Did we also decide to use native alphabets for category names?

+7 votes

Are all Russian geographical Category names to be in Cyrillic? Is Saudi Arabia's category name to be in Arabic (السعودية‎) ?    Or are we using the Transliteration?   Is Ukraine to be Україна or Ukrayina ?  Is North Korea to be 조선민주주의인민공화국 or Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk ? 

in Policy and Style by Michael Gabbard G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)
retagged by Michael Gabbard

Curious how many site visits WikiTree expects from North Korea. I still maintain that English is the de facto lingua franca of the web. :-)

I mean, if people want to go to all that trouble...

Maybe there's something im not getting? I don't understand the overall value. I understand respect, but don't see how this helps the 66% of likely users in the middle.

My 2¢ - Sandi

I know it's tough for English speakers, and that we are the majority of users, but the fact is that a lot of the world is offended when English speakers assume their language is the universal one. It's very politically charged. I always use the French Canadian example. Even as an English speaking Canadian, I'd freak out if the French names were translated into English.

Lianne - I get what you're saying and I'm on board with native language names, or I wouldn't have spent the time doing Hungary in magyar. 

What are your thoughts on Michael's idea for Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל), and using a similar set up for Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc?

Just tobe clear, I am not making a personal assumption, I am talking about English as the current global lingua franca of the world. Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_as_a_lingua_franca 

I don't see this as a political issue for the vast majority of family historians, but as a practical matter. I have studied Greek, Dutch, and Chinese myself, but the hurdles for most people still seem high to me.

I'm still the newbie here, and I do yield to those who have done the hard work!


Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל) makes sense to me. It would making browsing the categories easier.

2 Answers

+4 votes

I'm having problems also with the one category I created for Israel. Could we perhaps use a combination?

Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל)


by Living Lechner G2G6 Mach 6 (62.1k points)

A solution:

Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל)

It allows me to connect my sub-categories and in the future should anyone be able to and/or wish to they may add the translation.

Personally I think this is a good approach.
But why make life difficult just for the sake of it?
+3 votes
I'm not sure this has ever really been discussed, specifically. The ones I changed from English, I changed to use the native alphabet. But not much has been done towards making these categories, so it's still something that can be discussed.

I'd lean towards using the foreign alphabets, but what does everyone else think?
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (428k points)

Point Blank:  I can't read Arabic or Cyrillic. Period.  Most people can't.  At least with the Transliterated example for Ukraine (Україна or Ukrayina ?) I have a chance of figuring out UkrayinaУкраїна?  No chance.  As I've been adding categories (and I have done a LOT over the past few days) I've been putting the English name in Text on the category page.  If we're going to use other alphabets, I think that helps.  But it still means I'd have to click on every Arabic or Cyrillic category to find out which nation it refers to.  Click on 5 before I find the country I'm looking for.  Maybe it's the right thing to do, I'm not sure... but frankly, it's a pain in the tuckus, and I think it discourages the use of categories.   I'm sort of with Michael Lechner on this ...  Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל) makes much more sense if we are trying to be both sensitive and pragmatic than מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל does by itself.

It would be nice to hear from some of the other Category people to see what they think.  Also, Check out this page I put on the http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Europe page: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Country_Names_and_English_Translations .  I did that to offer help finding the right category to people who need it.

- Mike

Very nice Michael, I like the page Country Names and English Translations


The page Country Names and English Translations, is an informative indexing and assistance chart. I would put all the data right on the page "Europe Category". This would avoid having to jump to one additional page. The Europe category page would be a proper place for the data. Again nice work. Thanks

See:  Middle East

The index is fantastic! Sandi
Agreed, nice work on that! :) I'm not sure about moving that onto the category page, though. It's quite a lot of text. Typically category pages shouldn't have so much text that you have to scroll down to the bottom to find the actual pages in the category. With it split out, it's not cluttering the page, but is still easily accessible.
Thank you.  I do think we should reopen the question concerning text on category pages. I have some things to say regarding the issue and the talk page does not seem to get a response.
Mike, I recommend starting a discussion on G2G then, since it gets a lot more visitors than the talk pages.
Posted it again, thanks Mike

"It's quite a lot of text"

Will this work, See:  Middle East

Michael -

I think you've done some great work here.  There's a lot of information there but it's good / helpful information.  The use of a scrollable window is clever, and keeps the subcategory and article listings from being too far-removed from the header.  I like what you've done there.  In between working on populating Hungary with Magda, I"ve been working on Africa - and if your idea here meets with general approval I think we should apply the same thing to that region.

- Mike
There is also some code for a collapsable window. I have been unable to get it to work on wikitree.(posted on G2G and sandbox)  It may be nicer if we can get it to work. Option 3 is to create a link to the bottom of the page. Just trying to accommidate all concerns.  I have other pages where the data displayed needs to be there for the majority of wikitreers. Its the only way to make certain the right sub-category is used for their ancestor. (Ships and military regiments)
Thanks, Michael
Collapsable text uses templates, which is why is doesn't work right now on WikiTree. The templates haven't been created here. I've tried fooling around with them a bit, but it's hard to just copy them from Wikipedia because they're so interdependent! You can't just copy one, because it'll reference a bunch of others.

I did make this simple template: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Template:Succession_box

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