OpenStreetMap

This post serves as speculation.

Several contributors in OSM make changes in other countries than their own, that makes sense. When it comes to the description of their changesets though, many of them write in neither English nor local language (local for the area they make changes for). The local one is reasonable to not know. But not seeing a changeset for my area/country in either English or local (Greek in this case), makes no sense to me and also makes it difficult sometimes to understand why someone made a specific edit, no matter if it’s right or wrong.

My question though is: in which language should the changeset description be written in? English (as internationally mostly understandable language), the local language (of the area/country the changes are for) or the language of the contributor?

In my opinion, when we contribute somewhere, we want to make the local community understand why we did such changes.

Comment from CjMalone on 5 August 2020 at 20:26

I would say local language if possible, local people are the ones who will see it and so it’s best they can understand it.

Comment from Zkir on 8 August 2020 at 16:42

Since some time, I use English always, even for my local area)

Comment from skquinn on 17 August 2020 at 09:54

I usually use English, but as it happens, I edit mostly English-speaking countries. I don’t really know any other languages (well, I took a semester of Latin in high school, and then part of a semester of Spanish before I had to drop out and get my GED, but even my Latin is rather rusty and I didn’t pick up much Spanish in the class).

If I see non-English changeset comments locally, I’ll deal with it by translating as needed. But that’s usually not much of a problem around here as most of the mappers are anglophone even though we have a rather high hispanophone population.


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