Wikivoyage talk:Foreign words

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is about common nouns (kung fu, tuk tuk). Project:foreign-language names is about proper nouns (Geneva, Eiffel Tower, Mao Tse Tung). This page was abbreviated into that other page, I believe erroneously. I've reverted the change, and added See also sections instead. --(WT-en) Evan 11:17, 25 Jan 2005 (EST)

What, pray tell, is the point of maintaining such a hair-splitting distinction, and on two separate pages to boot? The layout being proposed is effectively identical. (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:45, 25 Jan 2005 (EST)
No, it's not. The first section is about whether or not to use italics for foreign-language words in regular prose. However, I moved the contents of Project:foreign-language names to Project:foreign words#proper names, on the principle that a name is a kind of word, so it makes sense to have the names stuff be part of the words page. --(WT-en) Evan 18:45, 25 Jan 2005 (EST)

Throughout the Wikis, Asian Characters are not italic-ed (technically possible, but Chinese cannot be written italic). Should be said somehow.

Somewhat on this note, words using non-latin alphabets really should not ever be italicized. Italicizing "foreign" alphabets can really impede intelligibility (e.g., italicized Russian letters are in some cases totally different from their non-italicized counterparts. This issue has been beaten into the ground on Wikipedia, and they ultimately decided to completely avoid italics in non-latin alphabets. --(WT-en) Peterfitzgerald Talk 00:54, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Local place names[edit]

Which order is preferred with regards to local place names: local name first and English translation after that, e.g. "Kauppatori (Market Square) is a favorite of tourists", or vice versa? Also, sticking to that order, should the translation/local name be mentioned after each instance of the word in different sections of the article? I'm trying to streamline and unify the article about Helsinki and I'm not sure which way to go. (WT-en) Jopo 12:47, 17 August 2006 (EDT)

I think the consensus was either way is fine but it should be consistent within an article. That said, I think I prefer "Local word (Translation), since the local word is what travellers will be using/looking for... (WT-en) Maj 13:46, 17 August 2006 (EDT)

