How to know prefered language when writing changeset comments

It would useful if you could enter somewhere, for exempel in your osm-dashboard, what language/languages you prefer to communicate with.

Without this information I have to guess which language I should use in changeset comments. Sometimes I write in Swedish (which is my native language) and the other person don’t understand Swedish. Sometimes I write in English, and if the other person also is Swedish, we probably could have discussed more easily in Swedish instead.

I try to guess the preferred language by looking at the other persons other comments, but this is not foolproof.

You can often see the language setting of the editor in the person’s
changesets. If they edit with a JOSM set to Swedish then they will
likely understand the language.

  • JOSM shows the language in the “created_by” tag. For example, “JOSM/1.5 (18700 en)” would be JOSM set for English.
  • iD and StreetComplete show the language in the “locale” tag. For example, “en-US” would be American English.
  • Maps.Me doesn’t indicate language, but this doesn’t really matter: Maps.Me users almost never respond to changeset comments.

Other editors are rare.


Perhaps base it on where you’re mapping, so if you’re mapping in Sweden, comment in Swedish, but if mapping internationally, comment in English?

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I’ve found that JOSM users often prefer the English localization even when they prefer to use other software in a different language. It’s probably because there’s a convenient setting in the preferences window and not all of the localizations are as polished as the English localization. (iD’s localization is tied to your user preferences.) But if the created_by or locale tag does indicate a language other than English, that is a meaningful signal.

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Without this information I have to guess which language I should use in changeset comments.

This might be a good example of misunderstandings: Your personal changeset comment, or a reply in a changeset (aka changeset discussion)?

Personal changeset comment: locally used language or English. So if you fix something “abroad” and don’t know the local language, please write in English and not in your native language :wink:

A comment towards a changeset (known as changeset discussion): a bit of due diligence is required. If you comment on something in Placeholderstan, and the CS comment is written in Placeholderish, which is also your native language, use Placeholderish. If it’s written in English, basically “poke” the user in English (simplified addressing) and repeat in Placeholderish. Should be signal enough for the addressed user, that he can answer both ways.

Something similar in Switzerland: I can read French (still after 20+ years), but I can’t write/answer correctly anymore. Other way around similar, many Romands can read “school”-German (we usually don’t write dialect), but they can’t write it either (anymore). So there are two solutions: we either communicate both in English (which seems to become an unwritten rule), or we both use our native languages. While the latter is a common rule in educated positions, I’ve repeatedly got ignorant comments, from those lesser fortunate (or able?) – workflow for such: ignore, rince, review, wipe.

When not even a minimal attempt towards a conversation is made… well, with so many tools at disposal, someone probably just wants to mess with you.

I mean my comments in a discussion. If there are other cs-comments before, it’s easier to know what language to choose. But if there is no previous discussion, I have to guess. As other have said, a clue on what language to use, is to look what keyboard locale was used by the cs-creator.

But I still wished there were information on the user preference page with notation of preferred language and what languages they can understand and write.