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How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

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How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby visentin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:25 pm

Few rules, like the language standard, are well (or almost) respected on SP. However, I think a standard should be adopted about spelling peak names in the title, because SP is a real mess about it in some areas. And mispelling peaks can lead accidentally to duplicate pages.

Almost all European languages, except English itself, have their special letters. These letters are part of the languages, of the culture of each nation. Despite some technical issues like writting them in page comments, forum posts, or research forms (issue partially resolved by Peterbud's page; maybe Montana Matt could remedy to it ?), these letters are widely accepted in SP and I think we can almost speak about a real site with international vocation (almost, as long as Russian, Chinese, Indian and other alphabets will not be managed...)

However, very often, browsing peak pages, I see many inconsistencies in pages titles.
- Most of the time, the writter just omits these special signs, due to a lack of appropriate keyboard. Very often, for example, the german umlauts become ue, ae, oe, and the eszett becomes a double S. The accents on vowels on many latin languages are left away. Slavonic names also often loose their accentuation on C, S, R and other letters by adding an extra "z" or "h" to it (depending on which country we speak about). I often have the same keyboard problem for spelling into Aragonese or Slovak, but I remedy to it by copypasting in Google to get the spelling right.
- Sometimes, peaks which are located in one country are written with the same name with the spelling of another country (often, a bigger country nearby, where many tourists come from). When the spelling is similar, that's OK, but there are a couple of such examples where the translated name is not the same at all.
- Peaks or objects located on a border are often spelled into only one language only, when it differs. In my opinion they should be spelled in both languages, with only a "/" or "-" as separation to keep it as short as possible. Which spelling first, it depends on the author's appreciation. Could be the mountainside from which the mountain is most commonly climbed. Mountains having two possible names (Denali / Mc Kinley) should be perhaps presented so as well. Otherwise, for other possible alternative spellings, in a language of a country in which it is not located in, maybe the Overview is a better place for it.
- Finally, some countries have tendencies to "anglicize" excessively their names. Slovenia's Dolina Sedmerih Jezer is not the "Valley of the Seven Lakes" even if it means this. Bile Labe is not the "White Elbe", and so on, and so on. There was a long and interesting debate about the misuse of "White Tatras", in which I am myself guilty. Translating names to explain their meanings is OK and most of the time quite interesting, but there are limits to this. Mont Blanc will for example never been "White Mount".
Your opinion ?
Last edited by visentin on Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How should be spelled (European) peak names ?

Postby phlipdascrip » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:23 pm

visentin wrote:- Sometimes, peaks which are located in one country are written with the same name with the spelling of another country (often, a bigger country nearby, where many tourists come from). When the spelling is similar, that's OK, but there are a couple of such examples where the translated name is not the same at all.
- Peaks or objects located on a border are often spelled into only one language only, when it differs. In my opinion they should be spelled in both languages, with only a "/" or "-" as separation to keep it as short as possible. Which spelling first, it depends on the author's appreciation. Could be the mountainside from which the mountain is most commonly climbed. Mountains having two possible names (Denali / Mc Kinley) should be perhaps presented so as well.


Difficult subject; I think there can't be a general ruling to it. You can only appeal to everyone to do their best in adding all known alternate names and, if they know how to, provide names with foreign language characters.

One functional thing I'd like to point out is the "Query Name" field just below the "Name" field when editing an object; While the description of the field says:
The query name is used to keep the ordering correct for names.
For example: if a mountain's name is Mount Zester and another mountain is named Mount Abraham, ideally Mount Zester would show up alphabetically with the "Z" words and Mount Abraham would show up with the "A" words.

it can also be used to provide alternative names without having to add them to the object name. I've just recently done so with my page for the Hohe Aifner Spitze, which is also known as the Hohe Aifenspitze. I put "Aifner Spitze (Aifenspitze), Hohe" in the query name field and it shows up when searching for either variation:
http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.p ... ner+spitze
http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.p ... ifenspitze
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby visentin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:47 pm

borutb wrote:I think ( :lol: ) that the š, ž, and č should be used in the title and text for mountains in Slovenia (which can be replaced by s, c, and z in the "query name").
But that would mean quite some maintaining, and I don't know if the concerned users have that much time for maintenance.
BTW Eric, shouldn't it be: "How should (European) peak names be spelled?" ?
BK

Yes, one of the the main goals of the query field is to spell the peak name the simpliest possible way in order to make it "findable" in researches. I use to put peak names without their special letters in this field, and I usually remove "Pic de" and so on.
As for my post's title, corrected ;)

phlipdascrip wrote:Difficult subject; I think there can't be a general ruling to it. You can only appeal to everyone to do their best in adding all known alternate names and, if they know how to, provide names with foreign language characters.

For peaks with alternate names not being on the border, you're right, it's tricky. But my initial request is for peaks on the border. For example, despite many excellent pages were created there, I can deplorate a bit the fact that all pyrenean peaks on the border are spelled only in spanish. Well, the lack of french contributors is partly the reason of it...
For example the french newcomer will look for information about Pic de Sauvegarde and will not find anything about it, because the page is named "Salvaguardia"... annoying, no ? Same, Vignemale should be Viñamala as well.

phlipdascrip wrote:One functional thing I'd like to point out is the "Query Name" field just below the "Name" field when editing an object; While the description of the field says:
The query name is used to keep the ordering correct for names.
For example: if a mountain's name is Mount Zester and another mountain is named Mount Abraham, ideally Mount Zester would show up alphabetically with the "Z" words and Mount Abraham would show up with the "A" words.

it can also be used to provide alternative names without having to add them to the object name. I've just recently done so with my page for the Hohe Aifner Spitze, which is also known as the Hohe Aifenspitze. I put "Aifner Spitze (Aifenspitze), Hohe" in the query name field and it shows up when searching for either variation:
http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.p ... ner+spitze
http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.p ... ifenspitze


I ignored that the query field had this role, but I doubt many users systematically care of it, I guess most people copy-paste the title in the query field.
Before your remark I was also wondering if it was not a good idea to suggest to this site's maintainers to allow displaying objects in their alphabetical order, instead of less useful data like "last edited date".
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby peterbud » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:27 pm

My personal approach is the following: I use the diacritics pretty much everywhere, but (very important) I add the non-diacritics version to the query field (in all the concerned languages). So, for this page for example, the name field is:
Code: Select all
Egyeskő / Piatra Singuratică

while the query field is:
Code: Select all
Egyesko, Piatra, Singuratica

Try searching with and without diacritics, it will work.

I admit these things require some extra attention at the time of constructing a page, but do not need further maintenance. Not for self-promotion, but you're all welcome to use this resource, cited also in the opening post.
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby kamil » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:38 pm

I'm in favour of using diacritical signs in page titles too. In query names I put all possible alternative spellings, without diacritics too.
There's a little problem with non-Latin alphabets, e.g. for my mountains in Bulgaria and Greece I used the most commonly used Latin transcriptions and put all the alternative ones in query names.
I've also got one 'controversial' mountain in Kosovo where I used both the Serbian (diacritical) and Albanian name in the title.
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:24 pm

Visentin, it's certainly a good question. My own preference would be for us to use the "native" language or two languages for border peaks, which is your preference too.

It is certainly odd when you think about it that current practice requires a Swiss German to know that English uses the French "Mont Blanc" and not the Italian "Monte Bianco."

What shall we name Chomolungma? Shall it be Sagarmāthā or 珠穆朗玛峰 (Zhumulangma) ? Or do we let the westernized name win out?
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby visentin » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:05 am

Fletch wrote:I think everything in the world should be spelled in


Obviously there are things which are too difficult to understand for some, but I believe they are a minority, thanks Arthur for your better understanding.

Arthur Digbee wrote:Visentin, it's certainly a good question. My own preference would be for us to use the "native" language or two languages for border peaks, which is your preference too.

Agreed.
Arthur Digbee wrote:It is certainly odd when you think about it that current practice requires a Swiss German to know that English uses the French "Mont Blanc" and not the Italian "Monte Bianco."