Pronunciation Help[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I want to verify that edits like this [1] are counterproductive, correct? I've noticed User:Fabimaru has recently been adding them to various Japan articles, changing place names to add the diacritics for pronunciation purposes. In most cases it seems inappropriate, but I'd like to double check before reverting. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note that I did not change the name of any existing page, I only changed the display name. The only drawback I see is that it makes it harder to search a name on the page using the browser (not everyone can easily type such characters). But the reason why I did is that it allows to know the right way to pronounce it. For me it's like not having accents on French names, it leads to ambiguity. It may contribute to be understood when in Japan. From my experience, if you have both the wrong pronunciation and a strong foreigner accent it does not help. Also, Wikipedia (English and French) use the diacritics (excepted for the major cities like Tokyo or Osaka I think), so there would be some consistency between the two projects. But if my view is not shared, no problem, I can stop such modifications and rollback the previous ones. Maybe it should be clarified in the help pages (to be honest I did not check). - Fabimaru (talk) 18:35, 30 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting question. For example, under North Korean romanisation rules, the capital city is P'yŏngyang (with diacritics) whereas is it typically spelt just as Pyongyang by everyone else, including Wikipedia . --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:22, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Fabimaru that it is important to convey pronunciation for places that don't have a standard common print form in English. That either needs to be with lines over long vowel (more common) or doubling vowels (less common), preferably the first. Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto have a standard way, but most other places don't so the diacritic should be used, else ambiguity is introduced. This is how we've done it for other countries like Vietnam, Portugal, etc... Texugo (talk) 01:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kyotanabe, Kyotango, etc. all have established English names, and I don't see why we would allow diacritics in city links when the cities themselves don't use them. The 'ambiguity' is here is all self-created with our own inconsistencies. I live in Japan, so I can see the names that are used and these cities are never written in diacritics on anything official, travel brochures, (anyplace). Ignorant Wikipedians who are unfamiliar with the area probably created those pages (neither wiki article contains much info), but they don't need them. Incidentally, I've read diacritic arguments on WP and conversations I've read have a strong pro-diacritic brigade that tend to bully those with differing opinions. I tend not to use WP as a reference on this for that reason. When I do an English search, Wikipedia is the ONLY source that uses the diacritics which suggests that a name has been established and Wikipedia is actually the outlier. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmmmm.. I dunno, I lived in Japan for many years as well, and I think the long vowel symbol is pretty common on train stations signs and the like since as you know there is a difference in pronunciation between きょう and きょ or おお and お. I'm not familiar with either of the places you mentioned, which is exactly why I'd like to know if there are long vowels. And regardless of how the local folks there might write it in English, I don't think they are well-known enough or widely written about enough outside the local area to have the same "established spelling" that Tokyo or Hanoi or what have you. Texugo (talk) 16:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my experience we've used diacritics when the original name is written in Latin characters (e.g. Västerås) and just in 99% of those cases (e.g. Zurich is written without the trema). When it's a romanized name like Pyongyang we haven't used them. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a valid point, and admittedly, we generally haven't used the diacritic for Japanese locations so far. I just think maybe we should, because unlike the tonal languages like Thai or Mandarin, the full pronunciation info for Japanese can be conveyed if we just allow this one fairly intuitive symbol that most of us know from grammar school. Texugo (talk) 17:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I approve of any kind of standard diacritics and the like, whenever there is no well-known and accepted standard English name for a place. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
or for these well-known English name, just once in its main article (just like there is the kanji name) - Fabimaru (talk) 21:06, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can see the names that are used and these cities are never written in diacritics on anything official, travel brochures: I just checked (Google image search), the names on the JR platforms use the diacritics at least for Tokyo and Shin-Osaka (edit: so, not never, maybe often). - Fabimaru (talk) 21:06, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The pronunciation help is good, but it should be separate from the place name, unless the real place name does include the diacritics. Västerås is Västerås, no one in Sweden would write it in any other way and I suppose there is no common English spelling differing from the Swedish one. In cases where diacritics are not part of the name, but a pronunciation aid for non-locals, we should be very clear about what the real name is. I also think it is problematic when links to a destination are written in a way that cannot be cut and pasted and used in the web address (as in the above cited case: Kyōtanabe is a redlink; genitives etc. are a different matter as they are obvious). --LPfi (talk) 09:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Totally agreed, and the crucial point is your first sentence: The diacritics have to be in the official name. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In addition to the above reasons, the diacritic-included pronunciation is actually in the article beside the Japanese-language name. Take a look: Kyotanabe. So there is in fact, already no confusion in pronunciation to anyone who actually wants to know. Why don't we just establish this as a rule? Then we don't have to have diacritic discussions of this nature anymore. The pronunciation will be there while the actual city name can remain normal. Links from other articles don't need the diacritics in this case either, because if someone really cares, they should click the article. