First off, thanks for the effort paul_12. This is a comment, sort of an aside, about Google Translate but it bears on this conversation because of how tricky it is to transliterate Thai to English. This is something all non-Thai speaker OSMers struggle with constantly.
When paul_12 posted his reply I checked a few of the clinics and realized he hadn’t added the English transliteration to the ones he updated. Lately, I have been using Google Translate in addition to the Thai-Romanization program to convert long phrases or names to English so I thought it would be interesting to try it on the name of one of the clinics in the first changeset supplied by paul_12. My thinking was that later when I have some time on my hands I would go through those clinics and add the name:en tags to them.
I copied and pasted คลินิกแพทย์หญิงนภปกรณ์ into Google Translate and got this result: “Naphapakorn Clinic”
Sounds fine, right? However, when I put that same Thai name into the Thai Romanization program, it produced this result: “Khlinik Phaet Ying Noppha Pakon”
Disregarding the different spelling renditions for a moment and looking only at the wording, there are more words in the second result than Google’s result. What are those additional words and why did Google ignore them? My wife explained that the words “Phaet Ning” mean that the clinic is staffed by female doctors. For whatever reason, Google ignored this fact, perhaps because they don’t consider it an actual part of the name, but whatever the reason it might be very good for us to tag such places so that a male patient who was uncomfortable with a female doctor or a female patient uncomfortable with a male, could benefit from such knowledge beforehand. Once again, non-Thai speakers mapping in Thailand are flummoxed by the difficulty of properly translating and transliterating Thai to English.
But beyond that, is the gender of the doctors practicing at a particular clinic something we should consider in our tagging? If it is, how should that distinction best be handled? Is there a good way in English to reveal the words Female Doctors or Male Doctors in the clinic name? The words “Phaet Ning” are present in Thai but how would the name look in English if those words were included?
Naphapakorn Clinic (Female doctors), or Naphapakorn Female Doctor Clinic? It’s such a tricky question that Google didn’t even attempt to answer it.
Or we could add a tag, for example, doctors:sex=male/female/mixed, doctors:gender=male/female/mixed, or perhaps gender_type=male/female/mixed?
Only the last one exists presently and it has only about 115 instances.
Alternatively, we can forget about the gender of the practitioners entirely. IMO, however, we will still need to come up with a standard way to handle the gender references in those Thai names.