Multilingual Naming

After being very frustrated by a map of Kyôto that I downloaded before my last trip there, I decided to see if I couldn’t clean things up a bit… :confused:

After some reading in the wiki I understood that you had decided not to use kanji - romaji in the “name:” tag, but then realized that there did not seem to be any agreement on whether to use the name:ja_rm, name:ja_Latn, or name:en tag. While what I might enter for the English version might sometimes be a bit different than the other two (school instead of gakkô), if I wanted to cover all of the possible situations I would probably have to supply all three.

And then there is the problem of downloading the map and using it on my Garmin or Android and being able to see the kanji so that I can compare it to the sign (on the building or bus or street) since my ability to pronounce kanji is only so-so AND see the romanization. To say nothing of whether my needs are at all the same as another tourists might be.

If anyone has suggestions on how to make things easier on myself, I would love to hear from them.


As I understand you supposed to automatically add some name tag (in Latin letters) to anything in Japan?

Thank you for the quick response.

I hadn’t seen that documented anyplace. :expressionless: Do you have a link for it? Maybe there are other helpful hints that I have missed.

In any case, I am interested in helping to clean up older edits.

When one looks at some of the ways that various apps take and use the osm data when converting it for Garmin or Android devices it seems to me that you have to use all of the variations on the name key and hope that one of them gets used when it is displayed on the device/screen.

Usually the only choice the apps seem to give you is “What language do you want the display in?”. Most people will choose “the language of the device” or their own language. If you choose “English”, and the road or site has a “name:en” key, then you will see that. Most roads and sites don’t have a “name:en” which means that you will see the contents of the “name:ja” key which is in kanji and/or kana. And much of the software seems to unhelpfully replace the kanji with pinyin which gives the Chinese pronunciation of the characters. This might be of some use to Chinese speakers, but not to the rest of us. And the Chinese would probably get much more benefit out of seeing the kanji. :smiley:

I don’t quite understand the question.

The tagging scheme for Japanese Naming is available at the OSM wiki, there:

“name” - Japanese name (eg. 東京大学本郷キャンパス)
“name:en” - English name (eg. University of Tokyo (Hongo Campus))
“name:ja” - Japanese name (eg. 東京大学本郷キャンパス)
“name:ja_rm” - Romanization (eg. Tōkyō Daigaku Hongō Kyanpasu)
“name:ja_kana” - Kana form of Japanese name (とうきょうだいがくほんごうキャンパス)