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My opinion is that (1) using the diacritic is the most correct way to represent the name (2) people should care, and if we only put it in the main page then people will read (and then pronounce later) the name incorrectly. Also, I think that the diacritics should be used also for the points of interest (ex: temples…; with the same argument: avoid confusion when talking with locals, either in English or in a few words of the local language). Then in this case there would be a inconsistency between the norm used for the pages and the PoI. - Fabimaru (talk) 17:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure that I agree with your claim that "using the diacritic is the most correct way to represent the name". My inclination is to assume that the most correct way to represent the name is however the official publications (like the city's website, if it has an English-language section) do it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it is true that the macron is not the only way to accurately convey long vowel pronunciation information — there are other systems which convey the same information by doubling letters, etc. The macron is part of the Hepburn system, the most common system and one widely considered to be the best and most intuitive for English speakers, which figures into the JR railway standard and various official government ministry publications, etc. The second and third main systems do basically the same thing but with a circumflex instead of a macron. Some other systems use "oh" for a long O, etc. I think the point is that in terms of "correctness", as measured by the degree of certainty someone can have of pronouncing the place correctly without additional explanation, the current non-standard romanization at use in our Japanese article titles comes way down the list behind all those other systems, making no distinction between short and long vowels at all, meaning that common placename components like big (大, long o) and small (小, short o) get oddly represented as identical, and potentially introducing ambiguity. I personally don't think adopting an occasional single diacritic is such a huge sacrifice to gain the advantage of having names fully pronounceable. I think the very easiest and clearest way would be to follow the Hepburn system, for which we can easily use the WP titles as a model. I don't know or care who the diacritic enthusiasts of WP are, but in the case of Japanese placenames, the result is that they are spelled consistently and clearly, and I don't know why we'd prefer not to have such consistent and clear spelling.
At the very very least, we should be consistent. The only thing I can thank of that would be worse than our current unstandardized quasi-Anglicized system is the notion that we should attempt to follow whatever the local town governments have put on their websites. Those do not necessarily represent some consciously chosen spelling system proclaimed to be the correct one for their little town. A more likely scenario is that an underpaid city employee who speaks little English wrote some copy, sent it to a translation agency or the local gaijin English teacher, and then submitted it to their boss who also speaks little English, and it just gets assumed that whatever transliteration system the translator chose to use "must be correct because it came from a native English speaker after all". Or maybe they are simply written by someone unaware of the rules of existing romanization systems, or they don't know how to type the macron, or they opt not to type it just because the macron can't be used in the URL of their site and they want it to match, or any number of other reasons which don't necessarily imply that some "official" spelling has been declared. Trying to follow whatever they come up with for dozens and dozens of small town websites will just leave us with a completely heterogenous mix of systems, where we have random variation such as using "O" for the 大 in Oita and Ogawa but inexplicably changing to "Oh" for the exact same 大 in Oda and Otawara.
We should at least choose one romanization system and stick to it. I'd still say there isn't any good reason for us not to choose the same system adopted on both Wikipedia and JR railroad signs. Texugo (talk) 22:46, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Indent) I think the usefulness of the diacritics here is quite exaggerated. To be frank, the diacritics don't/won't help most foreigners. Most of them elongate the "o" sound naturally, so it's not a problem and they can't even hear the difference when they are told. And saying Kyotanabe vs Kyōtanabe is going to cause confusion is laughable. The foreign accent and non-Japanese appearance of the speaker are going to be what make you "hard to understand", not a lack of vowel extension. I tend to be against diacritics unless there really is no viable option, which is not the case here. Our article titles should not be thought of as pronunciation guides. We should just be giving the names, not "representing" the names. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For sure if you reduce all the cases to Kyotanabe out of any context, yes it is laughable. What I am talking about is the pronunciation inside a conversation. It happened to me many times that I had to ask my interlocutor to repeat the names of French cities they were talkin about (French is my native language), and we both had decent skill in English. It also happened to me in Italian (even if French and Italian are supposed to be similar; I did not used the long vowels as it's supposed to be done in Italian). Or maybe it's just me who is bad :-) - Fabimaru (talk) 20:09, 2 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not denying that it happens. Of course it happens a lot. English speakers don't even pronounce Paris correctly by French standards, but we didn't name the article Pah-ree or paʁi. We just call it Paris and leave it at that. If we want the proper pronunciation, I think it should go at the article lead but not replace the city's name. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:18, 3 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would be glad if we could go forward with a consensus, because I don't want to submit any other name modification if I know that it may be reverted (you know, it takes time). What should we do? Wait for more feedback? Vote? I searched a bit more (it is as funny as reading the terms&conditions of an service :-( ), and in the recommmandation page concerning the Japanese names, it is asked not to use macrons in the page title. It has been added by Jpatokal in this WikiTravel modification in 2006. What puzzles me is that it is not exactly in line with the Wikipedia policy, which recommends using the name commonly used in English (if any exists, and it is not obvious to determine which one) and add redirections when macrons are used. My proposal is to use the same names (for page titles and other names such as those of temples, gardens and people) than in Wikipedia. I cannot see how the two projects could reach different conclusion for a name with the same rules. - Fabimaru (talk) 08:06, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Different projects, different contributors, different goals. Wikipedia has a lot of editors who value accuracy above all else, including accessibility. Wikivoyage places more emphasis on the latter than Wikipedia does. Powers (talk) 13:38, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we can be different if we choose, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't weigh the advantages and disadvantages. And in this case, I strongly agree with Fabimaru. Given that, as we do for other languages, we can use redirects to ensure people don't have to type the macron to reach the very small number of destination articles that the diacritic would affect, I am completely failing to see an accessibility issue or any other consideration that could possibly outweigh the various advantages of:
  • showing placenames the way the traveller is most likely to see them on highway signs and at train stations;
  • having a consistent naming system across all Japan articles, which avoids introducing arbitrary transcription differences like those I mentioned above;
  • removing ambiguity in pronunciation; and
  • never having to discuss case by case what the best spelling would be for a given destination.
Where are the comparable advantages of the current way? How does insisting on an inconsistent, arbitrary non-system we made up serve the traveller better than the most widely-used and recognized form of transcription that we ourselves use on the phrasebook page? Texugo (talk) 14:49, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Actually, the version you are supporting is much more arbitrary and inconsistent than simply NOT using the diacritics, AND your way would in fact welcome discussions on any city that someone feels shouldn't use them, so your only argument is pronunciation aid, which I already addressed above. If we say "no diacritics", then we just write the names as they are (correctly). If we say "Okay" to diacritics, then we open every city to the "fame" discussion just like other places. We have to ask ourselves, "Is the non-diacritic name more famous and widely used?" and if someone says "no", it can always be questioned.
I already addressed the pronunciation argument, but I'll say it again; we don't and should not be using our article names as pronunciation guides. They're city names. If the name is difficult to pronounce for English-speakers or is pronounced in a way that is not obvious to English-speakers, let's put it in the article rather than messing around with the city names. It's a much simpler solution and can be applied to every city across the world. If we start doing it in all of our articles, users will also start to notice and be able to reference it.
I beg to differ that diacritics are "the most widely-used and recognized form of transcription" of the city names. That's not at all true. Kyotanabe doesn't [2]. Osaka doesn't [3] [4]. I never understand why people think Japan is such a "special" case when it's not. I notice the Wikipedia articles don't use pinyin for Chinese names. We don't either, because we don't name our articles to be pronunciation guides; we just write the names. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:22, 7 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is just purely wrong. Hepburn romanization wouldn't exist as the most popular transcription system if it were arbitrary and inconsistent. It simply isn't. It is beyond ridiculous to insist that Hepburn, the number one way to write anything in Japanese in the western alphabet, is inferior with regard to pronunciation or in any other sense to our idiosyncratic, made-up non-system of maybe-Hepburn-but-disregarding-the-macron-except-sometimes-when-we-feel-like-putting-an-'h'-or-a-'u'-in-there-instead, depending on whether the website creator happened to subscribe to a third-rate non-standard transcription system. And if our decision is to follow WP spelling, as Fabimaru and I have advocated, there would be no reason for us to have any separate argument about spelling anyway, but even if we didn't follow WP — to the extent that it affects travel, with the exceptions of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido, there are no destinations that both contain the long O sound and are famous enough to have any standardized spelling the layman who hasn't been to Japan would be used to seeing in print. As the spelling system used officially by both the highway system and the rail system, Hepburn is very easily the "most widely-used and recognized for of transcription", and easily the system the traveler will be most likely to encounter on the ground in transit. Anyway, for you to say "we should just be giving the names, not 'representing' the names" makes very little sense. Any time you write a Japanese place name, you are choosing a way to represent it. And while we are choosing a way to represent Japanese placenames, there is absolutely no convincing reason why choosing to vaguely approximate but not actually follow any actual system would be better than choosing the most popular established system used by all the major forms of transport that the traveller is most likely to use. Texugo (talk) 20:46, 7 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's also pretty hard to claim Kyotanabe doesn't use it. Texugo (talk) 22:34, 7 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To be fair, highway signs seems to always dismiss any mention of long vowels. But it was not my argument for using the macron (allows knowing the pronunciation without changing page, and having consistent usage of macrons for all the place names including points of interest) - Fabimaru (talk) 18:42, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't need an irrelevant link to something that was already stated (or even linked?) above. Yours is of the JR station. My link was of the actual city and what the city calls itself (aka: relevent). Nice try though.