True too, and I didn't think of it. Let's say that when famous mountains have an official way to be designated in English, that one should be used. Mont Blanc belongs to them without any doubt. But mountains often stand on borders, and there is a crowd of less known mountains without a concensus about the way it should be called "in English". Then what we stated previously rules.
Arthur Digbee wrote:What shall we name Chomolungma? Shall it be Sagarmāthā or 珠穆朗玛峰 (Zhumulangma) ? Or do we let the westernized name win out?

Here, we are going beyond Europe (which was the original context of this post), and comes the issue of other alphabets than Latin. This is another topic. I'm not expert in it, but I believe that for many famous mountains (Fuji, Toubkal, Denali, etc) some official english names exist.
For the others, since SP doesn't manage Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Idian and other Asian alphabets, equivalences in latin alphabet are to be found. I believe in many of these alphabets, some standards have been set in order to turn names into Latin alphabet. Well, that's the case for Cyrillic as far as I know: for example Serbian (using Cyrillic) can be written in Latin alphabet with diacritic signs, which gives something very similar to Croatian (many linguists even speak about a common Serbo-Croat language despite two alphabets can be used to write it).
As for special mountains, far and remote, where no consensus exists, like the Chomolungma you mentionned (well, I know nothing about this mountain), if too much doubts subsist about the spelling, perhaps a preliminary discussion should be started in order to decide a name.
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:30 pm

visentin wrote:For the others, since SP doesn't manage Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Idian and other Asian alphabets, equivalences in latin alphabet are to be found.

Facebook handles them somehow. I know that the DNS system now allows non-Latin alphabet domain names. So some tech guy has solved the problems.

visentin wrote:I believe in many of these alphabets, some standards have been set in order to turn names into Latin alphabet. Well, that's the case for Cyrillic as far as I know: for example Serbian (using Cyrillic) can be written in Latin alphabet with diacritic signs, which gives something very similar to Croatian (many linguists even speak about a common Serbo-Croat language despite two alphabets can be used to write it).

The politically correct name now is SBC (Serbo-Bosnian-Croatian). They are as much the same language as the dialects of Norwegian or German. Probably more so.

visentin wrote:As for special mountains, far and remote, where no consensus exists, like the Chomolungma you mentionned (well, I know nothing about this mountain), if too much doubts subsist about the spelling, perhaps a preliminary discussion should be started in order to decide a name.

Chomolungma is one of the three local names for Mount Everest. It poses the language problem in a particularly interesting way. :wink:
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Petro » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:50 pm

Fletch wrote:Visentin (you seem nice), but man up. If you want to name things in foreign languages then find one of those translate buttons...


I guess you don't speak any foreign languages. Just English, right? And you probably think that it's everyone's duty to speak English and forget their gay mother-tongues.
Man up, nobody's interested in your opinion.
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Bruno » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:20 pm

visentin wrote:As for special mountains, far and remote [...] like the Chomolungma you mentionned (well, I know nothing about this mountain)

Actually not so far and remote... and quite famous... I'm quite sure you already heard about this mountain :wink:

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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Bruno » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:29 pm

Arthur Digbee wrote:Chomolungma is one of the three local names for Mount Everest. It poses the language problem in a particularly interesting way. :wink:

Three? Actually Chomolungma is the only local name. Both Sherpa to the south and Tibetan to the north know the mountain under the same name. The Chinese usually use the transliteration of the original Tibetan name, and the Nepali name (Sagarmatha) is a recent invention in order to give it a Nepali name, but by no way a "local" name.
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Re: How should (European) peak names be spelled ?

Postby Bruno » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:41 pm

Petro wrote:
Fletch wrote:Visentin (you seem nice), but man up. If you want to name things in foreign languages then find one of those translate buttons...


I guess you don't speak any foreign languages. Just English, right? And you probably think that it's everyone's duty to speak English and forget their gay mother-tongues.
Man up, nobody's interested in your opinion.

I am usually a strong defender of language diversity, and don’t particularly like English (this is my 4th language), but I can’t agree with you on this point.
The FAQ clearly state that Summitpost is an English language website, which means that it should be possible to spell the name in standard English.
As Borut suggested, it might be nice to keep the š, ž, č ... in the text, but this is not a necessity as these special signs (like the French accents) do not exist in English. Under query name, it is necessary to also include the spelling without accents, so that English speakers can find the mountain.
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