred to as the "exception" and placed at the bottom of the page. Nurg (talk) 10:18, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm ridiculously confused at the moment. Right now, the policy allows the ISO codes only if alternatives are ambiguous. But what if alternatives are obscure or unusually lengthy, as in the AZN example that's still on the page? Powers (talk) 13:23, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
(Restored my comment that was deleted by Seligne, I hope accidentally.) Powers (talk) 13:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I would never, never purposely delete a comment on a talk page and I don't care for the suggestion that I would. Check the software logs if you are so inclined. Seligne (talk) 15:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry for the implication, but I wasn't sure. Regardless, though, I'm not sure what software logs you mean, nor what you'd expect them to show. Powers (talk) 18:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
This discussion is not helping me much:
  • Comments like "Currency codes in text!? Srsly?" do nothing to tell me why why currency codes are anathema.
  • Pashley says that making ISO codes the default is "absurd". I thought "absurd" means "unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate." If so, ISO codes are the opposite of absurd in my view.
  • Powers says that "nutshells are not policy". My view is that when they purport to sum up a policy, they are policy. I see that Jpatokal had rewritten the nutshell, so good on him/her.
  • I agree with Nurg that the guidance needs rewriting. But I don't sense that there is a solid consensus at the moment as to what the guidance should be. I just edited a Laos page. It referred to both the local currency, "kip" and "US$". I changed the "US$" to "USD". Am I right or wrong in doing so? Seligne (talk) 13:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I took a crack at a rewrite.
I did not change some things that I think should change. It seems obvious to me that we should use kip for Laos and manat for Azerbaijan since those are both common and quite readable for English speakers. (I'd also use baht for Thailand and Rs for India, but that's just me. I have accepted that there's a consensus for the symbols there.) Pashley (talk) 14:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The use of "kip" and "baht" are established and unambiguously spelled out in the MoS. What is not clear is in countries where USD and local currency is used (Laos, Cambodia, et al.) is if we use the ISO code for USD. I assume that we do. Seligne (talk) 15:32, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

(undent) Thanks Pashley, looks much better! ISO codes are far from absurd if it's currency codes you're looking for, but in English prose they are indeed unreasonable and inappropriate, because they're *codes*, not words ("baht") or abbreviations of words ("$"). My strong preference, and WT/WV policy until this recent brouhaha, is to use US$ as the canonical notation for US dollars everywhere, except obviously in the US, where plain old $ is sufficient. Jpatokal (talk) 06:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I would say that we are not looking either for codes or crackling English expository prose, but rather simple consistency and lack of ambiguity. I would like to know why an article larded with "US$" is less clunky or more aesthetically pleasing than the same article using "USD", which happens to be an international standard. By extension, Canadian articles would use "CA$"? Mexico articles "MX$"? Why reinvent the wheel? Seligne (talk) 13:29, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The question would be which is more recognizable for the average traveler. Jpatokal is right that on WT we recommended "US$" where it's necessarily to distinguish it from other dollars, but if "USD" is more widely used in traveler contexts, maybe we should adopt it. Powers (talk) 13:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Like Jpatokak, I travel a lot. Increasingly I see the ISO codes (along side little country flags) being used - especially on those LED boards at bureaux de change and especially when national currencies are changed or re-valued. Now I don't think that is because there are just a few manufacturers of these boards. It may well be instead that ISO codes are less ambiguous for all the various nationalities and languages to understand. Do we really need to have 3 different forms for the US dollar? Isn't it sufficient just to use "$" in US articles and "USD" in international, non US destination articles and US destination articles where the context would otherwise lead to ambiguity? Please remember that many travellers who will use our guides will have English as a secondary or tertiary language. Will Jpatokal's tireless prose (no sarcasm intended) really be jarring for English native speakers if they read "USD23" rather than "US$23"? I think not. -- Alice 06:07, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Contradictory guidance[edit]

The policy currently states (and has for some time): "In some countries such as Myanmar, foreign nationals pay a USD price for some things (hotels, air and train tickets, entrance fees), but in local currency for other things (food, shopping, buses, taxis). In this case, list the price in the currency that the foreign traveller will be expected to pay even if it means switching currencies in the body of the page."

It also states (after recent edits): "When writing about the price of an item in a country, stick to that country's currency. Do not switch between currencies. Doing so causes confusion and frustration."

These two pieces of advice contradict each other. How should this conflict be resolved?

-- Powers (talk) 13:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I rewrote some in an attempt to resolve that. It now says using the local currency is the general rule, then lists exceptions. Pashley (talk) 15:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Indonesian Rupiah[edit]


It is with confusion and a brief debate from User Frank to clarify that the notation of the symbol Indonesian Rupiah is with NO spaces. I have since edited it in the article itself. Let me clarify this: Since 2011, the official rule of writing the currency has been with NO spaces, thus Rp100 is correct, Rp 100 or Rp. 100 is not, it is said to avoid manipulation of the monetary system by inserting the number at the spaces.

My first preference would be to change the current exception to policy and for us to use INR700,000 rather than Rp 700,000
My second, alternative preference would be to change our current policy and omit the space, thus: Rp700,000 since this is much less typing and avoids the HTML of needing to avoid orphaned units by using non-breaking spaces and, I understand, is the officially approved notation inside Indonesia.
--W. Frankemailtalk 14:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Neither format is confusing, so let's go with the one that's official in Indonesia and move on. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


Now to the burning question: The format for the three digit separator to notate currencies in Indonesia is actually using a period (.) rather than a comma (,) as is the convention in most other countries, hence Rp100.000 is correct, Rp100,000 is not. Which one should I follow then next time I edit an article? For a reference, please look at this sample article from this Indonesian Wikipedia page, see the penulisan baku bracket at the very beginning: Othello95 (talk) 04:06, September 14, 2014

To answer your question: you should continue to observe the advice given at wv:radix and use a comma to separate groups of 3 digits before the decimal point (or radix) since this is the most common notation in English speaking countries (even if it is contrary to the practice in Germany and many other continental countries).
Any change would cause confusion for most English speaking non-Indonesian editors and readers and I oppose it. --W. Frankemailtalk 14:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Frank is right in his observation on this. The difference in format is no different from how many European currencies are punctuated in European countries, and in India, there are even greater divergences in terms of where the commas are normally put. We probably shouldn't make the Rupiah an exception to the use of commas and periods for currency numbers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

On abbreviations[edit]

My main concern is readability, allowing for the fact that we expect readers from quite a range of places and backgrounds. I therefore prefer abbreviations of the currency name over most alternatives. In my opinion, we should avoid ISO codes whenever possible both because they will be unfamiliar to many readers and because, if used repeatedly, they look remarkably ugly on the page.

Current text suggests CHF for the Swiss Franc; I reverted and the anon user who had inserted it reverted right back. I see no reason to even consider using the ISO code here. He or she makes comments about which form is most common or widespread, but I see no point. Fr. is a clear and readable abbreviation and is used in the country, so we should obviously use it; conforming to the commonest usage is not an issue, but readability is. Similarly for kr for Kronor, an example the anon user has now deleted twice. Pashley (talk) 16:23, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't have much experience about Switzerland. But I've been in Scandinavian countries, mostly Norway. To be honest, you don't see so often the currency on prices, most of the time it will be "100,-" meaning "one hundred crowns". But when the currency is displayed, it will usually be "kr". ISO formats such as NOK and SEK are seldom used and I don't see any ambiguity using "kr" when you're reading a page about a specific country. So I think this deletion line 50 (kr 100 in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, not kronor 100, 100 kronor, or NOK, SEK, DKK and ISK) should be reverted. Freayd (talk) 05:59, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

New Taiwan dollar[edit]

There is currently no policy about Taiwanese currency. From my experience, the symbol 元 (yuan) is widely used, but as I understand it, it describe the unit, not the currency. And it is not used for China (¥ instead). "NT$" is also commonly used, very often in Wikivoyage (see Taipei for instance) and Wikipedia article confirms it (In English usage the new Taiwan dollar is often abbreviated as NT, NT$, NT Dollar or NTD, while the abbreviation TWD is typically used in the context of foreign exchange rates). So "NT$" could be a good choice but I think it's a bit to much to repeat "NT" every time, so I suggest that just "$" would be a good practice (as it has been chosen for Hong Kong). Any pros/cons? Thanks. Freayd (talk) 06:21, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Just my (not too strongly held) opinion, but I think stick with NT$ . It isn't that much of a repetition, and Taiwan's proximity to Hong Kong as well as relationship with the United States may make '$' by itself confusing. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:24, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Do we detail currency conversions against the US dollar?[edit]