Your arguments about the Hepburn system are moot. The Hepburn system was designed for translating WORDS. We're talking about cities that already have English names. We don't have to translate anything. Also, you are using the modified version, not the original Hepburn system, which never used diacritics for elongated vowel sounds. And the Hepburn system is once again no more "special" than pinyin, which once again, we don't use. Of course based on how pro-diacritic people seem to be, it may just be a matter of time before China is targeted...

In response to your comments about Oda vs Ohda, Google produces many more results for Oda than Ohda (with Shimane), so I think it's safe to continue using it without being hypocrites. Whether you like it or not, these cities HAVE English names, so changing them to a phonetic representation is not better. I don't see how using their English names is NOT a convincing argument? I LIVED around Kyotanabe, and nothing in the city about the city in English uses diacritics. That's enough for me to say let's leave it alone. Adding diacritics would be the arbitrary thing to do. The diacritics REALLY aren't important for a traveler. Even those train station names are better known without them because Hyperdia doesn't use diacrtics.

Do you have a response for what's so wrong about just writing the pronunciation beside the name in the article lead? It seems like a win-win to me. The city name doesn't have to be changed and the pronunciation is there for people who are really concerned about being exact. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The city name doesn't have to be changed: I can take care changing the names. So I (or any other person) do it, what is wrong with my approach? It's a win-win, those who are not concerned by the diacritics are still able to read it, and the other have the pronunciation information anywhere. - Fabimaru (talk) 18:42, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would appreciate if we have more opinions from other people, because the discussion is going round in circles. - Fabimaru (talk) 18:42, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would too but, I must say that I have just heard two claims that I feel are blatantly untrue and wholly unsupportable: the notion that Hepburn is only "for words and not for names" is completely ridiculous and I have no idea where you pulled that out of. Hepburn was designed to transcribe anything in Japanese, and placenames are constructed out of hiragana and katakana and kanji just like anything else in Japanese. Similarly, any claim that "Japanese towns all have an established name in English" is completely and utterly and laughably unfounded. I've already explained why above. Just because somebody, very likely not even a Japanese person from the given town, translated a website either using or not using a diacritic cannot in any way be interpreted as a statement on the part of the city that "this is our official name we consider to the the correct way to write our city name in English".
You have tried (unsuccessfully I think) to deconstruct the advantages that Fabimaru and I have given for adopting the most popular common transcription system, and you have tried to downplay the disadvantages we've pointed out in the current idiosyncratic approach, of insufficient pronunciation, introduction of ambiguity, inconsistency, and divergent transcriptions of things that are identical in Japanese. But what advantage are you offering?? What are you defending, and why? A system where instead of following a standard, we go case-by-case following whatever arbitrary decision was made by the person who did the translation of the website, regardless of which transcription system they happen to subscribe to, if any at all, and/or the evidence of Google searches made unreliable by the fact that Google searches ignore the macron, all because we want to... what? Where is the comparative advantage of the current bias against the macron? You are denying a system with more consistency, fuller pronunciation, and less ambiguity in favor of what, exactly? Even if I was inclined to concede all the points you just tried to make and pretend the current system has none of the disadvantages already pointed out, I would still see absolutely no convincing reason not to go ahead and use Hepburn. Texugo (talk) 22:13, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your claim that Wikivoyage discovered all these Japanese cities and therefore needs to name them is ridiculous. I've already shown that these places do in fact already have names. Kyotanabe has a name, and it doesn't include diacritics. You can whine about it all you want but that doesn't change the facts (nor does stating that what has already been supported is "wholly unsupportable"). This isn't about the Hepburn system; we didn't discover these places and I guess neither did Hepburn. They don't need special Wikinames. I'm not sure how you can even propose that looking at how a place name is written is not a viable way to see how it is written. If the city hall and all references to and promotions of the city that don't copy and paste from Wikipedia write it the same way, you say NONE of it can be trusted, simply because it's not written your way.
Please don't put words in my mouth. Nowhere above did I deny that the diacritics could not be useful for pronunciation. In fact, the suggestion I've made a few times, which you continue to ignore in favor of irrelevant Hepburn rants, is that we should give the cities their names and put the pronunciation in the lead beside the name. I'm not downplaying the advantages of the macron. The advantages are truly minute here. You're talking about adding a symbol to tell people to elongate an "o" that most foreigners already elongate, so who cares? The example above of when the diacritics are useful wasn't even a Japanese case.
The problem is, you are talking about the "advantages" of renaming cities, and while you have ("unsuccessfully I think" to quote you) tried to twist and refute my argument, my argument is that these places have been named. Since they've been named, we need not debate; we can just write the names. You talk about all these "difficult situations" that exist, yet no one has ever refuted any of the Japanese city name spellings. Why? Because they're established, and we all know it.
The anti-diacritic and pro-English stance of naming destinations is a Wikivoyage rule of naming, so the fact that you think it's stupid doesn't matter.
To recap the points that I'm making: We don't need to name named places (As I've said, I know Kyotanabe extremely well and the names we use have never been controversial, because everyone knows them), diacritics are to be avoided whenever there are English names (which there are), AND I'll reiterate my idea to write the names as they've been named but put the pronunciation with the name in the lede, which would be a win-win and could be applied across all non-English city names. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Youour argument hinges on the claim that there is already a single official way to write every town name in English. Your chosen example was Kyotanabe, and I have already shown that even in that case there are at least two different orthographies the tourist will likely encounter. That means that no, in fact, there is no single English name for it. There are only competing transcription systems, at least three of them, and trying to determine in each case which to follow is silly because it presents no advantage. It would be prudent to choose one and be consistent. Texugo (talk) 13:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My argument doesn't hinge on that at all. If it did, you could have just pointed to Wikipedia's arbitrary names as "proof". Also, your "proof" is a JR Station, which is named by JR West and has no connection to the city itself or how it writes its own name, so you have no proof. Do you want to name every city based on its station name? Above you said that station names were inconsistent and not credible, so have you changed your mind, or are they only credible when they say what you want them to say?
There need not be a "single" way to write a name in order for it to have an established name. We've dealt with many cities where there are slight variances in spite of having one established and common one, and I think you know that. Why do keep saying we will have to "try and figure out which case to follow" when the names are already clear? You keep talking about consistency, but we're already quite consistent; we've named the cities according to... their names. And saying "no diacritics" does in fact create consistency.

