official_language tag?

Hi everyone,

Is there already a tag for the “official language” of a country?
I searched a little bit, but I didn’t found anything about it.
I know that there are several countries with more than 1 official language, like belgium. So the tag-name could also be “official_languages” with comma-separated ISO 639-1 values.
For example: official_languages=de,en,fr

Thanks in advance.

Also worth considering is “widely spoken languages” as well as “official” ones. For example, most of the UK doesn’t have any “official” languages (though there is some legal protection for languages in Northern Ireland), but there are only 4 or 5 that are commonly-spoken indigenous languages.

Other examples include places in North Africa where French isn’t an official language, but is still widely used in e.g. government circles.

There’s been discussion about this sort of thing on mailing lists a couple of times in the past, but there’s never really been any concensus.

The normal separator for multiple values is “;”, not “,”.

So, I have to add this tag myself to the countries and hope, that the community will accept it?!

I think an appropriate tag would be “official_languages:ISO639-1” and “official_languages:ISO639-2/T” as they are listed in and then the values are separated by “;”.

While it would be possible to model in OSM (you would have to invent a new tag for that, of course), it’s not the kind of data where OSM is strongest. When it comes to data about countries, I think Wikidata’s data model is much better suited than OSM’s – take a look at their very comprehensive existing data (e.g. They can even express historic information well in their data model, and already use that for population numbers and similar data.

They already have an official language property that can be qualified (e.g. as de facto) and contain references (e.g. the legal document that enshrines the official language). So perhaps that’s an option for you? As long as the Wikidata item is linked in OSM, this information can also be used in tandem with OSM.

That’s a good point. It keeps the data in 1 place and you don’t have to maintain 2 datasources.
On the downside, the OSM importer software have to parse/process an extra datasource.

I’m thinking of using the wikidata.

Is there any OSM Software that takes care of those wikidata-data already?