I thought I would clarify the policy on this. I believed currency conversions (such as this) were not allowed on Wikivoyage by convention since obviously they can vary greatly over time. Is this right? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:50, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Wherever did you get such a strange idea that we shouldn't make life easier for travellers? has had the same wording for many years: "Include here information on the currency and rough conversion rates for major currencies used by English-speaking travellers (US, Australian, Canadian dollars, euros, British pounds).". If I had to amend that advice, I'd make it clearer that dates should always be given for those "rough conversion rates". -- 12:09, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
For an easy answer to that, why not just have a look at the fortunes of the Swiss Frank over the past few days (not even months or years).
I'd concede that the convention to avoid conversion rates is more about preventing multiple incorrect 'ad-hoc' conversions throughout articles. If there were a single rough conversion guide at each country level (possibly template) that had a clear disclaimer then I would generally support it --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:07, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Exchange rates, like prices constantly change - but that doesn't mean that they are of no interest to travellers or have no place in a travel guide. This was originally supposed to be a crowd-sourced wiki with a substantial emphasis on the fluidity that an online presence enables. Restaurants deteriorate, airlines fold, hotels open, that's life. I've quoted you our decade old policy for the "Buy" section in Country level articles. Please have the good grace to revert your reversion of my policy compliant edit if you are not able to point to this "convention" with actual diffs (or garner a new consensus to overturn a long-standing policy that has obvious benefits to travellers wanting a quick idea as to the general price levels in a country).
As for needing a templated warning that exchange rates can fluctuate, that's a bit like saying that coffee can be hot and scald you if it spills in your lap, isn't it? It may be true, but is it necessary to tell travellers something that ought to be self-evident? -- 02:27, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
They can have a place in a travel guide, but we can certainly not hope for 'fluid' updates whenever there is a significant currency fluctuation. My suggestion for a template was to include 'rough' currency conversions against major currencies, with a disclaimer regarding both the date of the conversion rate as well as guidance that the conversion provided is not official. Perhaps if you employed the 'grace' to read the (short) suggestion above carefully then that might help before admonishing others. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
The safer option in some cases would be to provide a range, perhaps based on the last year or whatever is reasonable for that currency. This also might not always be suitable though. Currency conversions are sometimes helpful but sometimes not. It is best to decide on a case by case basis. Likewise, listing prices in a country experiencing hyperinflation like Zimbabwe was not so long ago is not very useful. You're better off mentioning the hyperinflation in the Understand section and explain what it means for travellers. Gizza (t)(c) 05:54, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Possibly. I think examples such as Russia and Zimbabwe demonstrate that providing what is in effect 'real time' data into Wikivoyage should be done with much consideration. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Can't currency rates be handled algorithmically through a template? You can multiply numbers like this: {{#expr: 50*1.12}} (56). Replace the code with a template, {{currency conversion|50|EUR|USD}}, for conversion of 50 euros into US dollars. Then hard-code exchange rates into the "currency conversion" template and try to update the template frequently. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • In theory, it's possible, but updating the template frequently is non-trivial. =) And so is making sure the output of the template fits semantically and grammatically into our prose while also taking into account significant figures. Powers (talk) 02:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually, if the Wikimedia foundation were prepared to pay for a web service that provided real time forex updates then this actually might be a fairly trivial approach. That said I doubt such a subscription would be forthcoming, and we also would have to consider the impact on WV articles if the web service became unavailable for whatever reason. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The ECB publishes exchange rates for numerous currencies and provides developer APIs, so paying for a web service shouldn't be necessary: [1]. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:57, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • That could work. Typically the paid services are for extremely high frequency (<1 second) forex fluctuations. The ECB link actually provides an RSS feed which would be sufficient. Is the ECB a service we would be happy to use? (i.e. is broadly in line with our mission so we do map integration with them. Is the ECB in the same category?) Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The US Federal Reserve also makes a smaller list of exchange rates available, and while we would need to verify, US government data is usually public domain information [2]. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • OK, I will look at a proof of concept. Out of interest, is there a way to 'cache' these values on WV or WikiData? It would probably be better to do that every day rather than make a web service call to the ECB or Federal Reserve on every page view? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:38, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • We definitely don't want to do realtime lookups - the performance penalty would be enormous. If we are going to move forward with this approach I'd suggest doing two things:
  1. Create a template that accepts as parameters an input amount, an input currency, and an output currency. The template should then return a properly formatted value in the output currency.
  2. Create a bot that runs daily to scrape the latest rates and then update the base exchange rate values in the template.
-- Ryan • (talk) • 21:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The template would need more flexibility to cover the various use cases in our guides, wouldn't it? Powers (talk) 00:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I was thinking something simple that might be only used once per country (i.e. the exchange rate of the pound vs other major currencies). At least that would be the initial goal, and not to try and convert all prices everywhere. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:00, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Good point. In that case, I would suggest something that looks like {{eatpricerange}} or {{climate}}. (I do note that our climate boxes often use {{forecastNOAA}} to link to an external weather forecast rather than embed it; is there a similar case to be made for linking versus embedding currency data?) Powers (talk) 15:35, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • That would be a good first step actually. It would be good to provide a quick 'one click' template that is easy to implement. I'll also have a look into making an experimental template with that.