In doing a search in Japanese (in hopes of being fair) I could only find non-diacritic namings: Kyotanabe is Kyotanabe [5] [6] [7] [8] [] Soja is Soja [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] I tried to find them written with macrons, and they didn't exist. The only inconsistency that I could find on an official page was that Kyotanabe's Chamber of Commerce website forgot the "e" at the end of the name [14], but we all know it should have the "e" so there is no controversy. Using the diacritics would be just as I said, a special Wikiname that does not reflect reality. That's why I will once again suggest naming the cities without the diacritics and then writing a pronunciation aid beside the city name at the beginning of the article. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:46, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I cannot fathom how it is so easy for you to dismiss the evidence to the contrary. Again, the reality in the ground is the the diacritic is, quite indisputably, used as well. Even if we limit discussion to only your example, the very first thing the very vast majority of visitors will see is a sign using the diacritics. I already posted that pic above and you somehow tried to dismiss it. And that being the case, it's simply not possible to claim that I'm advocating some "made-up wiki name". There are, as I stated, multiple transcriptions in use, on the ground, in reality. It would be far easier to pick one than to go case by case relying on difficult google searches to trying to determine which transcription to use and end up with a collection a Japanese articles which are not titled consistently according to any single established system. If there is any "made-up wiki system" here, it might be the current one that eschews existing standardized spelling systems in favor of a "go with whatever flow you can discern from google but avoid macrons at all costs" approach. Texugo (talk) 16:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reason you cannot fathom it seems to be that you aren't reading what I wrote, because I've addressed your ONE example above. Do you even remember your own example? It's the JR station to refresh your memory. Please reread my last comment. It has been addressed. I've addressed all of your comments while you continue to state that I am "ignoring" them. It's getting old.
My examples are "on the ground", relevant to travelers, and plentiful, while you are clinging to ONE station name that not only I addressed but YOU yourself called unreliable. Your ONLY source in unreliable by your own admission and , to repeat myself again, a single example does not show that it's an established name. Mine are all reliable sources. That is fact. Your assertion that your way of writing is all over cannot be taken seriously since you have no proof aside from a station name that we've both refuted. How does my proof hold less weight than your word? You don't even know the city. I've both provided evidence AND know that area yet you pretend you know what it's like "on the ground level". Clearly you don't.
And once again, you talk about all these Google searches, "difficulties", and pandemonium without an "established system". Sorry, but there aren't any difficulties and the naming system is well-established and really simple; use the city's name. No one is confused about the naming conventions except you apparently. You are the only one who seems to require Google. The rest of Wikivoyage has been naming these cities without controversy for a long time. Where are the confused masses you pretend exist? At this point, your argument seems to have boiled down to unproven blanket statements, false claims that I've not addressed what you've said, and claims about naming confusions that have never and still don't exist. You've ceased responding to the information I've given you and continue to reiterate things that I've addressed multiple times. I've even proposed a solution that includes the pronunciation guide 5 times. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 18:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am really sorry. I hope we can reduce the level of emotion we seem to be investing in this. Maybe you didn't mean certain claims the way I took them, and I certainly didn't mean some things the way you seem to have taken them.
We are just looking at this from different perspectives and talking past each other.
What I see is 京田辺. I see 大田. I see 安城. And lots of other placename with various sounds. And for each, regardless of who writes it or where, there is one way to write it in Japanese, and multiple ways to write it using the alphabet which are being used on the ground. You are surely aware that the long O sound can be written with a macron, with an oh, with an ou, or with o with nothing signifying its length. The づ sound can be written as du or dzu or zu. The しゅう sound can be written as shu or shuu or syu or syuu or shū or syū. If you gave any placename containing any of these sounds to 20 Japanese people and told them to write them down in English, you'd definitely get a range of spellings. So, if you are claiming that all Japanese places already "have a name in English" that we should use, what I do not understand is: how do we know which of the possible spellings that supposedly established name is? Where do we find this "established name" you speak of? What is our source? The only possible answers I have seen implied are
a) we look at the town's website - If this is our answer, I wonder what you suggest when a place doesn't have a website, or has no English on its website, or uses machine translation on its website, or contains internal inconsistency on its website. Do we assume the website reflects some "official sanctioned" spelling even if the name is written nowhere except in the url or the copyright notice? Do we take the official town website spelling even if local tourism infrastructure tends to use a different spelling? If a town website does use a diacritic, do we use it too?
b) we look at Google results - In this case, it is rather difficult to get a clear answer on the most common placename orthography because place names coincide with business names and personal names, because Google ignores diacritics in searches, etc.
Ok so then, if that question is satisfactorily answered, the next thing I don't understand is: why is that better than following a standard orthography that always writes the same sounds in the same way? Given that we know people will see the placenames spelled different ways in different places no matter which spelling we choose, how is matching city hall websites or whatever case by case more advantageous than spelling things consistently and unambiguously using a recognized common system? Since most Japanese placenames are pretty unknown to westerners, and since there are multiple spellings of many of them to be found out there anyway, when I weigh the existing system against the advantages of following an established orthography system (still very minimal diacritics - just one, improved pronunciation information conveyance, using the same spellings to write the same sounds/kanji, simple check of WP instead of digging up city hall site/google search, etc), then I still wonder: Why are you so vigorously defending the current system versus those advantages? It must have some bigger advantages that outweigh them, right? That is what I do not see. Texugo (talk) 23:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The way I look at is that 99.99% of the cases, we would not need to consult sources. The names simply are. Do we really need sources for Kyoto? Kochi? Oita? I don't think so. Perhaps some of my views of the "obvious" are because I'm talking about places I've been and often visit, so I have seen more than even an internet search will allow. If however, someone DOES questions a name, such as Kyotanabe, then we can of course do a search and provide proof of our assertion. In Kyotanabe's case there are not only official websites from the city and tourism bureau, but also the university, which is known throughout the nation, spelling it with no diacritics, no "oo", and no "oh", so there is plenty to show as proof of its established name. I did the same with Soja above.
Modern naming conventions have almost completely dropped the "oo" and "oh" from usage, so they will generally not be an issue.
The only major case of the "oh" still being used in English that I am aware of is that of Minoh (Minō). Even Wikipedia uses Minoh [15] instead of Minō without anybody questioning it (and we probably should, too. Our way, Mino, with or without the diacritic is less common than Minoh or Minoo, but Minoh is really the dominant name). You pointed out the city hall website of Oda city using Ohda. Most sources in English use Oda, though. If however, you or someone else were to say that Ohda is the name, it could be discussed and considered. If we need sources, we should never use just one to determine the name anyway, regardless of what country the city is in. Google actually corrects the name if you type "Ohda Shimane" which is another indicator that just Oda should be used. But cases that may lead to discussions are very rare.
I would much prefer to review controversial names than to choose a single naming convention for an entire country without regard for how the name has actually been transcribed. It would seem to be against our goals to establish such a system and it would not be to the benefit of the traveler. In the Minoh example, to say that Minoh and Minoo have both been cited and therefore we will use Minō follows no sense of logic and is no help to the traveler. If the discrepancy is between "oh" and "oo", then we should discuss it and the result should be one of those, not something completely different. Pronunciation guides are useful, though, and do have a place, but it should not supersede all other naming rules. That's why I still think it best to write the names as they are written in English (with discussion if "the way it is written" is truly unclear). I think requiring a pronunciation guide in the article lead would be a great improvement to Wikivoyage for all cities with non-English name origins, but I'd keep them out of the article names themselves for the reasons I've stated above. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I don't have anything else to add really, and maybe you don't either. Summing up, I still see a plurality of orthographies that anyone writing about a given place has to choose between, and the fact that a city hall has had to pick one for their own writings does not to my mind imply that their choice therefore constitutes an "established" name in English. And since I think there is at least reasonable doubt in my mind as to whether there are universally "established" names in English, it is very hard for me to see what advantage an unstandardized selection of dubitably "established" spellings has over a clear and consistent and fully pronounceable orthography system recognized as the most widely-used romanization and adopted by various government agencies including the national rail system that is by far the most common choice of travellers. I have tried my best to explain and support my position above, as have you, and neither of us has managed to convince the other. Now I'm pretty tired of this conversation. Maybe we should hear from some other users who are less familiar with Japan and Japanese. Texugo (talk) 23:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suppose we have both stated our arguments. I just don't see why we would/should establish a naming convention for one country that supersedes our established naming convention rules makes sense or is necessary, particularly when it is a country where names have been transcribed already in a variety of English materials. To me, it seems we should always at least try to take into consideration how a city's name has already been written in English (as I tried to show with Mino, our current name and the proposed naming conventions completely ignore that the name is most commonly written as "Minoh").
On the note of attracting other user comments, I think we may have confused or scared others away (lol). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm a bit late here, but this discussion really belongs on Wikivoyage talk:Romanization. Nonetheless, I'll summarize my view, which is essentially unchanged since 2006: for non-Latin scripts in general and Japanese in particular, use of diacritics is essential in pronunciation guides, but adds little to negative value in article titles due to the broken link problem. I don't care deeply either way about using macrons in link titles, but it seems a bit pointless.

