Non-english people with profiles in english

+7 votes

One of the things I am working on is military awards.  When working on an American profile, some of that persons awards/decorations may be foreign ones, as well as many times a foreign person's profile is listed in english because that was the native language of the person creating it, not the native tongue of the person being created.

on the internationalization front, this leads to confusion on how to proceed.  case in point.

Field Marshall Erwin Rommel (Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel Jr (1891 - 1944)) was born in Germany (German Empire) and fought for it during World War II, then fought and died in Germany (Nazi Germany), yet his profile is in english.

under the one person, one record concept, shouldn't his profile be in german, and any non-german person be required to use a translation site to read it in english?  creating multiple profiles, 1 for each language violates the whole principle of a single record for each person.

so far, the only category present on his profile is the (Italian) Silver Medal of Military Valor, which also is in english.  with the direction being taken for language category trees, that category should be created in german, linked to the italian language category (which does not exist at the moment) and also to the english category for that same award.

he has at least 20 other awards (taken from his english wikipedia page, the german page for him does not list any), which should also be listed as german categories to match his german profile (once changed over), but since his profile is currently in english, do i create/add to the english categories for those medals, or create/add german categories and add his english profile to the german category?

WikiTree profile: Erwin Rommel
in Policy and Style by Keith McDonald G2G6 Mach 8 (89.6k points)

I'm not going to get into the question of categories.

However regarding your comment about "under the one person, one record concept, shouldn't his profile be in german, and any non-german person be required to use a translation site to read it in english?  creating multiple profiles, 1 for each language violates the whole principle of a single record for each person."

If I had to write the profile for Rommel in German, it would never get written and he and many others would have no profiles at all. This is also predominately an English speaking website, so having the profile in just German makes no sense at all. Ideally someone with proficiency in both languages should translate his English profile into good German (not Google translate) and put both on the one profile.

If you speak German, you are welcome to translate the English or write a fresh one in German.


Likely the category already on the profile is translated and should perhaps be in Italian.  The German categories could just be next (auf Deutsch) and that would solve that (when you clicked the link you would go to the category page and there an English translation if necessary could be posted).  I would think!

Museums have to deal with the same thing.  Sunflowers by van Gogh is actually known as Zonnebloemen, but there's not much value lost in the translation.
i think for this one, i created the original category, with me being an american, in english, for ernest hemingway.  then added erwin rommel when i did a people search and found him listed with the same decoration.

2 Answers

+10 votes

I'm not sure about the categories, but the profile biography itself can be in multiple languages. Here's how we handle profiles of French speaking ancestors by having both a French and English version of the bio: Daniel LeBlanc

by Roland Arsenault G2G6 Mach 5 (54.3k points)
Daniel's profile is an excellent example, Roland.  Thanks for sharing it.  I particularly like the idea that the first version is in French, the person's native language, and the English version is second.

that is a start, but the only part in french is the bio.  I am not even esure if the top section with name/brith/death/marriage info can be in anything other than english, the categories he is linked to are english, the templates for profile of the week, acadian and migrating are english, Timeline, Discussion, Sources and see also sections are english...

not that i mind personally, being an american, i can read that ;>

i was thinking something along similar lines would be used for the categories, one record, different sections for each language with each section having the category name in that language that would be shown when accessed from a page of the same language, and all of the other language sections minimized to avoid clutter...  but the decision went to making separate category pages, 1 per language, and having a link section at the top of the page to list the other language pages...

I would vote that we link from a profile to one category in one language and not to the category in all possible languages....

I think the correct place to inform that this category also exist in more languages is on the category by having a link to a page where you can find all the different language versions of the category that are available in...

==> adding a category in a new language ==>

  1. add the category in the new language
  2. update the disambiguation page saying that now a new language is available of the category
+4 votes
I read this site in English so I hope you will not refrain from contributing in my language. If you continue at the rate you have begun we will still need nine copies of you to achieve our aims.
by Sir William Arbuthnot of Kittybrewster G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
Thank you Sir William, but if we did have the ability to clone, i think i would have my clones doing things other than wikitree....  no wait, i mean i would have one of them doing wikitree, the others taking care of other mundane tasks like work, home chores, etc, and the original me doing the fun things...

Related questions

+9 votes
0 answers
88 views asked Apr 9, 2016 in Policy and Style by D Z G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)
+13 votes
3 answers
362 views asked Oct 7, 2014 in The Tree House by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (523k points)
+10 votes
7 answers
+17 votes
3 answers
+7 votes
8 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright