Which should we populate with subcategories: "Hungary" or "Magyarország?"

+4 votes

The modern nation known by English-speakers as Hungary is known as Magyarország in Hungarian or Magyar, and is its official name.  Which name should be listed under Category:Europe?  Should the other name be a subcategory of the name we choose as the top level?  While Magyarország is appropriate, I'm concerned that majority of folks will not recognize that as Hungary when looking for the category to link.  I know this issue has been discussed before, but want a definitive consensus / confirmation before I populate with Hungarian city and provincial categories.

Also, what is the consensus on the best way to reflect the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Categories? Since we document in profiles based on the nation that existed at the time of the source (i.e. Czechoslovakia  before the modern Czech Republic and so on), I want to be sure I do it properly...


in Policy and Style by Michael Gabbard G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)
Thanks for doing this HUGE  category project , Michael . I think it should be Hungary ( rather than Magyarorszag ) . I have no idea how you should split up the Austrian-Hungary  & Slovakia/Croatian/Transylvanian /Czech Republic , ect parts of historical  Hungary . Family search seems to put all the old parts of Hungary in their newest locations ( which could be a headache to redo again if they change borders again , as Slovakia is only 20 years old , e.g.). My problem when I put the old historical locations in the place feilds on the profiles , the correlating geocodes for the map locations goes awry so I have been redoing them into the newest locations (for instance , a person born, lived and died in a village that was in Hungary in 1860  is now located in a village in Slovakia in 2013 ) .
ALSO Michael , let me know if you want help with contributions to the Hungary project .

I've already gone with Magyarország as the Top-level category for this project, even though we still list Poland as "Poland" and Ireland as "Ireland" etc.  I made Category:Hungary more or less a redirect page. I fully expect those nations will be updated according to what seems to be the consensus.  Given the sometimes excruciating process of populating categories in a language I don't speak, I fully expect - and genuinely hope - that I won't have to re-do these categories later.  So far I have already added the 19 Hungarian counties and their county seats, as well as additional cities / towns of importance and size.  For the time being I was focusing on modern Hungary's borders and organization.  With regard to historically Hungarian territories, such as Transylvania, I intend to link them to both Magyarország and România.  The period when Hungary was an autonomous part of the larger Austro-Hungarian Empire under the Habsburgs, it was referred to as the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen, and that category will link to both Magyarország and Österreich (Austria).  I intend to act similarly with other historical lands which are now in Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, etc., linking the historical regions with both historical nations and the modern ones in which they now reside. 

Thank you , Maggie, I would love any help you're willing to give.  We do need to be sure we're on the same 'page' as we proceed to avoid having to re-do categories that don't meet the standard we are setting.  I'll Email you.

- Mike

3 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
All discussions about this have concluded that the native language should be used. This can get tricky when there are multiple official languages and whatnot, but in this case I'd definitely go with the Hungarian name. The way I see it, if you're working on Hungarian genealogy, you should know the Hungarian word for Hungary.

As for changing borders, go with what was there at the time. To use an example I know, Cass County, North Dakota, used to be Cass County, Dakota Territory. So I put people who lived there before it became a state in Category:Cass County, Dakota Territory, which is a subcategory of Cass County, North Dakota.

For more info see http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Location_Fields
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (428k points)
selected by Keith Baker
Also, thanks for helping to populate the categories! :)
I do understand your reasoning on this, but as mentioned in your previous discussion, this could be insanely unwieldy. The category geeks (humble thanks!) can have infinite fun, but the masses who are searching may not make the leap. I don't get how this can be maintained, if anyone can create a category! It's great to have native place names and it's true that dedicated genealogists should learn tthem, but I don't understand the appeal to most users.

Oh, but I am down with the naming of changing borders.

Thanks for all of your hard work on this!

I also see where you're coming from, but the idea is for WikiTree to be an international site, and I don't think it's fair to enforce English as a universal language.

There would also be the question of where to draw the line. If we used English for Hungary, wouldn't it also make sense to use English for Quebec? As a Canadian (even one who only speaks English), I shudder at the thought. But on the other hand, to allow French names but not Hungarian ones seems like a silly distinction.

A question coming from ignorance--can't you put both names in the title? Magyarország aka Hungary or Magyarország (Hungary)

Someone misunderstood my comment and I'm so happy they emailed me about it so let me clarify in case anyone else misunderstood it. When I said a question coming from ignorance, I meant MY question because I know so little about categorization and there are so many more knowledgeable people on this site. There may be a perfectly good reason why both the Hungarian name and the English name can't be in the same title, but I don't know enough about it to understand why they couldn't both be used.
Hi Debby, Thanks for clarifying your meaning. I see that you were yourself wondering why we couldn't have both. Looks like native languages is the consensus, and it certainly is the most respectful of all people. Sandi

I will use Magyarország if that is the will of the people.  I will create Hungary as a subcategory, with Text and Link redirecting to Magyarország for those who end up there.

But I still have misgivings.  Individuals of Hungarian extraction from all over the world are more likely to know the English name (regardless of their first language) than they are the Magyar name.

I know why you shudder, Lianne, with respect to offending French-speaking Québécois - who are more sensitive to the language issue than even Les Français.

- Mike

I have misgivings about this too. Sure, people's names should be in native form. But countries and other things? Those have accepted names in English. I understand that this is meant to be a multilingual site, so maybe the solution is to have different display names for different languages. 


For that matter, what happens when there isn't just one native form? What do we use for Switzerland, which has 5 official languages? Do we use Suisse, Schweiz, Svizzera, Svizzra, or Helvetia? The country's name is different in each official language. 

As I've said, places with multiple official languages definitely pose a challenge. Canada (mostly) breaks up nicely into English and French parts, but most multi-lingual countries are more difficult. Even in these cases, though, I think picking one of the official languages of Switzerland is better than picking English, which isn't even one of their languages.

While eventually the site itself could be translated, category names can't be. If we had multiple categories for the same place in different languages, profiles would be put in one or the other, and wouldn't appear together. So we can't have a category for every country in every language.
>  Even in these cases, though, I think picking one of the official languages of Switzerland is better than picking English, which isn't even one of their languages.

And I think it's a worse choice. German-speaking Swiss might take offense if we picked Suisse as "official"; French-speakers might take offense if we picked Schweiz. At least a non-native language is neutral in this case.

Also, from my (admittedly limited) perusal of the site, this *is* an English-language site at the moment. Our non-geographic categories are all named in English; why shouldn't our geographic categories be named in English as well?

> While eventually the site itself could be translated, category names can't be.

At least in theory, this doesn't have to be the case (even if it is now). It's not too difficult to have display names for categories localized to the user's language (I work in software development, and often deal with issues like this). I'd even be able and willing to help the powers that be implement this if they think it's a good idea. Certainly it would render moot the issue currently being discussed.
0 votes

Just my two cents, but I've been active on Instagram for a year and a half, and the universal tagging language is English. Yes, there are tags and conversations in many other languages, but English seems to be the lingua franca of the net. Also I'll wager that more residents of Magyar know the term Hungary, than the other way around. Sandi

by Anonymous W G2G6 Mach 6 (65.7k points)
+1 vote

It seems more or less settled to me, based on these and related discussions elsewhere in the forums: 


Country Categories will be in the native Language (and Alphabet).  If there are two or more official languages, we will choose the one that is most appropriate, either because of majority use or cultural relevance.


I would also point everyone to the thread "Did we also decide to use native alphabets for category names? " for a related discussion.

Thank you everyone who weighed in and gave the discussion it's 'due diligence."

- Mike

by Michael Gabbard G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)

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