Also, Hepburn is *the* standard for romanizing Japanese and any alternative spellings should be nuked from orbit. Wikipedia's "use the most common name" policy is a snakepit of endless, pointless festering disputes (I think you'll agree that the discussion above proves this point rather handily); we have the luxury of being able to dictate our own polocy, and "use Hepburn, no macrons" has worked pretty darn well for Japanese place names to date. Jpatokal (talk) 11:58, 28 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That page says "Indicate long vowels with macrons, except in article titles" which is not quite the same as "use Hepburn, no macrons". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I edited this policy[edit]

See here for what I added. I hope this is okay. If not, please discuss. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:27, 17 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Templates for foreign words[edit]

Swept in from the pub

One thing that's always surprised me is that WV has no markup or templates for foreign words. Per wv:Foreign words words in Roman letters (or romanizations) should be written in italics, but that's it. No HTML markup, no templates.

Compare this to WP, which has templates for everything. In particular, w:Template:Nihongo and the reversed w:Template:Nihongo3 are widely used, and closely match what how foreign words are presented on WV.

Why is this important? Well, aside from enforcing consistency in the order of words and formatting them in italics, the templates wrap text with HTML tags to indicate the language (English, foreign, romanized, etc.). In Chinese and Japanese text, the language tags can actually be necessary and not just a luxury, because there's no other way to distinguish which form of a hanzi/kanji character to use (traditional, Chinese-simplified, or Japanese-simplified). It can similarly be helpful in right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew text when there's Roman lettering mixed in. It also helps screenreaders so they can use different pronunciation rules, and can help any bot that scrapes and interprets content.