Can't we just link to various sites that give the day to day conversion rate like WP does? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:22, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Currency symbols missing from listing editor[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just used the listing editor for the first time here and I was impressed - except that it only has a pick list of 4 currency symbolisations ( £ € ¥ ₩ ) and is missing ₹ ₪ Kč and  ! --Ttcf (talk) 00:24, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

It is not so much that some are missing, but that it is somewhat impractical to list all currency symbols currently used around the world.
Interesting to note that the Indian Rupee (₹) actually has different symbols depending on the local language - for example ರ in Kannada.
We could add a look up list I guess. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:16, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is odd, but not a difficulty for us because we're the English language version of Wikivoyage.
However, my apologies, since I now see after further research that I'm behind the times.
I see that despite no logical riposte to Seligne and Alice at Wikivoyage talk:Currency#Currency codes in text!? Srsly? the progressive policy to only use currency symbols for a few universally used and understood symbols was reverted. My error was to think that the three letter universally understood ISO symbolisations were to be used other than for the eight currency symbols I mentioned. I do now see the difficulty with including 50 odd glyphs in our listing editor and I apologise for raising the issue here. --Ttcf (talk) 01:29, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I haven't kept up to date with this website in a year, so am not sure what policies have changed, but just want to point out that when you are in the editing window, there are 27 currency symbols in the box at the bottom. Scroll down past the save page/show preview/etc buttons and the second line below the big, bold "Sign your name" line contains a bunch of currency symbols that can be clicked and added. I had edited the template a couple years ago to include all currency symbols that had a Unicode number at the time. I think the most recent addition then was the Armenian drahm symbol: ֏ AHeneen (talk) 04:02, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

Are there any plans to introduce proper currency handling? I'm thinking about something like {{price 23 EUR}}, which could be rendered properly marked up to allow some javascript to do automatic conversions to user selectable currencies: <span class="price">23 <span class="currency" data-currency="EUR">€</span></span>. Jlg23 (talk)