See also

Is anyone in favor of creating and beginning to use such templates on WV? Would it be worthwhile and feasible to create a bot to try to automatically convert text in existing articles to use such templates, or is that a fool's errand? --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:16, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Count me as 100% in favor of providing structure to non-English content. This could be very useful for (e.g.) apps that translate on the fly or finding search terms or providing preferred fonts (particularly for non-Latin languages), etc. I see several benefits and no downsides other than some work but no one is mandating that everyone change every instance of "pommes frites" to "{{lang|fr|pommes frites}}" immediately. Like a lot of changes, we can can course in policy, slowly change our habits, and maybe have some bots or semi-automated tools help. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:25, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems user-unfriendly for editors. And it won't enforce consistency because a lot of people won't use the new templates, just as they don't follow conventions on capitalization, not touting, not listing ordinary tours, etc., etc. It seems like it'll just create a lot more work for someone, with very little difference in what the reader sees. And I think a greater explanation is needed for why templates are needed for Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, etc., when we seemingly haven't needed them for all these years. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:15, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is more difficult for editors, especially new and pass-by editors (which are more important for us than for Wikipedia). But as tools get better, the advantage of good markup increases. The examples Bigpeteb mentions were probably irrelevant ten years ago, as the software would't choose appropriate fonts or adapt pronunciation. I suppose the advantage still affects only a minority of readers, so I'd support keeping our present "keep it simple" policy, except where the value is clear – but choosing appropriate hanzi/kanji seems to me to be such a clear advantage. Perhaps language templates could be used in these limited cases. --LPfi (talk) 21:28, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek: I think the "alt" field in listings shows exactly why we have needed language templates like this for a very long time. The "alt" field awkwardly tries to serve as both "romanized name" and "name in native script(s)" and "alternative/former/other name". That's why it has hacks like "if the first character of 'alt' is a non-roman character, don't italicize the field", in which case editors must manually italicize if the field contains both foreign script and a romanization, and then there's no place to separately add an actual alternate name, and... it's a mess. I think the correct solution from the beginning should have been to have language templates, and use them in the "name" field and anywhere else that's appropriate. For example, such a listing might look like {{learn |name={{japanese|University of Tokyo|東京大学|Tōkyō daigaku}} |alt={{japanese|Todai|東大|Tōdai}} or UTokyo, formerly the {{japanese|Imperial University|帝國大學|Teikoku daigaku}} |...}}. Styles would take nesting into account, making sure that only one part of the primary name gets bolded, and romanizations are always italicized. Dynamic maps would have multiple names available, and could display all of them, or perhaps have a user setting to choose whether to show English, foreign, or romanized names. Editors would have easy but useful abilities like easily being able to reverse the name without losing any of the formatting or the markup that's helpful for bots (example: * {{listing |name={{japanese-rev|Japan Bridge|日本橋|Nihon-bashi}} |price=Free}} would generate "* Nihon-bashi (日本橋, "Japan Bridge"). Free.").
Is this more complex than formatting things manually? Perhaps so, but I wouldn't say it's any more complex than Mediawiki markup in general. (I can't tell you how many times I've miscount the number of quote in something like '''''croissant''''', so '''{{french|croissant}}''' to me is easier to get right even if it's a little more typing.) Is it user-unfriendly, something that a lot of people will ignore? Well, users will ignore whatever rules they want to, and in fact on WV we encourage them to edit even if it's not perfect, since someone else can come along later and fix it up. I would think/hope it's easier than, say, looking up correct coordinates for a listing. But the fact that something is slightly more difficult or that new users might not use it has not stopped us from making other changes; let's not use that as an argument for or against this, either. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:35, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you can designate yourself the editor who inserts all those codes all the time. I do a hell of a lot of patrolling and don't look forward to doing these kinds of edits, so I may choose to ignore them. I hope that doesn't sound unfriendly; we all choose what to do with the time we choose to volunteer on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:33, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
VisualEditor will add the HTML markup for you (from the character formatting menu, <span dir="ltr" lang="es">como éste</span>), and I prefer that to trying to remember which template name is used on which wiki. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:57, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is odd. I understand using a menu is easier than remembering what to write, but HTML is not easier for editors than mediawiki templates. If we do not want that code, using VE to insert it is not better than inserting it by hand. And why dir="ltr" (left-to-right)? Isn't that implied by the page being in English and the phrase in Spanish? --LPfi (talk) 20:13, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that the direction is supposed to be specified for everything, even if it "should" be obvious. There are a few wikis where I find that I have to specify three components to get English displayed properly: <div lang="en" dir="ltr" class="mw-content-ltr"> (This is probably not required for span tags, as they don't affect whole paragraphs.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Boilerplate like that is precisely the problem that templates solve. I don't know whether the ltr tags are required or not, but by putting it in a template, we can consistently apply and change formatting everywhere (for example, if we at first decide the ltr tag isn't needed but then find some browser that requires it). --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:46, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bigpeteb: I think you're making some good points here. I added some localized text by hand recently, and it was a pain. There's definitely some benefit to be had from language templates. However, I think they may also be a bit premature for this community. While we do have some text in other languages, we have many more instances of foreign currencies and measures with units, and we have had templates for them for a long time now (see, e.g. {{EUR}} and {{km}}); still, nearly all mentions of a unit or currency are regular untemplated prose, and this is despite concrete benefits, for all readers, coming from those templates (i.e. automatic currency conversion tooltips and non-breaking spaces). I would much rather see those templates made ubiquitous, something I've been working towards when I can (and hope others join me), than the addition of some more. When that's done, I'd see a much stronger case for language templates. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 03:27, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Historic names?[edit]

Should we add a section/text about when (not) to add historic names? Places all over the world have had different names throughout history - but only some are relevant to the traveller. This doesn't always depend on the age a name was used in... Uruk, Ctesiphon or Gaugamela will be more relevant to a traveller - at least one interested in ancient history - than maybe Chemnitz having been called Karl-Marx-Stadt or Zchinwalis old name of Staliniri. ObersterGenosse (talk) 21:05, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know; is that needed? My feeling is that historic names should be mentioned whenever they're interesting. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:06, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By the way, I'm unfamiliar with Zchinwali, but I would say that mentioning Chemnitz's former name of Karl-Marx-Stadt is very relevant to travelers because of the huge statue of Karl Marx in the city. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:12, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]