Automated currency conversion was discussed previously at Wikivoyage talk:Currency#Do we detail currency conversions against the US dollar?. My sense of things is that while it would be a nice-to-have feature, it introduces readability/complexity issues for those updating prices on the site, and it's not something that appears to be high on anyone's priority list. That said, if someone wanted to develop a proposal for rolling out such a feature, it wouldn't hurt to have more details of an actual implementation to discuss. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:27, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, the above is my proposal: Enter prices in currency local to the destination and have some unobtrusive javascript do the conversion on the client side if requested by the user. A quick search shows that there are various free feeds of exchange rates available and the javascript itself is trivial. From a user's perspective, this would be very helpful, since on a lot of pages people don't clearly mark which currency they refer to, sometimes even mixing dollar and local currencies on one page, and one has to guess (e.g. "a budget hotel in Argentina for $450/night? must be in ARS; the next listing for $50/night again must be in USD"). I'm willing to make this my priority and will hack some code tonight as a PoC. Jlg23 (talk)
Having a bot update currency tables on a daily basis and writing Javascript to do the conversions is fairly simple (as you've noted), and a POC would be helpful. However, the harder part would be figuring out whether to update prices in existing articles, how to do so, how to update articles going forward, and how to ensure that the implementation isn't confusing for most users. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:18, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I uploaded the PoC to one of my servers. Link and notes at User:Jlg23. Jlg23 (talk)
If and when this is implemented there should be an option to set a certain currency as one's preferred one in account settings and/or the offline app. Furthermore spurious significant figures in the converted amounts should be avoided, especially if the number given is an estimate (e.g. "A Döner costs around 3€"). Furthermore, it should be noted that in some countries (Nicaragua for one) there are sort of two parallel currencies. Some prices are more or less stable in Dollars (like most Hotels) whereas other prices are more or less stable in local currency (like bus tickets) and only make "jumps" rather infrequently (in 2012 there was a raise in bus prices that at the time had been the first since 2008). Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:25, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Guessing the editor's intention is not possible. Though one could have a default /view currency/ "as provided by editors" which just displays the values originally entered. I am trying to keep this as simple as possible to solve a problem that annoyed me in the last year permanently. I have been traveling from Dominican Republic to Curacao, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and am now on my way to Uruguay - juggling with local currencies, my own (EUR) and USD when it sometimes is not even obvious from an article which is meant is just serious mindf*ck. I'd rather pay "around US$3.27" for a Döner than compare prices for travel options in 3 different currencies ;) Jlg23 (talk)
USD is indeed the currency used for more expensive stuff in much of Latin America, I think much Africa, and in some extent even Russia. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:58, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I am not a fan of introducing more templates into our markup. Powers (talk) 01:24, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree with LtPowers. But we should make sure the rules are respected, maybe with a detection script feeding suspects to human checkers. Once most prices follow the rules, automatic conversion will be technically feasible. Prices embedded in prose (example: 3$ for adults and 1$ for kids) are parsable as well. Syced (talk) 07:23, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Then these rules should be extended. There are several places in the world where one can pay in various currencies. E.g. Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay: USD, Guarani, Argentinian Peso and Brazilian Real. Or in the triangle Tabatinga (BR), Leticia (CO) and Santa Rosa (PE) all three currencies can be used in most places (though rarely USD). People tend to mix these freely in articles, not breaking any of the rules by doing so. Jlg23 (talk)
I think that it is important that the original currency is retained with any conversion appearing alongside. This will help the reader to become familiar with the currency that they will be using when they arrive, and will make errors easier to spot. Also we may need to clarify all the different dollars that are used (US$, AU$, CAN$, HK$, NZ$ etc), to avoid confusing statements like "A hostel in Auckland costs $25 ($20) per night". AlasdairW (talk) 22:18, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


Given that there are some concerns about adding a lot of template syntax to existing prices, would it possibly be a good compromise solution to start out with a shared table of currency conversions that could eventually be added to the "Buy" section of country articles (example: CHF 1.00 = USD 1.05, EUR 0.92, GBP 0.68...)? This might be a useful POC for proving out a bot to keep currency tables up-to-date, the code to (potentially) show conversions in a preferred currency, and it could be done without introducing much new template code on the site. Does that seem reasonable to people? And if so, Jlg23, would that begin to address your concerns? -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:46, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

That seems like an excellent idea. It should be clear in the template that the rates are updated daily and it should probably be able to accommodate two 'source' currencies simultaneously. Powers (talk) 01:58, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
I guess I am grateful for anything that goes beyond waiting for editors to follow some rules that are neither enforced nor adequately phrased before doing anything that makes the life of readers easier. My approach to work on the markup itself does not even require a template, if parsing is preferred, as indicated above, this could also be done today. This might even make editors see the value of following the rules.... Jlg23 (talk)
I like that idea. Especially given that some articles (like Chile) already have (outdated) currency conversions in their buy section... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposal for new currency bot[edit]

Unfortunately, the discussion above in January stalled despite some great ideas being thrown around. I'd like to revive the idea for a currency bot, which would update the exchange rate for selected currencies each day. Initially, we could trial a template on country guides under the 'Buy' section which would list the exchange rates to same major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc) based on the bot's raw data. I have little knowledge of bots, so would another user be interested in pursuing this? Maybe the code at this link could be useful. James Atalk 01:54, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikidata issue for currency exchange rate in country summary box[edit]

Swept in from the pub

The current summary box on Hong Kong says "Currency: Hong Kong dollar (HKD) 1 HKD = 0.0000 Hong Kong"

The related Wikidata item d:Q8646 doesn't seem to hold exchange rate information. How can this be fixed? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:46, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Seems like the value is taken from the 'price' attribute of the wikidata element for the currency (and not the country). So in this instance we'd have to add a value to 'price' here: d:Q31015. Compare this with the Euro value in Germany which seems to come from here d:Q4916. I'd add it myself, but I'm not sure what kind of source would be acceptable. Drat70 (talk) 02:42, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Can't we just implement a quick fix to "suppress" this value (i.e. just make it not show) until we fix the underlying issue? Displaying some obvious software bug is worse than displaying nothing imho. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:15, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I managed to do that, it is now not showing the value any more (just the currency without the exchange rate). It seems to be working fine, but in case I broke something, you can revert my last edit here: Module:Quickbar Drat70 (talk) 05:08, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I think it's completely fixed now. I put in a line to check for zero values, so it will only show exchange rates which are not zero. Drat70 (talk) 05:17, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! It looks much better.
I'm wondering if we should be able to customize these more? For example, Hong Kong does a lot of commerce in both USD and Chinese RMB. South Korea uses USD and Japanese Yen extensively. Ireland with British pound and so forth. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:57, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm also wondering if it would be possible to suppress the ±0 that's appearing as the tolerance for a few values, such as mains voltage? K7L (talk) 07:28, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
It's already possible to use more than one currency, the script loops through all the currencies with values. You just have to add the exchange rate to the wikidata object for the currency. I've done it for Hong Kong as an example (See d:Q31015). However I am not sure how easy that would be to keep up to date, as exchange rates change over time. Drat70 (talk) 08:18, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

The problem still persists[edit]

Just now (non-mobile version) the Article for Chile shows the follwoing "Chilean peso (CLP) 1 CLP = 0.0015 Chile" Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:56, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

The value is now correct, but it should show USD instead of Chile. The reason this happens seems to be that some of the currencies define the unit as an own attribute (such as Chilean Peso: d:Q200050) whereas the module looks for an unit such as it is defined for US Dollars: d:Q4917 (Note that it says Euro after each price element whereas for the Peso USD is an attribute on its own). I don't how to fix this in the code especially since not all the currencies are defined consistently on wikidata. Going through all the currencies on wikidata manually and adding the units would work, but I don't think that's a good way of going about it. For now I deactivated the exchange rate display again. Drat70 (talk) 01:07, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

How to abbreviate e.g. the Nicaraguan Cordoba[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Now I am not exactly sure what our policy on that issue says, but User:Ground Zero has been quite busy in edits like this one to change all instances of "NIO" to "C$" and even changing some instances of the word "Cordoba" into "C$". I know common currencies like € or US$ are sufficiently abbreviated by their symbol, but what about a bit more obscure currencies or instances where more than one currency might be of relevance (e.g. Mexico where both the peso and the dollar are abbreviated by the Peso-symbol) Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:15, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Dunno. I see C$ and expect Canadian dollars. K7L (talk) 12:28, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
Our articles use a variety of ways to denote the same currency - NIO, C$, cordobas - often in the same article. I think that being consistent makes things easier for the reader, and make the guide look less, well, random. I am using the Wikivoyage:Currency policy as my guide, which says to use the most commonly recognizable symbol, and not to use the ISO code unless there is ambiguity. Before I start on a country, I check what Wikipedia says about its currency, and what its central bank uses. And I make sure that it is clear in the currency section of the main article for the country. Anyone unclear on what the symbols mean in new a local article will want to check the main article for an expansion of the currency and recent exchange rates, which I update for US$ and €.
For Nicaragua, C$ seems to be standard. I haven't been there, so I don't actually know, but I don't think it is ambiguous. Because prices are often shown in US$ in Central America, using C$ or US$ every time seems necessary. Often I'm finding that someone has listed a price in "$", which I think will be confusing. Where it is obvious based on the value of the transaction, I will choose a currency. (A hostel is not going to charge C$10/US$0.40 for a bed, so it is safe to assume that the editor meant US$10.) I don't need think many readers will be thinking of Canadian dollars when reading an article on a Nicaragua.
For Mexico, the central bank does not use Mex$ or M$ or Mx$; it always uses "pesos". I checked a few online newspapers in Spanish and English and found them also using "pesos". I was in Mexico a couple of years ago, but really don't remember what symbols are used.
I am also editing as I go along to remove obvious advertising, first-person narratives, typos, etc. If my approach to fixing the currencies could be better, I'd be happy to discuss. I know that WV:$ says "don't knock yourself or changing the currency symbols", but I'm sitting at home nursing a broken ankle, so I can't go out and do research on the road, where I really want to be. Ground Zero (talk) 13:52, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
No problem, but I seem to recall some other editor (frankly I have forgotten the name) who introduced a lot of "NIO" in the past. I am not sure, however, when it comes to some of your "shortenings" (for lack of a better term), but that may be because I tend towards (over)long sentences. For example, you tend to replace almost any instance of "as well as" with "and" as well as other things. I hope there won't be a conflict in the future about this. I am not married to my wordings (and often they frankly merit improvement), but I think it is more worthwhile to edit the text that is still largely the same as over on that site using Copyscape's comparison tool. At any rate, I hope your ankle heals soon and that you'll have a great 2017. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:51, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
Thinking about the currency issue some more, I think would be useful for the reader would be to provide some clarity about currency the first time it is used in each article and link to the currency section of the main country article, e.g., "C$5000 (córdobas)". I'll wait to see if anyone else has ideas on this, then start adding this to the main city articles. People probably don't start reading about a country with articles about small towns.
I do favour shorter, simpler sentences that are easier to read, especially for people reading in their second language. I would expect that Wikivoyage attracts a lot of non-native language readers. Best wishes to you for 2017, and I hope you find yourself some place you haven't be to yet. Ground Zero (talk) 15:16, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Mexican pesos[edit]

There have been a slew of recent edits to Mexican articles changing the peso notation from $ MXN to literally 'peso'; see this edit for example. While I agree that '$20 MXN' is rather awkward, I find that writing out 'pesos' in listings frankly does not read well at all, especially as in Mexico the price would always be listed as '$20', not as '20 pesos'. As some hotels and tour operators list their prices in $US instead of $MXN, the two currencies do indeed need to be distinguished, but I don't think that writing out 'pesos' is the way to go.

I thought I'd read somewhere here that Mexican prices should be listed using the first format, and this guideline is what I followed when I started editing Mexican articles. Now however I can't seem to find that anywhere – has this been discussed elsewhere, and could someone please point me to the appropriate page? –StellarD (talk) 23:06, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

The guidance on this page says to use "$100 in Latin America where the unit of currency is the peso", and if multiple currencies need to be disambiguated, use the shortest unambiguous form (the example given is USD). I don't think we use the form that would result in "$ MXN" anywhere. Powers (talk) 00:38, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
As generally there are a minority of establishments in Mexico that list their prices in dollars rather than pesos, and as the majority of establishments (as well as buses and taxis) use the Mexican peso, would it then make sense to use only the $ sign (without 'MXN' or 'peso'), and use USD only where specifically needed? This might create confusion however for some visitors in large resorts and along the northern border where many prices are commonly listed in USD, and indeed might be expected. If we use both USD and MXN notations in these articles but not in many others, this would create inconsistencies. –StellarD (talk) 08:37, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
WV articles use a wide rate of different notations, often within the same article, including: M$100, Mx$100, Mex$100, MXN$100, MXN100, $100 MXN, and 100 pesos. I do think we should adopt a standard to make our articles simpler and more consistent. A lot of articles do so show prices in US dollars, so we do need to distinguish between them. (I don't think we ever need to use "USD" as "US$" is clearer and more natural.)
Before I started making edits, I checked what its central bank uses. For Mexico, the central bank does not use Mex$ or $ MXN or Mx$; it always uses "pesos". I checked a few online newspapers in Spanish and English and found them also using "pesos", so I have been using that. For prices in Mexican currency, it is more awkward. Using the ISO code, MXN, just looks clunky to me, and travellers won't see that outside of banks and exchange bureaux. I think that "pesos" is is the simplest solution. I won't make further edits until a consensus is reached here. Ground Zero (talk) 14:00, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
I am an outsider here, never been to Mexico. To me, MXN is horribly clunky & should be rejected out-of-hand.
I do not see why anyone would object to, for example "100 pesos", simple & correct. In the Philippines that would usually be written "₱100", but I do not know if that would work for Mexico. My guess is no.
I think using "$" for pesos is quite problematic. We could disambiguate with US$ and M$, but that gets clunky rather quickly. Pashley (talk) 15:17, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
My whole point in raising this issue is that in Mexico prices are never written as '100 pesos', but as '$100'. In Europe prices are never written '100 euros' but rather '€100', just as in the Philippines, Japan, China, and elsewhere the currency is not spelled out. If one looks at a restaurant menu, or a range of prices at a car rental office, prices are always listed with '$'. Especially in the listing format I find 'pesos' just as jarring as I would find 'dollars' or 'euros'. Personally I'd prefer US$ and M$; yes it's a bit awkward, but more inline with what a visitor would actually read on a sign or website. –StellarD (talk) 15:33, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
Pashley, disambiguation will always be necessary. Even if we use "pesos" for Mexican currency, "$" will be ambiguous because it is used is Mexico for pesos. (₱ is never used.) StellarD's compromise of "M$" for pesos might be the simplest, clearest approach. I could live with that instead of "$ MXN" Ground Zero (talk) 15:44, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
Well in Germany at least prices are never listed as "€100" but rather as 100€ and maybe 100,- in some cases. Also, the peso sign should be avoided where ambiguity cannot be discarded, imho. In Nicaragua for instance "$" always means USD even though the local currency is sometimes referred to as pesos or varas - it is only ever abbreviated by "C$", which is also distinct from neighboring Costa Rica's ₡ Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:43, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
It may be understood by Nicaraguans that "$" means US$, but will it be understood by our readers? The "$" sign is used to mean other things in a lot of places, like pesos in nearby Mexico and Belizean dollars, let alone Cdn, Aus, NZ dollars and Portuguese escudos. Since US dollars are not the currency of Nicaragua, the clarification helps our readers. Ground Zero (talk) 16:58, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
I think in cases where any given symbol is unambiguous and locally used it should be mentioned at most once in the article and then used. Maybe we don't even need to repeat it in every Granada (Nicaragua) when we already mention it in Nicaragua#Buy. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:10, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Hobbitschuster, I don't follow your point above. The Granada article shows prices in both C$ and US$. If a price appears only with "$", how are readers to know which currency is meant? Ground Zero (talk) 14:09, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Given that one is thirty times the other and that a reader is likely to have read the Nicaragua article as well, I deem the potential for confusion small. All the more so as the Nicaraguan currency is not called "peso" or "dollar" so the dollar sign on its own is an unlikely abbreviation. Now if there were some need to mention Canadian Dollars, I can see some potential for confusion there. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:01, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm being dense, so I apologize. What is your recommendation for denoting córdobas in Nicaraguan articles if the "$" means US dollars? Ground Zero (talk) 16:07, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
If a symbol is used, locals invariably use "C$" Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:48, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
We may have to agree to disagree. I do not see how using "$" and "C$" to mean different things in the same article won't be confusing for our readers. I think that "US$" is clear, and does not add undue complexity. Ground Zero (talk) 03:58, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I believe current policy calls for "USD" rather than "US$". Powers (talk) 00:50, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
I was looking at WV:$, which says "The three letter ISO 4217 currency codes, like "PHP" for the peso or "USD" for the US dollar, should always be mentioned since travellers may need them for doing funds transfers or for checking exchange rates online. In general they should not be used either in listings or in text, but exceptions can be made as needed to avoid ambiguity." If we use the commonplace notation "US$", which will be easily understood, then we don't need to use the ISO code "USD", which is pretty techie. Is there a policy I've overlooked? I'm also wondering what advantage there is to USD over US$. Ground Zero (talk) 01:25, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
"If the country or article uses multiple currencies, including foreign ones, use the shortest unambiguous form for each. For US dollars, this is USD. For euros, it's ." Powers (talk) 03:33, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I had overlooked that. I still don't see how the ISO code is preferable to the commonly recognized symbol. Should I propose a change? Sometimes I feel that as a newbie I am trying to shake things up too much, but on the other hand, that can be the best role for a newbie to play. Ground Zero (talk) 03:44, 9 January 2017 (UTC)